Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

setting & style: a wedding dress to suit your venue

December 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Photo credit Olegs Samsonovs Photography

Olegs Samsonovs Photography

A feature for those of you on the dream dress hunt today, as we welcome our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to the blog to discuss picking the right wedding dress, to suit not only your style but also that of your chosen venue…

carrie says: Be it urban, rustic, boutique, historic or coastal, your venue sets the tone for your special day, and so it helps to make sure that your dress style is in-line with the setting for all over harmony.

As wedding planning goes, what’s the first thing we brides-to-be think of mere moments after saying yes to that certain special someone? “What dress am I going to wear?” (if you’re anything like us, in fact, you’ve had an idea of ‘the one’ even before The (other) One popped the question). But consider: with many spectacular wedding venues now taking bookings of upwards of two years in advance of the big day, increasingly, securing the venue is becoming a couple’s number one on the ‘to do’ list. Many brides assume their choice of dress will set the tone for the entire day. But if the venue has been chosen first, where does that leave the dress?

It might seem obvious. The venue and the bride’s dress ought to be in perfect harmony; one complementing and completing the other, a beautiful simpatico symphony (much like the bride and groom themselves, in fact!). And in many cases, an overall theme will draw together and incorporate both. But occasionally, dresses and venues will clash -having been present at a beach-themed wedding in a tipi with the bride tightly bound in a heavily structured fishnet-effect gown, I can assure you, ‘twas truly a confusing affair.

So, here’s our guide to making sweet, sweet music and harmonising two of your most important big-day elements: your venue and your dress…

boho bride

Boho Bride

Cherry Williams | Lilian West

Rustic weddings are playful, outdoors-y affairs, full of a kaleidoscope of colour and with the emphasis on a celebration of the beauty of nature. The details and decor don’t typically include anything too structured or deliberately ‘matching’ so mirror this more relaxed and carefree attitude in your dress of choice. More bohemian styles with lose, tousled hair work well here, as do soft frills and flowing tulle.

urban-chic

Urban Chic

Clockwise from top left: Modeca | Rita Colson | White Rose Bridal | Elbeth Gillis

Love the idea of marrying in iconic style? If you’re joining the glitterati and marrying in a sophisticated city setting, reflect this slick, polished and uber-cool vibe in your dress. Think subtle sparkle, a seriously structured silhouette and even a sharp trouser suit. For an ultra-glam effect in a town setting, opt for monochrome and ask you guests to wear black tie.

boutique hotel

Boutique Hotel

Clockwise from top left: Special Day | Peppermint Love Photography | Eliza Jane Howell | The White Garden Collection

The great thing about a boutique hotel venue is that they tend to be unique, curiously quirky and inimitable in their own sense of style. This gives you free license to choose a gown that best reflects the venue’s holistic ‘feel’. Tea-length dresses work well here in the summer time, or, if the venue calls for it, chose a vintage-inspired or even ‘indie’ dress to suit the individual surroundings.

historic castle

Historic Castle

Clockwise from top left: Enzoani | Justin Alexander | Leez Priory | Mikaella Bridal

Sweepingly majestic statement venues can carry off impressive trains and skirts a-plenty! Think traditional sweetheart necklines or layer upon layer of tulle. A hint of sparkle looks decidedly delicious in this setting and befits the overall grandeur (after all, you are a princess!). Bardot-style necklines will enhance the sheer romance of an historic venue.

coastal vibes

Coastal Vibes

Clockwise from top left: Willowby | CJ Evans Photography | Willowby | Ivory & Co.

People go to the beach to have fun and your dress needs to capture and reflect the same carefree attitude – after all, your guests will take their lead on the day from you. Be creative and expressive in your choice of dress; nothing should feel too restrictive or ‘done up’. Keep hair loose and accessories to a minimum, and chose lighter fabrics for a soft and sensual, ethereal look.

Love Our Wedding is stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues and fairs nationwide. Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your free monthly copy.

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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