There are a few things people undoubtedly remember at a wedding like the music and the food, but they will absolutely remember the bride. That means in addition to wedding planning decisions you also need to make decisions about your own personal bride style. To make it easier for all of you beautiful brides to be, I have created a guide to help identify your bride style using my own experience with creating the perfect wedding day look.
Start with your ring.
You might think the most logical place to start is with your wedding dress but that's a pretty overwhelming place to begin. Instead look to a much smaller detail...your ring. Think about it, your ring says a lot about you. Is it timeless and classic, modern and edgy, simple and petite. What kind of metal and stone is it made of?
Pulling inspiration from your engagement ring will at least give you a starting point and direction which is huge! A lot of thought already went into selecting the perfect ring. Without knowing it you have narrowed down a style, color, and feeling.
So take a glance down and let your ring speak to you. Here are the things you may get from the style of your ring.
1. Are you a white gold, rose gold, or yellow gold kind of girl?
2. Do you like a lot of sparkle and detail or is your taste more simple and clean cut?
3. Does your ring speak to a particular era? Perhaps it is ultra modern, art deco, or old world in its style.
4. If you had to use two words to describe it what would they be? Consider style words when doing this like timeless and romantic, trendy and detailed, simple and subtle, etc.
Now that we have a handle on your personal style let's consider your venue.
Consider your venue.
Where you are getting married will have a big impact on your dress.
If you are getting married on a beach or in a field your style will be much different than if you are getting married in an elegant ballroom. You want to look good but you also want to look like you belong at your wedding. Cinderella doesn't belong at the beach and Pocahontas doesn't belong in a ballroom. Think about it.
I knew I was getting married outdoors so a light wedding dress that allowed me to move was essential. Because we were on grass I also knew I may not be able to manage heels the whole night, even though I am well seasoned when it comes to walking in heels. This actually allowed me to have some fun with my wedding day look. I added a detachable train and long veil to have the drama I wanted for my ceremony but made sure the look was convertible for the reception so I could party the night away.
Ask yourself a few questions.
1. Where is your wedding?
Like I said you want to look like you are showing up for the right party. Ballgowns are for ballrooms. Light flowy dresses are great on the beach. Vintage lace looks great at an estate or in a rustic setting. There are always exceptions to these rules but they give you a place to start.
2. What does the venue look like? Is it very fancy and elegant, simple and modern, rustic and vintage?
A beautiful and dramatic ballgown calls for a pretty fancy dress while the beach or a farm call for something simpler. The environment and your surroundings can give you some insight into your overall style.
3. Is any part of your wedding outdoors? What is the ground like?
Here's where practicality comes in. You may want to consider what surface you walking on. I know. What girl doesn't love an amazing pair of heels? But walking on sand is no easy task in a pair of stilettos. Nobody wants to embarass themselves walking down the aisle, and you certainly do not want to be distracted by constant tripping when you should be soaking it all in.
Once you have a dress it is easy to pull inspiration from small details. It may be a subtle color, element of sparkle, or just the style of the dress in general. Pick accessories that enhance your overall look and put the finishing touches on your bride style. Stay true to who you are everyday.
I knew that I needed to incorporate pearls into my bridal accessories. From the time Bryan and I started dating he has always loved gifting me pearls. I wore the pearl bracelet he got me and complimented it with my own personal spin. My ceremony and reception earrings were Marchesa.
You can also have fun with your something old, new, borrowed, and blue. I borrowed many sentimental items from my grandparents that I adorned to my bouquet or wore during my ceremony.
The most fun I had though was my something blue. Romancing the Stones custom made me the most delicate rose gold necklace with petite blue stone. It was so subtle with my wedding day look but has become one of my favorite pieces. It is such a perfect reminder of my wedding and I still wear it almost daily.
Make a statement.
As I mentioned I wanted drama as I walked down the aisle and something memorable about my overall look. I enhanced my dress with a dramatic blush veil and added train. Maybe this is too bold of a statement for you. That's ok. Do what makes you happy!
Think back to your style, the one we have been working on since we began looking at your ring. Use those keywords and combine them with style words you would use to describe your dress. Then add some of the things that came to mind when considering your venue and environment.
Once you narrow down these words and pinpoint the look you are trying to achieve look to your dress itself. Are there details on it that would be enhanced and complimented if you added a little something? For instance, if you have a beaded bodice with a simple skirt you may want to add a veil for some drama with a subtle beaded edge to tie everything together. If you have a plain but dramatic ballgown you may want to add some sparkle or texture with a belt.
If veils, trains, and sparkle aren't your thing think simpler. Maybe it is just a bit of color. My dress was blush so I added the pink in my veil for a bit more of a pop.
You may also consider a change of your look to make a statement. For instance, when I removed my train and veil I added more sparkle, a belt, and let my hair down. Maybe there is a convertible element to your look that will set you apart, even if its your hair or makeup. Let your hair down like I did or break out a bold red lip for the reception. Whatever makes you party ready!
Add some sentiment.
On your wedding day small and simple sentiments are everywhere. Bryan and I included as much from our families as possible. We recited the same vows our parents and grandparents had for generations before us, we asked his godfather to marry us, and our wedding took place at a family members home. The most special sentiments though were a part of my bride style the day of our wedding.
One of my wedding bands was made to replicate my great grandmother's ring that my Nana still wears every day. I also borrowed my Big Mammie's ring (my other great grandmother) to wear as I walked down the aisle so that I had a piece of her. My grandfather's were honored with their military pins I attached to my bouquet.
Bryan was also able to pay tribute to his grandfather with his tie clip the day of the wedding.
Look to your family heirlooms for the perfect pieces to finished off your wedding day look and personalize your bride style.
No matter how simple, dramatic, or unique your wedding day style is be sure the selections you are making are true to yourself. Choose things that make you feel beautiful and confident because when you feel good you look good.
At the end of the day your opinion is the one that matters so be careful not to have your bride style swayed by others. Pick the things you love and that you want your significant other to see you in and remember about you on your wedding. Even down to the scent you wear.
Remember to have some fun too!
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Ceremony & Reception: Private Residence, Purcellville, VA
Wedding Gown: Lea-Ann Belter from Exquisite Bride
Wedding Shoes: Jessica Simpson from Lord & Taylor
Wedding Jewelry: Marchesa from Lord & Taylor
Engagement Ring: Helzberg Diamonds
Wedding Bands: Romancing the Stones
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell Bari Jay Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids in Freehold, NJ
Event Design: Magnolia West
Bouquets and Bouts: Urban Design Studio
Hair & Makeup: Modern Bridal Studio
Tuxedos: Vera Wang from Men's Warehouse
Band: Lloyd Dobbler Effect
Stationary: Magnolia West
Cinematography: Paperboys Films
Photography: Jaye Kogut Photography
Catering: Reata BBQ