I've so fallen for bridal gowns with embellished belts but until recently I hadn't realised that you could buy coloured bridal belts too!
So imagine having a really outrageously decorated wedding dress sash for yourself and then more delicate coloured bridal belts for your bridesmaids - what's not to like?
I might choose something like the Millie sash for me:
And then for my girls, I'd go for the Audrey sash with its delicate beads and sequins on lush satin ribbon. Here I've shown them in Midnight (top), Platinum (middle) and Rose (bottom):
Don't you just love this gold Grace bridal belt? And so aptly named, too, when you think how beautiful and golden Grace of Monaco was:
Last of all, take a look at this awesome Ava Sash in black satin, vintage-look rhinestone and metallic thread - now if that doesn't make a statement, I don't know what does!
There's a beautiful (obviously!) photograph of Cara Delevingne in the December 2015 issue of Tatler wearing a simple but elegant white, high low dress that would look absolutely wonderful for a bridesmaid.
Take a look at some of these ideas from Dessy and you'll see what I mean:
One of the white high lo bridesmaid dresses I love is Social Bridesmaid 8125 (above) in lux chiffon with an attractive shirred halter bodice exposing that one part of a girl's body that always looks fab - her shoulders! The skirt has subtle shirring at the natural waist and the delicate overskirt billows beautifully behind when you walk. Very Cara.
Another beauty is this Lela Rose LR233 in shimmery-white Starlight. This dress is a winner is so many ways.
The dress itself is made from mousseline fabric, a lightweight, sheer material woven using a plain weave. Similar to chiffon, mousseline has more body, allowing the dress to retain its shape well. This stunning gown from Lela Rose has a golden, necklace-style halter neckline for a very contemporary look and a beautiful crossover pleat detail at the front. The low back is gorgeous and you know that any bridesmaid lucky enough to wear this will love it forever. The strappy sandals as worn in the photo are similar to those sported by top model Cara, or you could team the dress with a pair of nude-lace Coco peep-toe heels like those above - the diamante bow complements the sheen of the dress to perfection.
Admittedly not actually white, but ivory, the Alfred Sung D699 below has got to be one of the most elegant gowns in town. Its strapless satin twill has a great structure to it and it just oozes grace and sophistication. I would definitely team it with a clutch like this Quilted Olivia with its jewelled snap clasp:
Which one is your favourite?
Flower girl dresses traditionally are designed to be a simplified version of the bride's dress. However, if the bride is wearing a fitted, more figure-hugging gown like the one below, it's far more appropriate to choose a dress for the flower girl that just has echoes of the bride's dress. So the bride here chose an outfit for her flower girl that utilised that fabulous tulle kick-skirt element of the bridal gown.
Dessy has a wide selection of sweet white flower girl dresses that will give you plenty of scope to tie the little girl's dress in with your own. Like the uber-adorable FL4020 with its matt satin bodice, spaghetti straps and ballerina tulle skirt. The hand worked flower detail with Swarovski rhinestone center at the empire waist just finishes it off to perfection and you just know that your little flower girl will be as happy as a lark on your wedding day.
Obviously with illusion necklines, lace and tulle being so in for 2016, it's only fitting that Dessy should offer those options for the little ones! I love these two: on the left is FL4051, a sleeveless flower girl dress with a jewel neckline and fleur embroidery lace bodice. Its sheer yoke and fleur embroidery applique is set off delightfully by its full tulle skirt. On the right is the sweet FL4046 with its florentine lace bodice overlay, flutter-lace sleeves and modified circle skirt.
So if you've got a little daughter, niece, young cousin or goddaughter the right age, let her feel like a princess on your wedding day with one of these gorgeous white flower girl dresses from Dessy - there are over 20 to choose from so you'll be able to find the perfect one.
When I saw this fab style board (below) by Nicole on the Dessy.com website the other day, with its sumptuous dark red and old gold colours, I almost went weak at the knees!
The depth and warmth of those colours with the soft ivory theme running through it are just perfect for a City Winter Wedding when the weather has all the potential for being either cold, wet, windy or a disastrous combination of all three. And I've found the perfect selection of bridesmaids dresses that will provide a little bit of extra cover for your maids whilst still allowing them to look super-sophisticated.
The top dress is Dessy Collection 6714 in Burgundy. Its sheer neckline at the back and front gives an insulating layer without looking too heavy, whilst the dress below, Dessy Collection 2874 in Venetian Gold covers the shoulders with pretty loose ruffles for added warmth.
The chic 57 Grand Style 5701 in Burgundy (below) has capped sleeves and a full covered back to keep the bridesmaids from getting too cold, as does the Lovelie Plus 9008 in Venetian Gold.
And of course, you can always get the girls a Dessy pashmina to stave off the worst of the British Winter! Good luck!
Cocktail flats - the must-have shoe for Winter 15/16
And I'm not talking ballet pumps here. I'm conjuring up images of glamour, embellishments, crystals, velvet, lace, brocades and, most of all, pointy toes!
Cocktail flats are the new must-haves for any wedding, party or generally glam 'do' where you
(a) don't want to be towering over your partner]
(b) might have to walk a fair way in a beautiful outfit and so want to be sure of your footing, especially if you have cobbled streets or uneven surfaces to contend with
(c) might possibly have more than the one glass of champagne and you don't want to have to worry about wobbling around on high heels
(d) you are going to be on your feet for a LONG time!
So here is a round-up of some of the best cocktail flats on the market this season:
In the top left corner above we have Park Avenue Gold Brocade flats from Dessy.com; top right are the snazzy Navy Blue patent pumps from La Redoute; in the centre are the animal print 'Ritzie' from Office; and lastly the fab Red Sparkle Bow flats from Deichmann UK.
From the top is one of my favourites, the Jewel Slingback by Next; I love all three in the next row but it is the middle, black and white stunner Georgette from Dune which floats my candle; the Pompom flat, also from Next, is just ADORABLE; and last but no means least are the gold lace cocktail flats from Dessy.
Who needs heels to feel on top of the world?
We all know that halter top dresses are one of the most flattering styles you can wear, so why is it that we so often run shy of them?
Take this exquisite dress by Dessy Collection 2937; the draped halter neckline is the utmost in modest elegance yet the cut-away design exposes the shoulders in a most beguiling way.
Lack of support in the bust area to this day remains the number one reason why we are tentative about wearing a halter neck, particularly if we're well-endowed. But nowadays there are plenty of ways to assuage your worries about such matters. For example, this beautiful Exquis Lace Underwired Halter neck Bra from the renowned La Redoute is cleverly designed to be low at the back, narrow at the front, pretty and yet fully supportive.
New Look also have a good selection of halter neck bras which are very reasonable whilst Marks and Spencer have a large collection of strapless and multiway bras, including strapless bandeaus.
My other favourite halter top bridesmaid dresses from Dessy are shown below, including the Alfred Sung D678 which is actually a modified halter neck.
I think you'll agree that they all look so effortlessly beautiful, so go on, be brave and give it a go.
Of course you want the obvious photos to remember your wedding by:
the bride and the groom;
- the bride and the groom with each side of the family;
- the bride and the groom with both sides of the family;
- the bride with her bridesmaids;
- the groom with his ushers;
- the bride and the groom, the ushers, the bridesmaids, both sides of the family...
The list can go on and on; and in many ways it should. After all, let's be honest, a lot of people will have made a considerable effort to make your wedding day all you could have ever wanted, so it seems churlish not to take the time to commemorate it with a professionally-taken series of photographs that will include everyone that really matters. Which is (hopefully) everyone you've invited to celebrate with you.
But don't get too carried away with lists of who has to be photographed with whom. Apart from the formal shots, what you really want the photographer to do is to:
(a) capture those special, off-the-cuff moments
(b) encapsulate in a few stills the true essence of the Happy Couple on their Big Day.
Take a look at these creative wedding photos I've collated and you'll see what I mean. With the exception of the featured image at the top by the great Cheshire Wedding Photographers, the Crawleys, the others are all by the talented husband and wife team at Tucker Images. Some have been planned, some are spontaneous - ALL of them are relaxed and joyous!
Cheers, girls! I love this one of the bride before she starts getting ready; she looks SO happy that finally the Big Day has arrived! And below it, the look of concentration on the bridesmaid's face as she is concerned solely with getting that sash right for the bride.
Isn't this the sweetest shot? Totally un-staged, you just know that this Father of the Bride couldn't be prouder than he is at this very moment, as evidenced by the subtle, but unmistakeable, thumbs up.
These next few have been beautifully arranged and are forms of art in themselves, providing perfect momentoes of all the meticulous planning that has gone into the wedding.
I particularly like the idea top right, to put together an original invitation, reply card, name place and flowers from the various arrangements all in one shot as a wonderful reminder of the ancillary aspects of the wedding that went to create the cohesive whole.
With huge thanks to Ben and Britney Tarno of Tucker Images, and The Crawleys of The Cheshire Wedding Photographers for the featured image.
Don't get me wrong, I love pastel- and soft hued-themes, particularly for a wedding - they just ooze romance and almost demand a soft lens on the camera.
HOWEVER, there is undoubtedly a place in the world for more vibrant, shake-it-in-your-face colour schemes which shout to the rooftops how ecstatic you are to be marrying the love of your life. Of late, I feel the Boho Bride has almost claimed this most joyous of crowns for herself, but I'm here to encourage even the most conservative of brides to give the technicolour wedding a second glance. Take a look at this fabulous bouquet of gerberas and ranunculi, anemones and freesias from Helen Jane Floristry. Doesn't it just make you want to grin with sheer delight at the audacity of colours singing together so merrily? Or the brilliant clash of greens and pinks in the table decoration photographed by Gia Canali at the top of the page.
And then just think of the vibrancy you could create at the Wedding Breakfast with table arrangements like these below left. You would literally have the guests dancing their way to the tables, energised by the brilliant clashing of blooms. I love the multicoloured table runners, bright plastic mini-vases (I'd use IKEA tumblers which come in punchy colours that work so well together), and really tall vases with lavish coloured foliage and flowers dramatically spilling over as in the photo below left. And just look at the bride's bouquet - you'd have every guest beaming like a cheshire cat when they first clapped eyes on that! With thanks to One Fab Day for this lovely montage.
Long gone are the days of three tiers of royal-icing, marzipan-ed fruit wedding cakes, where the first tier was packed away for Baby No 1's Christening, the second tier cut up and sent to those invited who couldn't make the wedding, and the third tier distributed amongst the guests to crack their dentures on!
Nowadays your wedding cake can be as colourful and individual as the bride and groom. Really truly, the world is your technicolour oyster! I love the dramatic cake above, beautifully captured by Tucker Images, and then the rainbow-coloured cake below by the talented team at ButtercreamandDreams.com.
And don't forget your bridesmaids: if you're going all out for a technicolour wedding, go to Dessy.com and let your imagination run wild! These maids below are all wearing Alfred Sung dresses - how stylish do they look with their mismatching bouquets? Go on, forget about work for a bit and have a play with Dessy's Inspiration Styleboards and see what you can come up with. I bet you'll have a lot of fun!
Wow, these Electric Blue Bridesmaid Dresses are SO energising that you could almost sell back to the National Grid!
Don't the Bridal Party all look fabulous? This Alfred Sung style D440 is one of my favourites, I must admit. The way the straps sit just on the shoulders elongates the neck and encourages perfect deportment. Combined with the bateau neckline, it is one of the most flattering, elegant of dress shapes and in this colour, it just sings out the bride's vivacity and vibrancy. The girls' bouquets have been superbly chosen to fortify the sentiment, with the matching shade of blue creating a perfect foil for the bright pink and lime green, with just the right amount of cream to lift the visuals and tie-in those wonderful pearl necklaces. The Maid of Honour wears a lace shift dress and holds a rounder, more sophisiticated posy in shades of blue, lime and white. The beautiful bride is stunning in her gorgeously embellished gown and a near-mirror image of the MOH's bouquet.
A similar effect is found in the bridegroom and his ushers who have almost the 'negative' of each others' outfits. The groom looks supremely dapper in his dark blue silk DJ with matt satin lapels and black bow tie; his favourite chums sport black dinner jackets and narrow bright blue ties and pocket handkerchiefs that match the bridesmaids' dresses.
To create a similar look for the jewellery, try Braybrook and Britten who do exquisite jewellery on-line that really is as top quality and divine as it looks.
Take this graduated, single strand Grace Pearl necklace at £195; the lustrous Giselle Pearl Ear Studs at £84 and the triple strand, adjustable Giselle Baroque Pearl necklace at £395 - all of them absolutely perfect with this kind of bright colour choice. Find your nearest Dessy stockist here and think about the electric blue for your bridesmaids dresses - you know it will look stunning.
With many thanks to shopjoielle.com for sharing their brilliant images of this great wedding.
Illusion neckline bridal gowns are absolutely the in thing for 2016. But what about your bridesmaids? If you want your favourite girls to be on trend too next year, Dessy has some stunning illusion neckline bridesmaid dresses to choose from:First up is this beautiful After Six gown style 6726. You can see from the image of its back why the illusion neckline works so well: the sweetheart bodice has a daringly low back which might make you feel a little over-exposed were it not for the sheer fabric which not only adds a little warmth but also gives the strapless dress support and extra structure. The full-length gown is made of the softest tulle (probably THE fabric for 2016 weddings!) over either a gold or silver lurex bodice which adds a gentle sparkle to the whole affair.
My next choice is Dessy Collection 2924 in Oyster, as shown above. Here the illusion neckline features shimmering rococo lace which of course looks particularly gorgeous for an evening reception. The top is immensely flattering as it produces a very pretty line for the shoulders so if you haven't had time to tone your upper body it won't matter in the slightest!
The next two illusion neckline bridesmaid dresses are both short and I think look all the sassier for it! Alfred Sung's D694 in Ivory is cocktail length in sateen twill with a chiffon knit yoke and jewel neckline - so pretty. Below that is I think my favourite of all, the Dessy Collection 2947 in Rose with fleur lace bodice and appliqué spilling on to the fuller skirt. The back of this dress is stunning.
Which one is your favourite?