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perfect finish: top bridal accessory styling tips from caroline castigliano

August 2nd, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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While the main focus of a bride’s big day look is on her dress, there are numerous other elements that contribute to the finely tuned finished look. From hair accessories, shoes and underwear to polished hair and makeup, time and consideration is most certainly needed to ensure these all come together in harmony.

As such, we’re looking to our wonderfully-talented Sponsor, top British bridal designer Caroline Castigliano, for her dos and don’ts when it comes to accessorising your dress. So, ladies, be sure to take note as there are lots of gems of advice below that will help in your pursuit to avoid visible bra lines, awkward shoes and dreaded hair and makeup faux pas.

With images by Andy Mac Photography and Olka Fuller Photography.

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In your opinion, how can the right finishing touches enhance and complete a bride’s big day look?

caroline says: Accessories are very important to finishing off a ‘look’ for your big day and can make the simplest gown look glamorous. A favourite of mine is a silk crepe fishtail gown with a long two tier veil a beaded belt, complete with drop earrings and a matching bracelet – timeless, stunning and glamorous. Similarly, if you want a traditional look you could use crown as a headpiece with a cathedral length veil.

How do brides go about selecting the right underwear for their dress? Do you have any bridal lingerie shopping tips?

First of all, make sure you are professionally measured before you purchase your bra to make sure that you get a perfect shape and fit. Choose something simple and comfortable on your wedding day in ivory or nude. Bows and lace look pretty but can create uneven, visible lines.

The bra shape all depends on the gown you have selected – a good supportive strapless bra with soft, moulded, seam-free cups will give you smooth lines underneath a strapless dress.

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And what about the shoes?

It’s advisable to have bridal shoes when you are measured for your dress. When choosing your shoes consider first and foremost your comfort for the day – you want to have the best day of your life, so comfort is essential.

Also, make sure you do not have brooches or bead work that will snag the bottom of your dress or a flap that the bottom of the dress will catch behind – you won’t notice until you see the pictures but then it will be to late!

What advice do you have for brides when picking their bridal jewellery – what would you suggest for a timeless look and for a statement look? 

A lot of the decisions regarding jewellery come from the actual design of the dress. Timeless conjures up the idea of a simple chain necklace (platinum or gold) with either a diamond solitaire or a pearl with matching stud earrings. A statement would be more chunky big earrings and bracelet – again this all depends on the design of the gown and the total vision you are creating – modern chic will be different to understated and romantic.

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If a bride is looking to switch up her look from day to night but doesn’t have the budget for two dresses what accessories could she use to style her dress in different ways?

I would look at having a shrug that could maybe be removed in the evening, there is also the possibility of wearing a straight or fishtailed gown and adding a large overskirt that is detachable. This means during the day you can appear to have a large full traditional dress and then take off the over skirt in the evening to reveal a body skimming fishtail. If you then also removed the shrug you could spend the evening in a strapless, skimming fishtail perhaps also adding a jewelled belt – two great looks!

Are you a fan of a veil?

Most definitely!  I am passionate about veils – the wedding is the only day in your life you can wear one and they add such a wonderful touch of romance to the whole occasion.

My opinion on veils is they should always be cathedral length, to the floor so there are no break lines down the dress – it should be a simple sheer vision – of course the choice is broad when it comes to veil selection – any length is possible and then you have trims; beautiful laces, satin edges – the choice is endless.

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And what about their hairstyle? Why would you encourage a bride to hire a professional stylist and what should they take into consideration when picking the right hair style for their wedding day?

I always say go to your wedding looking like the woman your fiancée has fallen in love with. I do not understand why a woman would want to wear her hair entirely differently on her wedding day.

It is best if you can afford it to have a professional hairdresser on hand to do your hair – they will ensure your headpiece is in place and set the veil, so it does not move and overall ensure you look perfect. It is advisable to have a few run throughs before the day, so you are confident with the style and that will help you relax on the day.

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Finally, makeup. What would be your advice to brides to ensure their makeup suits them and their day?

I suggest on your wedding day you want beautiful makeup but applied so it looks quite natural especially in the day, you can always add more eye makeup in the evening to create a more dramatic look.

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Any other exciting news to share?  

We are currently very busy preparing for the New York Bridal Show and the 2020 collection!

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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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