Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Let's talk Bra's, Corsets and Internal Scaffolding.

Or in other words, your wedding day underwear.
I think it's safe to assume most brides want to look their absolute best for their man on their wedding day. This means if they can have more of a nipped in waist with the use of a corset, they will do.
In order to look and feel your best on your wedding day getting your wedding underwear right is very important. The last thing you want is to be stood at the altar with bad corsetry digging into you, or the cheese wire of your thong disapearing exactly where you don't want it to.
Quite often, once you have chosen your wedding dress the next step is to purchase your underwear. Your wedding dress cannot be fitted correctly without it (this goes for shoes because you need them for the hem/length)

I would argue that it is essential to have the correct underwear to take with you when trying dresses on or, if you are having bespoke/made to measure, it is important to wear the appropriate underwear for the first measurment. I say this because if you opt for a waist reducing corset, you could save the expence of side alterations to your gown and so order a dress which fits you perfectly.
Let's look at the pro's of a seperate corset against the internal scaffolding of the major designer dresses.
In built corsetry won't pull you in as much as a seperate corset, but will give you more of a defind waistline. Many of the big name dresses are very heavily boned which, although give excellent hanger appeal, can often result in the dress wearing the bride rather than the other way around.
Many of these gowns have a lace up back closure, but there is an optimum lacing position so the dress fits snuggly under the arm and shows just the right amount of lacing. What many brides think, especially those who have their gowns made in China, is if a gown is a fraction too big the lacing can be pulled tighter for a better fit. This can result in puckers, wrinkles and sometimes the dreaded back fat spilling over the back of the gown. The fact is, the gown should still have the relevent alterations to the sides or bust to keep the back lacing in proportion.
Buying a corset is an important decision and not always best to go cheap. Corsets (as opposed to modern underwear) alter not only your shape, but your stance, depending on the style, so your beloved dress may not even fit at all if you try to stick a corset under it. (Another good reason to buy the undies first!!)
The steel boned corsets on ebay are (usually) made in China and can be cheap and nasty! The only way to get a good fit on a steel boned corset is to have one made (and fitted) for you. Factory made corsets worn as underwear with the aim of reducing size will be terribly uncomfortable as they are made to standard sizes. (The ones I have seen on ebay seem to be aimed at the 'alternative' market and not designed to be worn as underwear). If wearing under a wedding dress, then it is best to buy a dress with an incorporated corselet, or opt for a proper underwear basque, althought this will not reduce size. A proper corset for the modern figure will give a better sillouhette by reducing waist size but not necessarily decrease overall size in order to fit into a smaller dress! All that will happen is the '6 boob factor' where the corset pushes everything up (and over!) .. not very attractive.
Suggestions that you can buy a corset from e bay with the promise of reducing your waist by 6 or 8 inches is possible. But without years of wearing corsets and working up to reducing your waist size (as the lady in the above image did) could actually prove damaging.
An underbust corset or a waist cincher may be the answer, but again, best to buy one from a proper underwear retailer. The other thing would be to have a corset design incorporated into the dress itself.
So, on that note the morel of this story is. Your wedding gown and your body shape is only as good as your foundation. Much like house building!
I would like to thank Clare, Julia B and Tuppence from TSF for their expertese.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The wedding of Nadia. 6th September 2009

When I first met Nadia in early June 2009, she was very specific of the style of wedding dress she was after.
Armed with sketches and images she told me she definately wanted a short dress and a layered petticoat edged with lace. "I really want the huge bow at the back," she said. "And I'd also like a spot fabric over the top."
So, it was on to my fabric supplier, Margaret at Harrington fabrics to source a beautiful, ivory Thai silk dupion and a Point Esprit tulle .
For her sister, Sophia, Nadia's only bridesmaid, she opted for a tea-length strapless dress in matte satin with a draped bodice and matching inset midriff in hot pink. The bouquets and floral arrangements were made by Sophia who is owner of Ivy Florist in Pudsey, Leeds.

The completed gown.

Nadia and her husband were married at St. Michaels and All Angels church, Haworth and afterwards held their reception at The Alma Inn, Laneshawbridge a wonderful venue nestled in Pendle's magnificent countryside, on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border. They delighted guests and kept the vintage theme by serving dessert from a vintage ice-cream van.

Rob Booker photography

Rob Booker Photography

Rob booker photography

Rob Booker Photography
May I take this opportunity to thank Nadia for allowing me to be part of her day. It's been a pleasure working for you.

Photographs by Rob Booker

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Top tips from a Mrs to a Miss.

After spending the last year planning her wedding and receiving advice including choosing relevent readings in Church to Chinese Wish Lanterns, one of the regular posters in the forum delighted us today with her wonderful wedding photographs and top tips for all brides to be.

"If you can book more than two days off work before the wedding, then do so," she said. "I had the Thursday and Friday off which I thought would be enough time - but I didn't stop on those two days, and wished I had booked at least three."
Have a friend or two with you the night before. My friends were a complete Godsend. They helped with all the little things like tidying up, airing my dress etc, so that I didn't have to stress about those.
If you have a camcorder - allocate a friend to use that informally during the day. I did this and have some wonderful footage that I could take on honeymoon to relive the day until the official DVD came in.
If you're umming and ahhing about an official DVD - get it!!! I always wanted one, but my husband-to-be was adamant it was a waste of money. Anyway, we hardly noticed the videographer on the day, and we both love the DVD that came last week. Even my husband now admits it was a good idea as we can watch whenever we want.

My bouquet was gorgeous! I wanted to follow in tradition and throw it, but I didn't want to ruin mine because I wanted to keep it. So we made up a fake bouquet from the flowers and trimmings that were left over and wrapped it with ribbon. This allowed me to throw it, and not care if it got all battered (which it did after the scuffle), all the while keeping my gorgeous one.
Take some time out on the day. From the moment we walked out of the church it was manic. On the way to the venue, our driver detoured and took us to the pub. Whilst I didn't get out of the car (My dear husband brought drinks to me), it was a good way to celebrate our marriage just the two of us! This was the only time of the day we had to ourselves.
And finally...
Most of all ENJOY THE DAY!!!!!!!! Don't stress about little things - I know everyone says it - but it really doesn't matter. Your friends and family are there because they love you - not to comment on what colour the tablecloths are!

Friday, 11 September 2009

2-Piece or not 2-Piece?

The style of your dress is the single most important factor in creating your overall look on your wedding day. Dresses can range from sleek and simple to grand and elaborate. It depends on your taste and how dramatic you wish to be on your big day. The outline of you in your wedding dress is the first image that your groom will see when you begin your walk down the aisle, so it's important to make sure that your first impression will be a lasting one.
There is no golden rule to chosing your dress, so be adventurous when tying on gowns. You won't know what you look like in certain styles if you don't try them on. Quite often the style that you think would look the worst on your body type might just be the one you end up choosing.
A 2-piece gown offers a less traditional look. It also allows for a bride to choose two different sizes for the top or bottom.
There are two different approaches to this style. A simple bustier could be the perfect topper to a full or ornate skirt while a simple long skirt could elegantly showcase a delicately embroidered bustier.
Keep the colours the same such as ivory for that traditional look. But, team the ivory corset with a coloured skirt and the gown suddenly becomes dramatic and individual.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Is Wedding Gown Shopping a Challenge?

According to a question I asked in a bridal forum recently, wedding gown shopping appears to be more of a challenge than an enjoyable experience.

One member said. "I explained in the shops exactly what I didn't want (i.e. frills, lace .sparkly bits and strapless design.) This fairly limits your choices."

Another commented."My daughter wanted proper straps, shoulders or sleeves, so that narrowed her choice dramatically - one shop had nothing whatsoever except strapless!"

And many went on to agree."Some of the shops offered little shoestring straps to add to the strapless dresses...but that seems such a cheap afterthought for a gown that would cost several hundred pounds.Would be great if designers started to offer a bit of choice! We went into one shop where every dress was a variation on a theme, strapless, pleated, crystals. I'm talking wall to wall! We came out feeling very frustrated."
So, are brides requirements really being met?
To answer the question, unless you have something custom made, you are in the hands of the designer. When one introduces a new style, the others follow suit so if pleats and gathers aint your thing, you're kind of stuck, especially when the retailer is the person who has chosen to stock the dresses wall to wall.
I still prefer the traditional gowns, Hollywood Dreams being one of my absolute favourites. But, it would be lovely to see a little more choice regarding straps, less pleating and and definately lighten up on the bling!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Congratulations Melanie and Gary

Many congratulations to you both.
Melanie and Gary married today at the Conniston Hotel, Skipton.