Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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How to choose your bridesmaids dresses by Clare Press

I often wonder how bridesmaids managed to slip through the fashion net for so long, to become a sort of recurring Hollywood joke – Rose Byrne and Kristen Wiig in those shocking purple numbers and Katherine Heigl with her closet stuffed with 27 crinolines and flamenco ruffles.

If you wouldn’t wear tangerine taffeta to the races, why force your friends to don it when they lead you up the aisle? Instead, try this:

1. Make a scrapbook. Tear your favourite fashion, flower and beauty shots out of BAZAAR and create your own inspiration diary. Or do it on Pinterest, and share it with us.

2. Celebrate the individual. I’m not sure who made the law that bridesmaids must match but can I suggest we revoke it? I’m working on a wedding right now for beautiful bride Emily de Souza. She has chosen four different style for her four maids: one with a peplum, one backless, one cap sleeve, one low neck. We’re using the same cream silk on every dress, and each shape suits each girl to a tee.

3. Pattern make. Surprising though it sounds, wedding party florals are a rare sight, even in garden settings. Fair enough if the bride’s gown tulle or lace, but if it’s something exquisitely simple, like Karen Willis Holmes’s bias-cut ‘Tiffany’ gown, there’s no reason the bridesmaids can’t be in print. Look for painterly florals in delicate chiffons.

4.Shop the runway. This season’s candy colours are a sweet choice for a summer wedding. If I were getting married again this year I might have ten bridesmaids decked out in Louis Vuitton. That said, it’s sound advice to avoid the trickier trends: you want to look back at your wedding photos and smile not laugh.

5. Be a drama queen. I adore ice cream pastels, and soft old golds but stronger hues have their place too. Consider the impact of navy or emerald, or, for an evening wedding, a luxe column of black.

Get more wedding inspirations from the fab new Bazaar Brides magazine, out this week, & online at

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