My name is Yelena Johnson, and I’m the Creative Director and Principal Planner of Beverly-Hills based event firm, The Stylish Soiree. In addition to planning weddings I style brides and the entire bridal party, so Denise has asked me to share my bridal style knowledge on this lovely blog. I’ll be penning a series of guest posts related to wedding style over the next few weeks, and am tackling the toughest part first: bridal style. Here goes!
On your wedding day, all eyes are on you. The eyes of those nearest and dearest, from folks you see regularly to the cousins you haven’t seen since you were five. And not only are eyes on you for that moment in time, but your photographer’s lens will commemorate exactly the way you looked on your wedding day for all eternity. If you’re feeling the pressure to look like the perfect bride, take a deep breath - you’re not alone.
Bridal style is a topic that many engaged women struggle with. From finding the perfect style to choosing between bright white and soft white satin through swatches (hint: never, ever pick the bright white!), wedding dress shopping can feel spark powerful emotions - not all of them positive. To help future brides navigate the endless sea of white satin and chiffon, The Stylish Soiree lends our styling expertise to each dress shopping session, consulting our clients on what works best for their wedding, personality, style and body type. For brides who are struggling to find their ideal wedding dress without professional help, here are a few quick tips on how to achieve a bridal style that is uniquely you, and innately stylish:
1. Consider Your Venue & Theme
So - you just got engaged! The first thing you’re going to do is go and try on a million poufy white dress, right? Wrong - first, take a step back and consider your venue and wedding theme as well as overall style. Brides often make the mistake of shopping for their gown first, before they have booked their venue or set a theme for their big day. While it’s exciting to go dress shopping, remember that while a sweeping 4 foot chiffon train looks lovely on you and would look lovely in a luxe banquet hall, it’s not going to translate well to a beach or barn wedding. And there’s nothing worse than looking out of place at your own wedding.
2. Know Your Style
It’s easy to get so carried away by seeing yourself in a big ball gown with a million pickups (a la Belle in Beauty and the Beast, no less) that you reconsider your usual low-key style and snag the ball gown. However, I’d urge you to take a step back and reconsider. Everyone bride a style that is true to their personality, taste, likes and dislikes. If you have always been a girly-girl who loves pink, ruffles and ribbons, don’t buy the plain Jane gown that your mother wishes you’d choose. Likewise, if old-school J. Crew simplicity rocks your world, step away from the ball gown littered with pickups, rosettes and beading (on a side note, stay away from pickups altogether, regardless of your inherent style; it may have worked for Belle, but that was the 90s, ladies). By staying true to how you choose to dress on a daily basis you’ll help your look stand the test of time.
3. And Speaking of the Test of Time…
My biggest piece of advice to brides styling themselves on their wedding day is this: make sure your dress stands the test of time. To determine this, ask yourself three questions:
1. Would this dress have looked good in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s?
2. Would this dress have looked okay ten years ago, and would it still look okay ten years from now?
3. Is this dress overly trendy; i.e. it have more than one or two trend-driven elements to the construction of the gown?
The rationale behind these questions is as follows:
1. The 40s through 50s in particular were a defining time in fashion, when garment construction and fit were perfected. Dresses were made to fit and flatter a woman’s body, and garments made in those eras still look beautiful and stylish today. So, if your potential wedding dress would have looked good back then, chances are it possesses truly timeless appeal.
2. If your wedding dress style passes muster in the late 90s as well as in the foreseeable future without sticking out like a sore thumb, chances are you’ve found a time-tested winner. You can guess future trends by taking a look at some of the more cutting-edge fashion designers and extrapolate from there.
3. If a dress has more than one or two trend-driven elements to it (i.e. a skirt that is covered in rosettes as well as a single shoulder strap), chances are that the overall appearance will look dated in the future. As beautiful as rosettes and one shoulder strap gowns may look right now, both design elements are so ‘in’ that they will likely be ‘out’ in the near future. Think like Ms. Klum and bid trend-driven gowns ‘auf wiedersehen’ to achieve a stunning wedding day look that stands the test of time.
I hope I’ve imparted some useful advice to style-conscious brides out there who are hunting for the perfect wedding gown. Stay tuned for my next guest post on bridesmaid style, in which I’ll reveal where to find affordable and stylish bridesmaid dresses. And don’t forget to check out Denise’s expert guest posts on my blog, The Stylish Soiree.