A combination of pictures show models wearing different styles of wedding dresses.
by Sarah Young
While spring and summer might seem like an obvious choice when it comes to booking a date for your big day, more and more brides-to-be are choosing to say “I do” in the golden months of autumn.
You see, in the world of weddings, October to April is often referred to as the “off season,” when there is less demand for nuptials due to cooler climes and unpredictable weather.
However, getting married during this period offers plenty of promise, particularly when it comes to mastering bridal style.
Charlie Brear, founder, designer and creative director of her eponymous bridal label, says women who choose to get married during autumn or winter often have an upper hand when it comes to expressing their personal style.
“A winter bride tends to have a really different attitude to her wedding dress than the bride who gets married in the summer,” Brear says.
“Often the winter bride favours a more directional fashion led look and really wants to be more covered. Looks I recommend for autumn tend to involve lots of styling additions, you can really go to town when you don’t need to consider being too hot!”
While picking a winter wedding wardrobe is supposed to be fun, the dress still needs to tick a lot boxes, from being chic yet warm to holding up against the elements while still maintaining a sense of occasion.
Confused? Don’t be because luckily for you and your what-to wear woes, we’ve spoken to several industry experts about the must-have trends to keep in mind when honing in on your style for the aisle.
Say “I do” in separates
Bridal separates are having a moment right now with big, swooshy ballgown skirts being paired with crop tops, jackets and even caftans.
Adding layers is one of the most practical and stylish ways to weather-proof your wedding day outfit, with many designers now offering detachable sleeves, tops and overskirts that will work for the service and can be removed or swapped out ready for an evening of dancing.
However, according to Rock the Frock, an alternative bridal boutique based in Essex, the coolest way a bride can greet her groom down the aisle is dressed as a superhero.
“Capes are fast becoming more and more popular, as it gives a different option for the bride in terms of styling. Particularly as the length of the cape can be altered, as well as the colour and the embellishment.”
Wedding dresses with sleeves aren’t exactly a novel idea but they are given a new lease of life at this time of year as the temperatures justify the desire for a bride to cover her arms.
Fashion loves a statement and this season it has translated to bridal in brand-new ways with Alice Temperley, founder of Temperley Bridal, extolling the virtues of OTT sleeves.
“A bride should look like herself on the day, so choose a dress that reflects your personal style even when there is a change of season,” Temperley says.
“However, sleeves can add drama to a dress such as a bell or long sleeve and help take away any chill.”
Rock the Frock agrees, adding that whether you opt for dainty lace for decorative coverage or cashmere for total cosiness, you’re guaranteed to be on trend with a sleeve throughout the coming months and into next season.
The best part? With showstopping sleeves, you can probably skip the need for a fussy veil or heavy earrings if you so wish.
Skip the white wedding
While colourful wedding dresses are commonplace on the runway at Bridal Fashion Week, the concept is yet to catch on in the mainstream.
However, designers are doing their best to change that. While Temperley recommends embracing the soft autumnal colour palette that comes with the new season through intricate details in your dress, Brear suggests going for opulent golds.
Forgoing the tradition of a white wedding is certainly catching on with a recent study by wedding venue Newbury Racecourse discovering that almost 40 per cent of Brits agree that the custom is under threat of disappearing.
Lift the veil
You might have chosen your wedding dress but the sartorial dilemmas don’t stop there.
Accessories are a great way to add a finishing touch to your bridal look and, while traditional veils promise to add a touch of old world drama to your ensemble, more and more brides are skipping them in favour of more stylish alternatives like headbands.
“Accessories are key for styling, headbands adorned with gold detailing and floral detailing are popular amongst our brides as it can help tie together the entire theme of the wedding by adding a pop of colour,” Rock the Frock says.
Wed2B, a nationwide bridal retailer with stores across the UK, agrees, adding that many of its autumn/winter brides are switching to more subtle hair accessories.
“When it comes to accessories many brides are choosing to echo the beautiful autumnal leaves outside with a pretty hair vines or delicate hair pins,” Wed2B says.
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