Wedding Planning Winter Workshop: Couture Bridal Advice

The first workshop in this winter’s workshop series was brilliant! There was far too much practical advice to squeeze into a single post, but I promise to filter it out here over the next wee while. In the meanwhile, if you missed the workshop, or mislaid the info, here are a couple of key comments from the wonderful women who made up our workshop panel.

Jill Alexander, Madcat Design, on choosing a gown to suit your shape:

The female form comes in two basic outlines – either you have the classic hourglass [in whatever size – essentially, you tuck in at the waist] or you don’t. If you have a waist, then you want to make sure you dress to accentuate the curve, and a corset is ideal for creating a beautiful line through from bust to hip. If your outline is straighter, then you’ll have other features to highlight – if you have beautiful calves and ankles, then choose a gown that really shows them off!

Catherine Anderson, Beautiful Brides of Hope, on finding your perfect gown:

Really, the only way to find the gown that is perfect for you, is to try on as many gowns as possible. Try on everything you can, even the ones that don’t appeal – so often it’s the dress that looks like nothing  on the hanger that turns out to be the one that looks fantastic on you! And… Don’t ask the dress fitter’s opinion unless you want to hear it!

Liz MacLean, dressmaker extraordinaire, on caring for your gown:

The plastic bag is for protecting your gown while you’re taking it from one place to another. They’re not intended for long-term storage, as the plastic doesn’t allow airflow. If you’re storing your gown for any length of time, pack it into an acid-free cardboard box. Make sure it’s clean before storing it after the wedding. Grass stains, sweat, makeup smears, etc, will only become more stubbornly ingrained over time. Dry-cleaning is rarely the best option, especially for gowns with beading detail. [The processes used  have been known to melt beading!] If you’re not sure about what you should do, ASK the person who made or sold you your gown!

Karyn Stratford, Artistic Beauty, on artificial tanning:

Living in Nelson, most brides will need a small amount of tanning to even out their skin, especially if they’re wearing a strapless gown. Good quality tanning simply evens out the skin tone, hiding strap or t-shirt lines. If you don’t think you need it, ask someone to take a photo of you in a strapless top! Remember, your wedding photos will be around for a long, long time. What looks good in person might not look so good through the camera lens.
Always have a practice run of your tanning process, to check that it does look natural, but equally important, to check that your tan won’t rub off onto your gown, especially under the arms and at the neckline!

Rachel Gillard, Ohr-Sprirring Design, on wedding accessories:

When you see a guy wearing a tuxedo without a tie, it almost looks like he didn’t get to finish dressing. It’s the same with accessories for your bridal gown – you need those finishing touches to complete your overall look. It’s important that your bridal jewellery complements your gown and hairstyle – like a guy choosing to wear a bow tie or a windsor  knot. Don’t choose your bridal jewellery until you’ve chosen your gown, and make your choices with the style of your gown in mind, matching and complementing the details of your dress.


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