You'll undoubtedly recognise Louise Roe's beaming smile and impeccable fashion sense from the many times she's graced your screens as a TV host and red carpet reporter. Like a true "slash" generational, British-born, L.A.-based Louise started her fashion adventures as the news editor for Vogue.com and has since then written for countless high-profile publications. As well as penning her book on personal style (respectively named Front Roe), she also tends to her popular eponymous website, where she shares fashion, lifestyle, wedding and beauty advice galore. She'll be back every month on Who What Wear UK to offer you some very important style guidance.
Planning a wedding consists of a thousand moving parts—and I've got an entire section on my site dedicated to it. From choosing invitations to scouting the perfect location and even selecting your cake, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which component is the first priority. However, most brides immediately think of one thing when dreaming up their ideal wedding… the dress! Choosing a dress can be a huge task, and it’s easy to forget about all of the other elements necessary to make the “look” of your wedding reflect your personal style and taste.
So today I’m sharing my top five fashion tips that I think every bride-to-be should know before her big day.
It's All About Timing
While it may feel like choosing a dress should be the first thing you check off of your wedding to do list, think again. I have found that it’s helpful to choose your location, venue, and date first and foremost. After all, a dress suited for a beachy July wedding is going to be vastly different than one you would choose for a wedding on an autumn afternoon. Our ceremony was in Eaton Chapel, a beautiful church in a very historic part of the UK, which gave our wedding a more formal and traditional feel. I went with a classic, high-neck floor-length gown and a tightly slicked bun, which matched the elegant vibe of the cathedral perfectly.
See one Who What Wear editor’s top tips on commissioning a wedding dress.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!
Even if you’re wearing a floor-length gown, your shoes should still feel like a beautiful final touch to your dream bridal look. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your choice—it’s your big day! Have fun with colors and textures: Bridal doesn’t always mean white (I went with glittery gold). And if you're going to splash out on Aquazzuras or Jimmy Choos, you might as well pick a pair you’d happily wear again. Consider the ground you’ll be walking on for both the ceremony and reception. Stilettos may not be the best choice for an outdoor or beach wedding. Whatever style you choose, make sure you wear them beforehand—the last thing you want to be doing during your reception is suffering through those break-in blisters.
Check out team Who What Wear’s favourite bridal shoes.
Indulge Yourself With an Outfit Change
Changing dresses from the ceremony to the reception is a huge trend these days, but there are other ways to revamp your look during the party without changing out of your dress entirely. I absolutely loved my wedding gown, and I wanted to wear it for as long as possible (as I think many brides feel!). I worked closely with Pronovias to design my wedding dress, and we created a removable capelet that created one look during the ceremony, and turned in to a fun off-the-shoulder look for the reception. I even switched out my bouquet for the party, which gave my look a totally different vibe. Try a cool bridal leather jacket for the evening, or let your hair down if you wore it up for the ceremony—there are so many creative ways to switch up your look.
See Who What Wear’s edit of the best high-street wedding dresses so you can buy two!
Don't Overlook Special Jewellery
Obviously your engagement and wedding rings are the star of the show, but what about choosing other pieces to add just the right amount of glitz to your look? It’s important to keep things relatively simple, but jewellery can be a great way to add in some trendy pieces or your own personal flair. Even if that chic bangle or statement ring goes out of style, you won’t regret such a small detail when looking back on your photos. The only statement pieces you might want to avoid are large earrings—since your face is going to be the focus in most photos, you don’t want anything too overpowering in that area.
Remember, Your Bridesmaids Need Love Too
It’s a popular joke that in the ’80s and ’90s, a bride would choose ugly dresses for their bridesmaids on purpose so they didn’t outshine her. Today it’s quite the opposite: Dress your bridesmaids in something you would actually like to wear. I love the idea of choosing a color scheme (my bridesmaids wore white) and having each wear a different dress. This adds a unique look and feel to your photos, and allows for everyone to wear something they feel comfortable in.
Shop Who What Wear’s edit of the best bridesmaid dresses.
Next up, where to buy genuinely vintage wedding dresses.