Your wedding is obviously THE perfect place to exhibit your individuality with the choice of your bridal gown. But what about your bridesmaids?
Unless you are BFF with identical quintuplets, you might struggle to find the one dress for your maids that suits them all. And that's where Dessy comes in. With over 100 colours, and more styles than you can shake a stick at, Dessy enables you to mix and match bridesmaid dresses so that you can find the exact style to suit each girl, and that can include the flower girl too, as you can see below. What a beautiful selection, all tied together by having the gowns in the same shade (turquoise) and material (lux chiffon).
You could decide to give some parameters when the girls are choosing their mix and match bridesmaid dresses, such as you'd like all the styles to incorporate lace; you can see from this next shot how fab that can look with these different styles all in Blush.
Or you could just ask that all of the dresses are the same length, like these Majestic satin gowns form Alfred Sung. I love the fact that the girls are all wearing the same coloured shoes but again, have each chosen the style that suits them.
These girls are all wearing Hunter Green and although the tops for each dress is different, the skirts are all similarly shirred so that there is still a cohesive affect.
But that certainly doesn't have to be the case: these mix and match bridesmaid dresses in Celadon are quite different in style and material but they look absolutely fabulous together.
There's no doubt about it, with Dessy, the world of bridesmaid dresses is your oyster!
It was interesting looking through the papers this weekend and seeing the fashion pundits giving a round up of 2015 celebrity fashion. I agree entirely that this has been a fab year for gorgeous design and it is interesting to note how Dessy has many gowns and outfits that would allow you to wear the look at a fraction of the price.
Take for example Mollie King arriving on the red carpet wearing a reverse black trimmed with white full length gown not dissimilar to Dessy Collection 8163.
Then there was the 50 Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson choosing a backless, full-length gown from Prada in Blush. Shop that look with Social Bridesmaid 8164 (left) or Alfred Sung D719 (left)
Kendall Jenner, the 20-year-old model from the Kardashian family, now has more Instagram likes than anyone else in the universe partly because her dress sense is calm, understated yet glamorous and partly because she is such a babe; she loves high-necklines, figure-hugging gowns and jewel colours, so if I were going to copy her look, I'd choose something like this Dessy Collection 2937 in Jade:
Who cannot love Jennifer Lawrence's fresh-faced look and youthful energy? She suits so well the cocktail length dress with a full skirt and fitted bodice, like this gorgeous Lela Rose 209 in ivory gazar, a super-stiff gauze-y material that just makes you feel so special:
And lastly the beautiful French actress Lea Seydoux who wowed us all in Spectre, who wore a primrose-yellow Prada dress to the Baftas and looked truly awesome. To shop her look I'd go for either Jenny Yoo JY504 in Buttercup (top) or Dessy Collection 6693 in Buttercup (bottom).
Who would you like to dress like?
Think Audrey Hepburn in the Royal Ascot scene of My Fair Lady and you immediately see a white and black outfit that is the perfect blend of sophistication and beauty. When that iconic outfit was last sold in 2011, it set the new owner back $3.7 million dollars - thank goodness they threw in the hat too!
Fortunately you can purchase two tone bridesmaid dresses that are superbly glamorous for a mere fraction of the price from Dessy.com and I've collated a few of them here .
This first one is Social Bridesmaid 8162 , a full-length, strapless dress (although spaghetti straps are optional) with a pretty marquis lace bodice and a sweetheart neckline. The scallop-edge detail at the empire waist sets off the trumpet skirt wonderfully creating a stylish hourglass shape that is SO elegant. But the dress doesn't stop there! There is a fabulous cutout detail at the back making it bang on trend for 2016!
Dessy Collection 2956 is a very striking two tone gown which you could have predominantly in white (left) or black (right). Or perhaps you'd have your bridesmaids in a combo of them both! The full-length, strapless lux chiffon dress has a sweetheart neckline and draped bodice and skirt, providing a very relaxed, easy style to wear.
For a similarly bold but totally different look, check out the sateen twill Alfred Sung D724P with its slightly shirred black and white chevron skirt (below left). Again, this full length strapless dress has optional spaghetti straps included.
I think that possibly my favourite of all has got to be the dress on the right above, Dessy Collection 8163. This full-length, nu-georgette dress has a graceful halter neckline with a framed trim at the bodice and inset waistband. And the back view? Just check this out!
How beautiful is this bow detail at the neck closure and gorgeous pleated detail on the back skirt?
Equally as fab has got to be the dress above on the left - Dessy collection 8164 - with its super cutout back framed in black trim:
There's no doubt about it, these two tone bridesmaid dresses from Dessy are giving Cecil Beaton's original a run for his money! I wonder which one the divine Audrey would have chosen?
I love the look of keyhole dresses - whether the opening is in the front of the dress or at the back. There is a rumour that they were created in the 1960s as a way of showing a tantalising bit of cleavage whilst still retaining one's modesty!
These two examples by Alfred Sung, above left D449 in Sangria Dupioni and D441 in Apricot Peau de Soie, are too glamorous to be considered a tease. They are both actually halter necks with a very pretty pleated neckline which is particularly suitable for those with a slightly flatter chest. The wide waistband and pleated skirt again suit the thinner girl and create the illusion of a more shapely figure.
This delicate shade of yellow (left) is called Maize and here it shows the elegance of a keyhole back to a dress - all so important given how often the bridal party will have their backs to the congregation during the ceremony. Another Alfred Sung, this style D693 is made of a delightful chiffon knit which has a fabulous flow to it as you walk. The shirred midriff is good for girls who are perhaps a little pear-shaped.
Meanwhile, this heavenly Alfred Sung D690 is almost the essence of sophistication with its peplum frill, modified halter neck and slim skirt.
The short version, Alfred Sung D687 (below left), shown here in Azure, is perfect for a smart, daytime reception, rather than a more relaxed affair:
The Social Bridesmaid 8150 (below right in Cornflower) is an unusual design with a keyhole front and a pretty side bow detail at the left side of the neck.
And last, but obviously not least, is the Social Bridesmaid 8149, shown at the very top in fabulous Sangria, and below in Majestic - what a stunning dress.
I wrote before about getting yourself in perfect shape for your wedding with a 20-minute a day workout but if you really want to know how to look the radiant bride on your wedding day, there's a lot more to it than just planking!
Here, ILU Ambassador, Julia Hubbard, reveals her holistic approach to help you look your absolute best on the day.
What does she mean by holistic? As Julia says, there are three components to successful holistic health - physical, nutritional and psychological.
If you have the time, money and inclination Julia advises you to seek help from a qualified, experienced Personal Trainer who can set out a sensible timetable which they will guide you through until the Big Day, offering support and motivation along the way.
Show your Trainer a picture of your dress so that they can tailor the programme to work on the parts of your body that will be in the spotlight, as it were!
If you haven't the time for a trainer, just start walking! It sounds a little underwhelming but 30 minutes of brisk walking (just fast enough so that you can still talk but can't sing!) is brilliant for your fitness AND for your mental health - just what you need when you've got the stresses of a wedding on your mind! Equally, swimming, team sports, dance classes - any activity that you enjoy, makes you smile and gets those endorphins going is going to help. Drag your partner or bridesmaids along and make it social as well as functional, aiming for 30-60 minutes three times a week.
Track your progress and set reasonable goals.
Start your day with lemon and hot water or green tea with lemon; it will help kickstart the detox process, is great for your skin and digestive system, and what's more, is delicious!
DON"T SKIP BREAKFAST - just make sure that you have wholegrain or wholemeal toast, eggs or porridge and avoid sugary cereals like the plague!
For lunch and dinner, just watch your portions - your plate should contain a third protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetarian protein), a third carbs (rice, sweet potato, pasta, quinoa, couscous, potato) and a third vegetables (raw or cooked).
CUT OUT PROCESSED FOODS - take your own lunch to work so you know exactly what you're eating. I find that cooking a little more the night before provides me with a fab, wonderfully balanced packed lunch ready to go the next day.
Feel free to snack, but make it delicious nuts, seeds and fruit rather than sweets, chocolate or crips.
STEER CLEAR OF 'DIET' OR 'FAT FREE' FOODS - often these are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners which don't help you at all. Far better to eat a smaller amount of full fat, natural foodstuffs that fill you up and provide you with the nutrients you need rather than loads of 'diet' produce that makes you feel (a) deprived and (b) hungry!
If your digestive system is playing you up, you won't absorb all the required nutrients and you might experience bloating and water retention. If this is the case, discuss taking probiotics and digestive enzymes with your doctor to get your gut in working order.
Whatever you do, DON'T EMBARK ON A QUICK FIX DIET - your skin, hair and energy levels will suffer and you are likely to replace the lost weight plus more once the diet is over.
As Julia reminded me, your mind is extremely powerful so it's critical not to neglect what's going on in your head. If you struggle with over-eating, it's important to address what is triggering your eating habits if it's not hunger.
Stress can be a major factor in weight gain as many women turn to comfort eating when their cortisol levels rise and, as Julia points out, few things are more stressful than organising a wedding. So take a look at what's getting you stressed and deal with the reasons. Have back-up plans in place to avoid last minute stress over things you can't control - like the weather!
Stress can affect other hormones too making it even more difficult to lose those pounds so find ways to relax - take time out to have a long soak in the bath; find time to sit in a comfy chair and read for half an hour or so; join a yoga, Thai Chi or meditation class. The key is to address any underlying issues that are causing you to overeat or get worked up.
When you do your exercise, whether it's a brisk walk, calming yoga or manic dance class, make sure that you're wearing clothing that is comfortable, feels good and lifts your spirits. Julia recommends ILU Fitwear as its seamless technology smoothes the lumps and bumps whilst the pops of colour provide you with the psychological energy and zest to get you going.
Here's Julia herself wearing some of the Active Range kit ready to face the world!
And Julia's last piece of advice? Make sure you arrange a last minute fitting so that your dress will look as perfect as you on the day.
If you want to know any more about how to get yourself looking the radiant bride, why not contact Julia directly via firstname.lastname@example.org , Facebook: Julia Hubbard - Athlete, Figure Competitor, Coach or Twitter: @jules_athlete
With thanks to Pinterest for all of the fab images of Dessy Real Weddings and to Julia Hubbard for her brilliant advice and photos.