By celebrity stylist Amber Renae

After a decade working as a stylist, and helping hundreds of brides say yes to their dress, I’ve picked up a few things to help make this process as tear-free as possible!

1. The Wrong White

White is white is white, right? Wrong! In fact, you’ve never seen so many shades of white until you step foot into a bridal store.  The only distinction you need to know; is whether you suit a warm or a cool shade.  And trust me, you wanna get this right as wearing the right shade for you skin makes all the difference between naturally glowing or tired and sullen. To understand which shade is best for you, click here

2. In Bad Shape

Similar to skin tone, dressing for your body shape makes all the difference in enhancing your natural assets. Rather than looking at magazines for inspiration, I suggest going through your own closet and taking pics of dresses/outfits that made you look a million bucks. Then, analyse the elements of each style. Eg.  Did they have a wide strap or were they strapless?  Did they have a v-neck or were they high neck.  This will dramatically narrow down your overwhelming number of options when at the Bridal store.

3. Opinions of the Posse

Granted you may have your trusted advisors in life: your bestie might be amazing at man-advice, your Mum could be the best life coach on the planet, but if their style advice clashes with your personal tastes, then leave the posse at home. Instead, I suggest taking a friend who’s style you’ve always admired, hiring a stylist for a couple hours to help with the final decision, or going it alone and trusting yourself!

Your inner circle is often too invested in the big day to make unemotional decisions; after all, we’ve all seen the Mums who are living out their dream wedding vicariously through the blushing bride… Right?!

4. Follow your Heart

At the end of the day, go with your heart, when selecting the dress.  You’ll know the one that made your heart flutter and bought a tear to the eye of everyone in the store.  It may not be the one you had in mind, but that’s the one you should go for!

I saw this happen first hand with my bestie.  She was having a beach wedding at Noosa, and her personal style is very minimal, clean, chic – no frills or frou frou, so she had her heart set on a basic slip dress. Seemed appropriate!

We tried a bunch of slip styles and whilst they were all beautiful, there was nothing too spectacular.  Then, just for fun, we tried a ‘meringue’ (her words).  It was elegant, and very classy, but huge! I mean, the full-size skirt.

Well, as she walked out of the change room we all burst into spontaneous tears!! She looked breath-taking. Everyone else in the store began to gather round and we all just stared, speechless! That was THE dress, and we had to take it! We then spent the next hour rationalizing how she was gonna make this work for the damn beach!1

Amber Renae is a Celebrity and Personal Stylist who has created the Wedding and Bridal Party Styling event: a fun, educational and inspirational alternative to a Hens party, more info can be found here.

She educates and empowers women on dressing for their body shape and skin tone through her blog, which can be found at:

Main image from JLM Couture.

Posted in Expert Advice, Planning by wedded wonderland

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