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Heading Down The Aisle... Again?

By Sara Delaney on Apr 07 2014

The funny thing about a wedding - especially your own, is that you want (& in fact polite society demands) the bride to be the centre of attention. No question - that dress choice has to be bang on from the get go. We're talking perfect fit, jaw dropping look, and that certain touch of added fairy dust which makes your invited audience swoon. So what happens if it's your second... or even third shot at heading down the aisle? You've more than likely ticked the meringue box, so you’re looking for a-dress-for-a-wedding rather than a wedding dress.

Short of heading to a bespoke wedding dress designer who can knock up a gown in that exact genre, like the lovely award winning designer Louise Selby. Your next best bet is to hit the stores with 'event dress' shopping in mind.

Just the other weekend I spent a fun day with a client of mine doing that exact thing and here's what I learnt. Whilst you can, and indeed should, keep your options open to all things, if you stick to the 3 basics of Form, Fit & Function your quarry of that dream dress can be tracked down.

In our shopping day, which saw us hit up stores from Selfridges on Oxford Street through to Harrods in Knightsbridge, by way of a bunch of bespoke designers in Mayfair along the way, we made sure we entertained the notion of trying anything & everything.

Fifties Audrey Hepburn bride in a kitsch Temperley knee length frock? Tried it, too mumsy. Sultry Sharon stone on the red carpet working that maxi hot pink satin skirt paired with an insouciant white shirt? Tried it, too informal. Full on Scarlet O’Hara rocking a mega watt ankle length Oscar de la Renta red ball gown? Tried it, too expensive. Jessica Rabbit va-va-va-voom vixen squeezed into a sculpted Roland Mouret structured dress? Tried it, too unforgiving on the curves.

Along the way the form fit & function rules were applied. It’s basically an engineering rule which I find works quite nicely when applied to the science of style. Form – does it suit your body shape? Does it show off the curves you own, or enhance your assets for the best? Fit – does it actually fit right? Do you need some serious problem solving underpinnings in order to be able to even look decent? Or with a little alteration here and there might it work? And finally, function – is it the right dress for the job? Heading to a beach wedding in a Victorian lace gown might not be the smartest move in the book. Or as in my client’s case, heading to a mid afternoon town hall wedding in a full on spandangly Oscar worthy gown looks a little out of place. She was looking for something, which would own the room by day, but segue into an evening event dress seamlessly.

So, what did we end up with? After a full day’s work, a few low points (merely blood sugar dips, and easily fixed with a coffee infusion and later champagne) and at least one emergency “Help I can’t get this £6k dress off” screech from the changing rooms, we circled back to the most gorgeous Jenny Packham gown similar to this one. Just enough sparkle to light up a room at any time of day or night, figure flattering and that WOW factor that all brides need … no matter how many times you’ve been there before…