Choose wedding dress and veil style with care:
Choose the wedding dress wisely. Simple classic lines will always look elegant and will not date. Those enormous leg of mutton sleeves and over the top embellishments
looked great at the time and we thought that we looked so cool but now that fashion curve looks almost comical.

If you must have that dreamy long sleeved heavy creation then choose a winter wedding or venues with excellent air conditioning. If your weight is prone to change with the
seasons, time of month, or your state of mind then consider one of the excellent dresses with the corset style back. Our younger daughter Alex’s weight the year before the
wedding was erratically variable and by choosing this design she avoided at least two drastic dress alterations. Also, if your dress has a train, consider adding a bustle to the
dress. It makes it so much easier after the ceremony to manage if the cascades of fabric can be neatly arranged and hooked up onto the back.

Compare prices on your dress. If funds are low shop around. Maybe consider a gently used wedding dress which has been professionally cleaned. Brides usually only wear
them a matter of a few hours and it is generally impossible to tell that it is not brand new. Or it is possible to buy the latest designer styles at a lower cost. They may not be
top shelf fabric but it is possible to buy a beautiful dress in your preferred style within your budget. You can also contact a designer direct and ask if they will be having an
end of season or sample sale.

Hair and Veil: Contrary to popular belief there is not an unwritten law making it compulsory to wear your hair in an updo on your wedding day so if you feel more
comfortable leave your hair down. Months prior to your wedding get into a routine of massaging your scalp and conditioning your hair so that it has a healthy shine by the
big day. If you are looking for a really fine updo look at the celebrities at the Oscars and Grammy award ceremonies. A simple unstructured hairstyle such as a chignon looks
great. Discuss your preferred style with your hairdresser. Once you have decided on one check how you will actually wear your veil with this style. Take it with you on your
trial run and ascertain that everything ‘sits’ comfortably and attractively. Regarding your veil shorter veils are easier to manage but if you have set your heart on a long one
either remove it at the reception, exchange it for a shorter one or choose a style where the lower half can be removed. One or two tiers is more elegant and certainly looks more
attractive that a thick white mesh swathing around your face.

At the last minute Alex required a larger comb to offset the weight of the veil and it was sewn in on the wrong side. No-one had noticed this till the last second. So have at
least one complete dress rehearsal with the dress, underwear, hair, veil, shoes, jewelry and makeup. Do not take anything for granted your new bra may catch like crazy or the
support may not be good enough for a really sleek profile. So...
Check, check and double check.

Tiaras: These are not as fashionable as they were and the trend, if you wish to wear one, is more towards a simple uncluttered design. Think more young princess than
overdressed queen.

You can suffer a tight corset and heavy weight wedding dress but please do not compromise with your feet: wear comfortable shoes. This does not mean trainers or your old
gym shoes but consider smaller heals with a good sole base for stability and comfort. Check out the new cool in-soles. If you have purchased those beautiful, hand
embroidered silk, high heeled masterpieces then wear them around the house. Break them in well in advance of the wedding day. Then, when you are posing for your photos,
instead of dwelling on the pain in your feet you can concentrate on smiling for the camera.

Makeup, nails etc:
There are some absolutely great shades available but do not experiment on your wedding day. Neutral shades, pale pinks and peaches look classically beautiful. Splashes of
deep red lipstick and bright blue eye shadow should be avoided they do not look smart or sophisticated. An Andy Warhol palate is fine on a hen night but a bride in white or
ivory looks so much prettier with soft muted colors.

The same advice relates to nails. Avoid the bright hard colors. A pedicure and manicure in matching natural, soft pink or peach is definitely the most suitable. If you want to
dress up your nails think about adding a couple of Swarovski crystals.

Body: Months before your wedding start to look after your body. Treat yourself to a spa treatment. De-foliate and pamper yourself regularly with a really good body cream or
lotion. Take extra care around heals, elbows and decolatage. Exercise and eat healthy veggies and fruit. Nothing is nicer than a beautiful healthy glow. Fake tans are not
necessary and orange and brown skin does nothing to enhance your wedding 'look'. If you wish to even out skin tone then why not try a lightly tinted body cream
moisturizer. Book a facial at least the week before your wedding to allow your skin to settle down from the less than attractive red blotch look.

Tattoos: Many brides decide to cover up a tattoo on their wedding day and there are some great products out there but several make-up artists recommend that you do not
cover these as most types of concealers will, over the course of the day, rub off leaving you with smudges which could ruin your dress or veil. Experiment to see what works
for you.

Purse: Ask a relative or friend to keep your small purse handy with immediate necessities, deodorant, tissues, lipstick, lip balm, makeup, money, mirror,comb etc. perfume or
cologne, sanitary products, Breath mints/spray,

Emergency pack: Ask a trusted family member to make up an emergency pack and to keep it handy. Include safety pins, small scissors, clear/skin tone bandages / plasters,
needle and thread, tweazers, bottle of water, mints, baby wipes, spare tights / stockings, chalk for any scuff marks on dress, hem tape, hair pins, headache tablets, diarrhea
tablets/mixture, antiseptic etc., hairspray, ear ring backs, nail file, tissues, matches or lighter and change of shoes. Also give some thought to items which are personal to you
and your groom. Cover any potential problems with allergies don't forget your antihistamine, inhaler or Epinephrine etc. If you wear eye contacts or glasses make sure that
you have spares available, cleaning pads, eye contact cleaning solution etc.    

Bridesmaids dresses:
The trend recently has been toward the bridesmaids wearing different dresses but with a unifying link: same style but different colors or same material and varying lengths.
This is a great idea as no individual is a mirror image of their counterpart. However you may have already decided on the one ideal dress for your bridesmaids but if you want
everyone to be happy you must include their preferences and you will be surprised how important it is to get this right. On paper the designs look great. You have decided on
a color and fabric. But unfortunately this is only a small part of it. There are several questions which you need answers to if you want a stress free wedding. It is the bride’s
special day but the bridesmaids too are on display and they need to feel happy and comfortable and they are spending their own money for this dress it would be nice if it
could be enjoyed for more than just the one occasion. This means that if their dress has a plunging neckline, that it is short exposing large feet or skinny legs, that the fabric
is too figure hugging or too fussy and frilly that your bridesmaids may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Of course you cannot please all of the people all of the time but with
a little consideration you may be able to avoid some major personal hang-ups.

Flower girl
Do not leave it until the rehearsal to go through the roles of the flower girl and ring bearer / page boy.  Ask their parents to discuss the wedding with them and rehearse
regularly before the big day. They are already going to be nervous when they arrive at the ceremony but if they are well rehearsed then they may manage to get through on
automatic pilot. However there is a very good chance that your carefully chosen darlings will not perform as planned especially if they are under five years of age. The very
best way to deal with this is to accept it and enjoy the fact that this is part of the fabric of your wedding and any little surprises, will in retrospect, make those special

Gifts for the wedding party: Give some dedicated consideration towards your personal gifts. Show that you appreciate their time and support by giving a gift that you know
they will be happy to receive. It does not have to be a traditional gift but please make it something special. A personalised gift is a great choice, an inscription on a lovely
piece of jewelry for
your bridesmaids, or their name and date of wedding embroidered on beautiful lace hankies or a wonderful quality monogrammed bath robe.

For your flower girl jewelry is always acceptable: a silver bracelet or locket or a jewelry box. Again a monogrammed gift is a lovely keepsake and shows that you gave extra
thought and consideration to her gift.

Parents: When it comes to your parents it is of course especially important to think of a thoughtful gift an engraved silver photo frame, crystal decanter or clock would be
lovely but also, more than anything else, to let them know how much you love them and appreciate them. Take time to sit down before your wedding and write a letter. Share
your thoughts and special memories with them. They will know that during this very hectic period they held a special place in your heart and, although you were very busy,
that it was of paramount importance to afford the time to verbalise your love and appreciation. They will treasure this forever and prize it above any material gift.
Wedding Article - Advice on preparation, gifts, emergency kits and more
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