I Asked 13 Fashionable Brides for Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

There are a few life events so big that you can validate spending years, if not decades, thinking about them. Buying a house, scoring that job of your dreams, maybe having children… but if age-old fairytales are to be believed, then always at top of the list is getting married. And no matter the imaginary scenario, the focal point is always the dress, right?

Whether you're the kind of person who has planned their dream day down to the finest detail or a low-key person who wants to go with the flow, what you end up wearing on the day stays with you forever in memories, photographs and videos, so it might be worth planning in advance to properly celebrate the occasion and look back feeling pleased with your decision. But what if you don't know where to begin?

"In my opinion, forget about everything except how you want to feel on the day," recommends bridal and costume designer and celebrity stylist Kate Halfpenny. "Try on some of your favourite outfits at home to remind yourself about what shapes and styles you feel great in.

"Instagram is a great place to see real brides and designers' collections, so doing your research there and on Pinterest and other amazing blogs helps you find designers with dresses that have styles and designs you love. But don't get too carried away or you'll never be able to work out what style of bride you want to be."

No matter who you ask (and people will always want to impart their wisdom), the key piece of advice always stays the same. Once you've pulled together some ideas and started trying on options, listen to your heart. 

Photo:

@halfpennylondon/Zach and Grace

"There are often lots of opinions from those around you about what they want you to wear, so be strong and listen to your gut," reminds Halfpenny. "Don't ever pick a dress because you think it suits your venue or that shape or neckline is on-trend right now. Forget all of that, and focus on how you feel when you're trying dresses on. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone too and try something new, as you may surprise yourself!

"Many, many brides don't have that movie moment where they burst into tears because they know it's The One, so don't put pressure on yourself if that doesn't happen to you. For lots of brides, it's more a quiet confidence that they feel great and love what they're wearing. If you feel like the very best version of yourself in the dress, then that's the one for you, and that's really all that matters."

In a bid to help you make the decision, we asked 13 particularly fashionable brides what they wore for their big days and what advice they would give to those celebrating their nuptials next, so all you need to focus on is getting to the venue on time. 

Lola McDonnell, Model
We Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@xlolamcdonnell 

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I wore a gorgeous Khaite tulle nude dress from the A/W 19 collection. It was such a special dress. So much so I kept part of it on for the evening. The dress consisted of a big tulle underskirt and a tulle top layer. So for the evening, I just whipped off the underskirt, threw on some vintage diamanté shoes, and put on a red lip.
 
How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?
 
When I first saw the dress from the Khaite show, I deep down knew it was The One. I searched high and low for other bridal dresses, but I kept going back to Khaite. I went to try it on with one of my bridesmaids, and it was so magical. It was the only dress I tried on. I knew I wanted something off-white, simple with an edge and a slight vintage feel.
 
What was your favourite part of the outfit?
 
The dress! I bought the dress in 2019 for our original wedding date in late August 2020. It had been sitting in the box for almost three years, and I'm still totally in love with it. My other favourite part was my lingerie. I had such a hard time finding the perfect colour match for the sheer tulle dress. At the last minute, I discovered a brand called Teya Silk that had the most incredible matching silk lingerie set for me.
 
What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?
 
Honestly, I don't think I would change a thing. Everything was so perfect and exactly how I pictured it. But my one piece of advice is wear what you want to wear. It's your day. Don't stop to think about other people's expectations.

Tyler McCall, Writer and Editor
We Asked 810Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@eiffeltyler/Hunter Abrams

What did you wear on your wedding day? 

I wore Carolina Herrera with Manolo Blahnik mules for our wedding, and a Markarian dress with Sophia Webster heels for our party, with Jennifer Behr jewellery for both!

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

I knew before I even got engaged that I wanted a dress from Carolina Herrera; I love what Wes Gordon has done for the brand, and the overall aesthetic really speaks to me. We had a very low-key wedding, with the intimate ceremony in the backyard of one of our favourite neighbourhood bars followed by dinner with our families, so I didn't want anything too fussy. I just wanted to feel like a cool, classic New York City bride! I loved the slightly '60s shape of my minidress, but of course, the star of the show was the giant bow at the back. It was so perfectly me. For the party we threw the next evening, I wanted something that felt bridal without screaming "BRIDE!" I was going for a "Bridgerton, but make it sexy" (well, more overtly sexy, I guess!) kind of vibe, so the Markarian dress was ideal.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Honestly, the best part of my wedding dress was how much it made me feel like myself. I was worried I'd feel self-conscious or like I was wearing a costume, and instead, I was so comfortable and confident. And it must be said: It even had pockets. 

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I think there's an expectation of what brides should wear, but really, you should feel your best self on this exciting day! There are so many brands and designers offering out-of-the-box options these days, and I don't think you'll ever regret wearing something you really love.

Daisy Boateng, Global Marketing Directer at Maybelline
We Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@daisyboateng

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I wore a unique bespoke gown from Alonuko Bridal for the main ceremony. It was a high-low wedding dress with sheer, skin-tone mesh on the upper bodice and intricate hand-embellished flower detailing all over the top and skirt. For the reception, I changed into a custom silver jumpsuit with rope detailing on the arms and pleated legs for a more evening-ready look.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

I had tried on so many dresses from different boutiques, but none felt quite right for me. I found an old photo in my phone of a unique high-low dress and thought immediately, "That's ME!", so I went about finding a dressmaker and sought out Alonuko Bridal, who created an entirely custom dress for me while still incorporating some elements from their own designs.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Without a doubt, the skin-tone lace mesh on the upper bodice of the dress. As a dark-skinned Black woman, it was a disheartening process to go wedding dress shopping sometimes, as nothing was made for my complexion. It was such a dream for me to be able to have something made for me that fit and matched so seamlessly.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I didn't try on my wedding dress until my wedding day! It was being made in London, I had moved to New York, and the wedding was in Greece, so being able to practice getting it on earlier would have helped, but seeing it for the first time and trying it on the day only added to the excitement. Brides should remember to pick a dress that is truly their style, not something that is trending in the moment. That's the best way to ensure your look is timelessly you.

I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@daisyboateng
Elizabeth Reynolds, Fashion Editor at Harrods
We Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@elizabethrey_

What did you wear on your wedding day?

For my legal ceremony in May, I wore a minidress by incredible British designer Emma Beaumont. On my wedding day in June, I wore a bespoke gown created by Emma, and in the evening, I changed into a Rat & Boa slip dress. I loved having three wedding looks and really feel like I was able to channel all the different sides of my personality.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

After trying on lots of dresses in various shops, I knew bespoke was the best route for me. I wanted a mix of romantic and classic with a hint of sexy, which I was struggling to find anywhere. Designing the dress with Emma really was the most special process. On your first visit, she creates a sketch of your dress based on your discussion, and from there after, it comes to life with a toile fitting, choosing fabrics and refining stages.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

I loved having a train. I didn't think I would love the drama of it as much as I did! There was also something about wearing a veil for me. It tied everything together and really made me feel like a bride.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

A wedding dress is unlike anything you've ever worn before, so don't be afraid to try different silhouettes and shapes. Lean into what suits your body but most importantly what you feel amazing in. I wanted to look back in years to come and stand by my choice because of how it made me feel on the day.

I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@elizabethrey_
Talya Paskin, Founder of Aurum + Grey
We Asked 8 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@aurumandgrey

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I wore a Monique Lhuillier gown with a lace-embroidered veil (can't remember the brand but both were from Browns Bride). My shoes were metallic champagne stiletto sandals from Charlotte Olympia. I had a shorter champagne beaded dress for the dancing, but my bridesmaids forgot to bring it to the venue, so I got extra time in my wedding dress (which was quite nice, as you only wear it once).

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

Full disclosure, the outfit was the one part that I spent the least time on. I was focused on the décor, and as we were married abroad, there were a lot of logistics that took up my time. I knew the weather would be warm, so that ruled out long sleeves and too much volume. I think it was the fourth dress I tried on, and it just felt right. The shoes took ages because I wanted something I would rewear (a metallic rather than white). Ironically, they were so uncomfortable that I've sadly never worn them since!  Maybe we can renew our vows at year 10 at a sit-down affair, and I'll wear them for that.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Of course, the jewels from my brand Aurum + Grey! I designed some pearl drops and a pavé jacket that could be added to some solitaire earrings I already had, which made me feel so special on the day. The best bit is that I still wear them all the time when I go to special events, as they can be configured in so many ways. We're actually about to launch a wedding collection with a similar concept, which is super exciting. We can all spend a lot of money on the details of the day, so it's really lovely to have something you can take away and enjoy for years to come (apart from your new spouse, of course).

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

Opt for comfier shoes; if you wear a long dress, you can barely see them. I ended up changing into some wedges for the dancing, which was a sigh of relief. Also, go classic. My husband wore a baby-blue suit, and although he looked very handsome, I can already imagine our kids teasing our fashion choices on the day in years to come. I also think that there are loads of amazing designer evening gowns in white that make a great option for a bride.

Camilla Williams, Marketing Director of House of Sunny
We Asked 8 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@withcamillawilliams

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I wore a custom dress by Andrea Hawkes. It was so great designing my own. It had a fitted corset top with a sweetheart neckline and lace long sleeves. I choose a classic, ivory silk taffeta with a subtle sheen. I wore Manolo Blahnik white mules and had a custom House of Sunny mini icon bag made to match. I wore my hair in a low bun and had a short veil. For the evening, the lace top was removed, and I changed into a pair of Rejina Pyo heels and had my hair taken down and put into soft Hollywood waves. I accessorised with diamond hoops and a short diamond tennis chain necklace, which was my wedding gift from my husband.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

I wanted something classic yet modern and took inspiration from Princess Diana and Grace Kelly. I knew I wanted a fitted top and a fuller skirt and some lace. 

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Being able to remove the lace sleeves was great. The custom versatility gave the dress a whole different look.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I would say make sure you choose an outfit that makes you feel your most confident.

Katie Shaw, Stylist
We Asked 8 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@katiemshaw_ / Laura Lockwood 

What did you wear on your wedding day?

As I work as a stylist, you would assume that I found the process of finding The One easy. However, skip to two weeks before the big day, and I was in full-panic mode, having left the most important (in my eyes) piece to the last minute due to a gruelling work schedule and being extremely picky. I always knew that I wanted to wear vintage to my civil ceremony, and thankfully, a last-minute appointment with Clare at Retold Bride changed everything. I found my Valentino suit jacket there and worked with her amazing seamstress, Jurgita, to tailor it perfectly. I paired it with my Bottega Veneta almond-toe slingbacks, which were a wedding present from my boss!

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

When I found the Valentino suit, I wrote it off as being too prim and having too-big shoulder pads but ditched the matching skirt and came out wearing it as a jacket dress. I instantly knew that it would work. Strangely for me (as I mood-board everything), I didn’t have an inspiration for the wedding look. I just knew that I wanted something classic but modern. I thought the minidress was a nice contrast to the long gown that I am wearing to the next part of our wedding in Biarritz in September!

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

I was immediately drawn to the unusual lattice lace on the cuffs, waist and hem of the jacket. The '90s shape of the dress combined with the '60s-style lace was a winner in my eyes, as it combines my two of my favourite fashion decades. I loved seeing the wedding party wearing vintage Edelweiss pins instead of flowers as a nod to our family who couldn't make it.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

Go with your gut, and trust your opinion. You don't always have to choose the typical wedding dress. Clare opened my eyes to the possibility of choosing vintage and tailoring the piece to fit me perfectly, so bear that in mind when shopping!

Agatha Ashiofu, Influencer, Entrepreneur, and Founder of Flair by Ashi

Photo:

@ironyofashi

What did you wear on your wedding day?

My wedding dress for the ceremony was from Alonuko Bridal, an off-the-shoulder, satin mermaid dress with exaggerated cascading sleeves and pearl embellished accessories.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration behind it?

I wanted a classic, traditional dress but with a modern twist, something that would create the illusion of a mermaid-and-ball-gown mix. The idea was to look 50 years down the line and still gush over the gorgeousness of my dress, and that meant finding a dress made from timeless satin or taffeta fabric and very little embellishment. But as soon as I laid eyes on that dress, I knew it was the one.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

The romantic sleeves, ah-mazing! They cascaded into an oversized bow at the back, creating an unforgettable ball-gown silhouette from the back.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I would recommend practicing walking around in your dress in heels during your fitting, especially with mermaid dresses. You want to make sure there's enough wiggle room to move around, sit and dance!

Emily Rose Monk, Celebrity Hairstylist

Photo:

@emilyrosemonkhair 

What did you wear on your wedding day?

We wore matching two-pieces, both in white, and all of our guests wore black. We found the blazers from ASOS, the pants from Zara and platform heels from Simmi London. We stayed in our outfits for the party (until we got too warm!) then changed into our matching "I do" pj's for the night.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration?

We had left it so last-minute, and we both aren't really into dresses so decided a two-piece suit would work better for our style.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Without a doubt, our favourite thing about the outfits was that they were exactly what we wanted to wear and that we felt totally comfortable.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I wouldn't have changed anything about the wedding or our outfits. A lot of brides might want the big white wedding dress, but my advice is to listen to your gut and do what you want. It's going to be one of the best days of your lives!

Tacita Brown, Founder of Cro-Che
We Asked 8 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@tacita_

What did you wear on your wedding day?

The most beautiful vintage-inspired dress by Eliza Jane Howell. I wore the same dress for the ceremony and the party. We had everybody back for a party the following day, and I wore a bespoke crochet dress—one of my very first designs before I launched Cro-Che, which was inspired by Brigitte Bardot.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration?

In all honesty, I didn't have an exact image of what I wanted my dress to look like. The only thing I was certain of was for my flower girls to dress up as fairies, with wings, tutus and wands, and for the whole marquee to feel like an enchanted garden.

I knew I wanted the dress to be super feminine and not at all traditional, to be romantic and whimsical, and certainly not too structured or constricting in any way. It was important for me to be able to move. I tried on a fair few. The traditional "meringue dress" looked awful—I'm quite small and petite, so most dresses I tried on totally drowned me… As soon as I tried on the dress from Eliza Jane Howell, I knew immediately it was The One. When you know, you know!

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

The whole thing! It was a very original design, and I definitely hadn't seen anything like it before. I loved the delicate hand-beaded embroidery of flowers over the whole dress, which made it twinkle when it caught the light. I loved the high neck and the ruffled neckline and the delicate sleeves, which just covered my shoulders. It was, and still is, the most beautiful dress I've ever worn. I paired the dress with bright fuchsia heels (my favourite colour), which matched the pink rubies in my engagement ring too. I found the perfect pair of white Miu Miu platform trainers to change into when I started to dance. I love dancing and knew I'd spend all night on the dance floor so definitely didn't want to be teetering around in high shoes.

I wore a really long veil, which covered my face in the church walking down the aisle—which I think is super romantic and old-school—and a rose crown made from real roses by our local florist. I remember there being a lot of oversized flower headpieces on the Dolce & Gabbana runway, and my crown was definitely inspired by the Rodarte S/S 19 show, which I thought was the most beautiful thing ever!

Tori Boughey, Founder of TBalance
We Asked 8 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

@tbalance_crystals

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration?

I had always wanted to wear a Jenny Packham dress. I love anything that sparkles, and Jenny's designs are beautiful. Originally, we were going to get married in Dorset, and sadly, the sparkles didn't quite fit with the hay bales! However, we had four different attempts at getting married throughout COVID, and our final plan landed in London, so I rushed straight back to Jenny Packham and chose the Jackie dress, which I paired with my favourite Nike daybreaks and had the best night of my life. In the day, I wore Emma Victoria Payne (with sparkly Gina shoes!). I wanted something sleek and timeless with a little twist. And my little twists were some tulle "wings" and hundreds of crystals in my veil. I, of course, had to wear a TBalance, too. I nearly went for a necklace, but it wasn't quite right, so I chose Clear Quartz with a gold W for Willo.

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

Without a doubt, it would be the "wings" on my Emma Victoria Payne dress. They gave me so much joy.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

Honestly, I wouldn't have changed a thing. There are so many things one worries about when it comes to weddings and how you look, but truly, it's the happiest day of your life, and you just want to feel amazing, so always make sure you're comfortable first!

I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

Tori Boughey
Poppy Lissiman, Founder of Poppy Lissiman Studio
I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

Poppy Lissiman

What did you wear on your wedding day?

To our main wedding, I wore a white cotton folk-style broderie anglaise dress that I designed and had made especially. It was a mixture of three different styles of broderie anglaise, which we incorporated into different panels and tiers, from the bust to the sleeves and ruffles. One of the fabrics had a gorgeous tassel feature, which we also used in different parts of the skirt.

I accessorised the dress with white patent Le Petits Joueurs Mary Jane pumps, Elise Tsikis pearl tassel earrings and a giant white tulle bow I had made at the last minute to add a bit of extra oomph. Finally, I wore a pair of my Poppy Lissiman Solstice sunglasses in pearl marble too.

We'd been "officially" married at the Australian equivalent of city hall two days prior, and I wore a chunky white paisley-patterned lace palazzo-style dress that I'd also designed myself quite late in the game because I couldn't resist another opportunity to get an extra outfit!

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration?

Similar to how I begin by designing anything, I'm usually inspired by the fabric first, and then the design evolves from there. I was very lucky (prior to COVID) that a huge part of my work is spent in fabric markets, trade fairs and sourcing trips that I had the opportunity to pick up some amazing wholesale fabrics in the lead-up to the wedding that I ultimately used for my dresses.

The inspiration came from all over. I love a big sleeve moment, love frills and ruffles, and if you're going to go hard with those features, why not at your wedding? At the time, I was very into '70s prairie-style dresses, very "picnic at Hanging Rock" vibes, which feeds into my love of vintage-style dresses—the look I was going for. I knew from the start I wasn't a "modern bride."

Photo:

Poppy Lissiman

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

 Definitely the sleeves and ruffles on the shoulders, which were starched into oblivion so they would stand up all stiff and tall. There were also some South Sea pearls, which were sewn onto the buttons of the sleeve and down the bust, which I thought were a gorgeous subtle little feature.

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit?

I'm still just as obsessed with my dress as I was from the day I wore it. In fact, I'm dying for another opportunity to wear it again. As it's not a typical wedding dress, I'm very much hoping for the right kind of party to pop up where I can wear it all over again.

When choosing your outfit, I personally think that comfort is key. Comfortable in the shape and style and comfort in the movement and feel of the outfit on your body. You want to be able to dance, walk, drink, laugh and enjoy the night without feeling too restricted and uncomfortable.

Nina Brener-Hellmund, Founder of Cult Mia
I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

Nina Brener-Hellmund

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I designed my wedding dress with Madrid-based designer Lorenzo Caprile. It was an incredible design-and-production process where we worked together over a year and a half to create an entirely bespoke couture dress. I chose Lorenzo because of our close relationship. He's dressed me for many formal occasions, and I really value the long ties with my family. In fact, Lorenzo made my mom's wedding dress too! I felt that I was 100% in the best, most trusted hands for my wedding.

How did you choose the outfit, and what was the inspiration?

I had tried on a wide range of dresses but didn't find one that I felt was the dress for me. I took inspiration from different silhouettes, fabrics and layering, and  Lorenzo and I came up with my bespoke design together.

The fittings began with the tulle being sewn onto me, which was later translated to a mannequin, and the team worked by hand to create the different layers of lace and beading. The dress itself had what Lorenzo called a "coat" (which was actually quite far from a coat given that it was made from the lightest organza and lace), but it was important for me to have a more conservative yet very feminine first look during the wedding ceremony. Equally important was keeping in mind the Mexican heat! I removed the coat for the dancing after dinner, which was a surprise, as it looked like I had changed into a new dress altogether.

I Asked 10 Fashionable Brides For Their Best Wedding Dress Advice

Photo:

Nina Brener-Hellmund

What was your favourite part of the outfit?

I loved the versatility that combining the dress and coat offered. They were both two very unique pieces that represented different sides to my style and personality and reflected the change in tone as we moved through the wedding night. 

However, I fell in love with the after-party jumpsuit that Lorenzo designed for me. It had a fully embroidered lace-and-beaded corset top, with the embroidery continuing down the sides of the trousers. The jumpsuit was a little gem that allowed me to dance into the night, and as it was also made couture, the fit was impeccable and incredibly comfortable!

What is one thing all brides should keep in mind when choosing their outfit? 

If I could change one thing, I would have waited longer to change out of my wedding dress into the after-party outfit. The night goes by quickly, but you have a very special moment to wear your wedding dress that you won't get again, so I recommend making the most of it (even when the train or the veil can feel like it is getting in the way!).

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