• JP

Bridal Gown Shopping from the Expert

Advice from Charlie Brear via Sheerluxe As a bride, where do you start? Magazines, online blogs and Pinterest can be fun at first to source ideas, but you won’t know what suits you until you start trying dresses on. If you don’t already have a preferred designer in mind, browse online to get a sense of which designers and styles you like, then book an appointment with them. Once you visit a store you’ll be in the hands of experts who will be able to guide you through the process. Should you go to a store with an idea, or stay open minded on the first appointment?  With an open mind – you may suit a style that’s completely different to what you had initially envisioned. Be honest with your stylist/designer as they have a wealth of knowledge and ultimately want to help you find ‘The One’. Be open to trying on outfits suggested by your stylist as these are often the best surprise! Do come with an idea of the vibe you want to create though – think of the venue, flowers and bridesmaids, and explain how you see it all coming together. What's the biggest worry brides have in regards to their dress? Women want to look like the best possible version of themselves on their big day. They want their dress to wow their friends and family, but also be in line with their signature style. We advise all brides to wear something they feel totally at ease in, both physically and emotionally. A beautiful bride is one who appears relaxed and comfortable, and so it is important to pick a wedding day look that reflects you, whether that’s soft and romantic or pared back and minimal. What styles are most popular right now? Weddings tend to be much less formal now and consequently brides are more confident in choosing a look that reflects their own sense of style, rather than having to follow traditional notions of what bridalwear should look like. Brides are seeking out modern, effortless styles that maintain elements of tradition. Creating a look that’s fashion-led, clean and contemporary is really important to our clients. Would you ever advise against an idea a bride has in mind if you think it wouldn't suit her? Yes. It’s our job as stylists to guide brides through the process to create a look that represents the best version of her. We would always encourage brides to try on something even if we believe it wouldn’t work – typically at this point they’d be able to see for themselves why it doesn’t work and we’ll be able to guide them to the styles that would be most flattering. What brands do you stock? Exclusively Marta Marti, Marquise Atelier, Watters Wtoo & Willowby, E&W Couture, Rembo Styling, Riki Dalal, Emmy Mae Bridal. How much should you spend? As much or as little as you can afford. You want to feel amazing in your dress as it’s a big moment in your life, but you don’t want to bankrupt yourself either! Set yourself a realistic budget before you begin your dress-shopping journey and allow a little room for movement – you don’t want to fall in love with something that is unattainable, so this will help determine the designers you can shortlist. It’s also important to factor in alteration costs and accessories to complete the look. Our made to order dresses start from £1100.00 and samples can be purchased from £500.00. How long before the big day should you start the dress hunt? Ideally 6-12 months ahead. However, as our dresses are made by independent designers we are able to work to a shorter time frame on occasions, should a bride be planning a quick engagement. How long does it usually take? It varies from person to person. Some women are very confident in their style and know exactly what they want so the process is very quick, whereas others need more reassurance and prefer to explore all options before making a decision. We will talk a bride through our collection, selecting a number of dresses to choose from based on their personal style and shape, and accessorising where appropriate. How many fittings are there? Typically, a bride would have their first fitting of the dress where it will be pinned, and once the work is complete they will go back again to check it’s perfect. What are your thoughts on veils? Are they still popular? I personally love a veil as it’s the only day you’ll ever get the chance to wear one! That said, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing one it’s important to go with your own instinct and sense of style. Tips for brides getting married on the beach or in a hot climate? Look for fabrics that are breathable, such as chiffon and organza rather than silk or satin-silk gowns, and take into account how you will transport your dress. Go lightweight and choose a fabric that doesn’t crease as easily. What do you suggest for older brides? There shouldn’t be any rules for older brides, they deserve to feel just as beautiful as a younger bride! Like all brides, some have concerns about certain body areas and we always suggest styles that will flatter these areas, but often we have many older brides who are actually fitter and more at ease with their own style and look incredible in anything!  Do you have any tips for brides with big busts? Bigger busted women will usually want to wear a bra so the outfit needs to work with this. However if a larger busted Bride has her heart set on a backless gown, I can advise on underwear options. Curvy brides? Our dresses look beautiful on brides of all sizes and many of our styles are available in 14+ Again, a stylist will be able to advise on the best styles to flatter your body shape. We are please to have brand new Watters Wtoo Fall 2018 coming in to Halo & Wren in sizes 14 & 16. Smaller busts? Super low backs – such as the one on our Emmy Mae Dakota – are very on trend and can’t be worn with a bra, so these work really well for a smaller bust. High neck dresses are also really flattering, as well as dresses with a deep, plunging neckline like the Venice gown by Marquise. Keep an eye on our next blog post where we continue our advice on starting your Bridal Gown hunt. 

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Halo & Wren Bridal 97 High Street Hemel Hempstead Herts HP1 3AH 07748595569