When you've dressed the likes of Kate Moss, Erin O’Connor, Emilia Fox and British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman, you can rest assured your fashion credentials have been proven. One such designer to do so is Kate Halfpenny, whose vintage-inspired occasion pieces and beautiful bridal collections have often coined her an ‘industry secret’.
Well, brides-to-be: listen up. SL are letting the cat out of the bag as we've enlisted Halfpenny’s help to find you the perfect wedding dress. From initial research to what style suits your shape and hidden costs you should consider; read on before any Bridezilla moments ensue.
Do Your Research
Before you even step foot in a shop, bridal blogs, magazine and Pinterest are all great sources of inspiration.
Then, do your research and find out which boutiques hold the designers you like – don’t waste time on bridal boutiques that don’t cater to your taste. And when you do find one that suits, don’t be afraid to try dresses on that are out of your comfort zone. You never know what might just float your boat.
Don’t Follow Trends
It’s really important when shopping for a dress you choose a style that is right for you and that you aren't influenced by current trends.
This can be disastrous for some fashion-conscious brides – wedding dresses should be timeless. You can choose seasonal pieces but that doesn't mean you have to tap into a major trend. Instead, look for beautiful fabrics, timeless shapes and silhouettes, and make them into something new by adding modern detailing or tweaking the cut.
It's important that you know what shape works for your figure too, if you are pear-shaped then a slinky bias dress isn't necessarily going to work, you need to think about more of a circular-cut skirt so that the fabric flows off your larger bottom-half adding emphasis to your tiny waist.
If you have a large bust and don’t want it to be the feature of the dress then look to soft cowl-necks that will drape in all the right places to create a simple, soft-fluid line around the bust and chest area. This will create the illusion of a smaller bust, but equally this style can flatter a smaller bust, creating a little bit of mystery.
If you don’t have a very defined waist then you are one of the few who can pull off a drop-waist – think 1920s glam. Alternatively, those who need a little help to accentuate a more straight-up-and-down shape, should consider having a fabulous corset made that really cinches in the waist. The magic of bespoke corsetry is that it can create the ultimate body shape.
Make sure you know what's included when you buy your dress. Are alterations and fittings included? Do they do them in-house? Could I get a better deal elsewhere? Be savvy and shop smart.
Take Your Time
Don't feel pressured to make the purchase on the day. You're not buying a washing machine. However, ensure that you have at least six months before your wedding as it can take a minimum of 12 weeks to have a dress ordered from a designer. You will need longer if you are getting a bespoke dress made.
Trying It On
Don’t stand rigid in the mirror staring at parts and elements of the dress, move in it, see how the fabrics move. Remember, the dress needs to work for you and your body, so don’t buy dresses that aren't cut for your body shape or that you don’t feel ‘you’ in.
Don’t settle for second best, there is a perfect dress out there for you, you just might not have found it yet.