Choosing your wedding dress is one of the most important decisions you will ever make but once you have got over that hurdle you need to find the right accessories to complement your gown. The choices you make here can make or break your look for the big day so how do you ensure you make the right finishing touches to your look when there are so many things to consider?
Your aim should be to choose accessories that complement and enhance your gown rather than overwhelm or clash with it. The important thing is the overall impression not each individual element of your outfit. Choose items which both suit your dress, your personal style and your personality. You do not want to arrive at your wedding looking like someone else! Where possible try out accessories whilst actually wearing your dress as it is difficult to remember the details of the gown or exactly where the neckline sits and these are important factors to take into consideration. If you have purchased one or more items already take them along when you are looking for the others to ensure that they all blend together.
Tiaras and Fascinators
Try out different head pieces including tiaras, bands and fascinators. Decide which you prefer and then concentrate on the details. Whatever type of head piece you favour, try out different sizes to find the one that suits your face and pick a style with stones and jewels or feathers that match the detailing of your gown. Remember that even silver coloured items can vary in colour tone and need to be compared to the dress to avoid clashes. If your gown features an element of colour consider a tiara or fascinator with some matching coloured elements for a more striking effect. Choose the right amount of sparkle for your gown. As a general rule the more simple the dress the more striking your tiara can be. Above all make sure that your chosen piece is comfortable and secure on your head.
Follow similar rules to when choosing your tiara. Ensure the colour of both the settings and stones match your gown and head piece and do be proportionate about the amount of bling. A simple gown can look great with a statement piece of jewellery, but if your dress is heavily decorated more simple accessories would look better. Make sure there is nothing on any bracelets which can snag your dress and ensure that your jewellery looks great with your engagement and weddings rings. When selecting a necklace pay attention to the neckline on your gown. Chokers are best for straight across necklines but if your dress has a sweetheart line find a piece with a drop down to the bust.
Not all brides wear a veil and it is certainly not essential but they can add a gorgeous finishing touch to your look. Only try veils when actually wearing your gown and concentrate on the length first. Veils are available in many lengths from very short to those extending to the length of your train. Some dresses look better with shorter veils and others with longer ones so you will have to try a few to get a feel for what looks best. Generally gowns with ornate detail to the back suit short veils whilst plainer gowns are enhanced by a longer style. Generally longer veils will make you look taller and so can be a good choice for the vertically challenged! Veils are also available with a variety of decorative features like crystals, embroidery and lace. Choose decoration that matches your gown and tiara and remember not to overdo it if your dress is already heavily beaded. A very sparkly crystal encrusted veil looks spectacular over a simple dress but just hides the detail on an ornate gown. Finally be aware of the colour of the veiling itself. Even so called ivory dresses vary from almost white to quite creamy so you need to find a veil that is available in a matching shade.
One of the most important purchases you will make for your wedding is your underwear. It is vital that you test this out with your wedding dress before the big day to ensure that your bra is totally covered by the dress’s bodice. If it is danger of showing at the front or back have your seamstress attach a means of holding it place. If you are wearing a lightweight or slinky gown check that your underwear does not show through or cause visible lines and avoid buying coloured items. It is best to stick to white or cream for your under garments.
The single most important factor here is comfort. There is nothing that can ruin your day as much as painful feet. Think practical first and aesthetics second in making your choice and remember that your shoes are not visible most of the time. Choose something comfortable which has detail that matches your gown and for added impact consider investing in coloured shoes or dying bridal shoes to match the colour theme of your day. Be careful that no embellishments on the shoes can catch on your dress, particularly if you are wearing chiffon which snags easily. If you are getting married outside or will need to walk on grass a lot try to find shoes that do not have a thin heel or you may end up experiencing a sinking feeling!
If you choose the right accessories you will create a striking outfit and at the same time be secure and comfortable allowing you to relax and enjoy what should be the best day of your life. Get it wrong and you will spend hours fiddling with your tiara and screaming for a change of footwear!
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Sally S is a wedding shop owner and has spent many years getting brides the right look in their dream dress.