Us Brides Up North girls are in our element right now, not only as the festive season is firmly within our sights, but because we just love the fashion at this time of year; from oversized knits and faux fur jackets, to beautiful suede boots and cosy blanket scarfs, there’s plenty we could splurge on.
Though not as fast-paced or noticeably changeable as the high-street, there are slight design adjustments in bridalwear between the seasons too – and that’s one spend you are going to want to get right!
And so for those of you planning to marry during these chillier months of the year, we’re looking to our amazing Sponsor and top British bridalwear designer, Caroline Castigliano, to share her pearls of wisdom on autumn/winter styling.
As Caroline is keen to point out, looking and feeling confident and dressing to suit your individual style is paramount, but you are also going to want to ensure you keep warm – so we’re handing you over to the expert to explain how to tick all these boxes while suggesting beautifully suitable gowns from her own stunning collections.
What do you love about autumn/winter weddings?
Caroline says: There’s a really romantic allure about autumn and winter weddings which makes them so special.
Autumn is fast becoming one of the most popular times to wed – with the golden light, the crisp air and the leaves changing colour you can go for darker and richer colours and play up seasonal elements making the wedding feel more intimate. For florals, lush, richly hued arrangements with lots of interesting texture begin to take centre stage, setting a very pretty scene.
Romantic candlelight, roaring log fires, twinkling fairy lights and hopefully a sprinkling of snow makes winter weddings utterly magical. By carrying forward the lingering scents and textures of the autumnal months you can create an enchanting winter wonderland ambiance for your big day.
How do bridalwear styling options change between the seasons?
The main differing feature between autumn/winter and spring/summer gowns is that the autumn/winter dresses often have sleeves and brides will often wear capes and fur (or faux fur) cover-ups and accessories.
Dresses are really led by the personality of the bride and the venue the bride has chosen and to me that is far more critical than the season.
What styles and cuts would you advise for an autumn/winter bride?
Finding the right dress all starts with the ‘vision’ the bride would want to create for the day, there are no specific silhouettes that are more or less suitable for autumn winter brides. A ball gown would work wonderful for a stately home or castle wedding, whereas a fishtail gown would complement a chic winter setting. Deciding on the vision is always the starting point.
However, autumn winter weddings can be chilly and the last thing you want on your wedding day is to be cold, so a sleeved gown will give you extra coverage. This can be achieved with a detachable shrug for a more interchangeable look.
High collars are very elegant and glamorous and slightly better suited for autumn/winter weddings as they may be too warm to wear during the summer.
Are there any particular seasonal elements a bride should take into consideration when picking their attire?
Knowing where the wedding is taking place is always the first starting no matter the season.
We are seeing more and more autumn/winter weddings where the ceremony is taking place outdoors, so you’ll need to know if you need to be fully covered or not.
What looks do you personally love for an autumn/winter bride?
I always love glamourous, feminine and effortless looks.
For an autumn/winter bride I would look at a straight or fishtailed gown, which I would style with a large overskirt and a beautiful lace shrug. Then during the day you’ll be fully covered and can appear to have a large dress on and take off the overskirt in the evening to be seen wearing 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 in one!
And what dresses in particular from your collection would you advise for a bride marrying at this time of year?
While the style of the dress is ultimately the bride’s decision and very much down to her shape and personality, the following gowns would look gorgeous for an autumn/winter wedding:
The Simplicity is effortless, clean cut and glamourous. Handcrafted from fluid stretch crepe it features a drop-in corset which has been beautifully constructed to epitomise the ultimate female silhouette. The Juliet Cape in beaded tulle finishes the look for ultimate decadence.
The Madeira gown in corded lace features a high neck and cap sleeves, falling into a full circle lace skirt – it says young modern bride with a sense of classic and would be perfect for this time of year.
Finally, the Claret gown, cut from Mikado with an off-the-shoulder satin cuff is a very timeless and elegant look perfect for a grand winter wedding.
What fabrics and detailing prove popular with autumn/winter brides?
Heavier fabrics such as crepes, silk Mikado and silk Zibeline are good options for cooler months. For a lighter feel silk organza are also very popular and will give a very romantic feel. The wonderful benefit of silk is its unique properties; it drapes beautifully and will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
And what about accessories?
Carefully chosen accessories are crucial to an outfit and vital to creating the overall look.
For the autumn bride having a fishtail gown, a chic cape would look stunning and a fur wrap will always be a glamorous choice for the winter bride.
A lot of the decisions regarding jewellery come from the actual design of the dress and the total vision you are creating – a modern chic style will be different to understated and romantic.
However, no matter the vision it’s always important make sure your accessories do not over power you – a big headpiece on a small head is not flattering – look at the shape of your face before trying on headdresses as you want a shape that will flatter your features.
If you have a beaded neckline on the dress – it is best not to wear a necklace as they will clash and can overpower you. Earrings should be quite delicate, remember hundreds of pictures will be taken of you and you don’t want overpowering large earrings on.
Finally, what type of gown would you suggest for a Christmas bride looking for an elegant big day look?
For such a Christmas bride I would suggest the beautiful and romantic Madeira gown, or a strapless Mikado or silk organza gown paired with a beautiful long-sleeved shrug. The Jubilee Shrug in sequined guipure lace is perfect for a magical winter wedding and this could then be removed in the evening if the bride wanted and a belt could be added instead – there are many options!
And what about a New Year’s Eve bride wanting a glamorous party look?
For a New Year’s Eve bride, I would suggest the Natalya. It features a silhouette shaping fishtail skirt in fluid crepe and a corseted strapless bodice overlaid with exquisite beaded lace – it’s truly stunning.
Any other exciting news to share?
We are expanding to new territories around the world and will be launching event wear to independent stores. I’m also writing a book on weddings!
How can our readers see more of your designs and find their nearest Caroline Castigliano stockist?