I think it’s difficult, as a bride, to select a gown that you’re not going to look back later and regret. 1980s wedding a la Hope Williams Brady anyone?
So who are the brides that have stood the test of time? What did they have in common? And how can you not fall victim to the fashion of your era?
Take a cue from my favorite classic brides from past generations – Jacqueline Bouvier, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor:
And my favorite brides of our generation, sure to become the standard for the future – Avril Lavigne, Liz Hurley, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Michelle Gellar (clockwise):
What can we learn from these gorgeous women?
- Less is more. Choose simple, flattering silhouettes in fabrics that not only look good but feel good. Believe it or not, this quality comes through on film.
- Be sure your gown flatters your body type. Granted, all of these women are gorgeous, but you’ll notice a few things. Elizabeth Hurley has amazing curves, and she plays them up *so* well with her gorgeous A-line gown with a fitted bodice. Nicole Kidman and Grace Kelly are more willowy – both chose sheath gowns with intricate detailing and sleeves, to flatter their slender frame. Sarah Michelle Gellar chose a strapless gown and no accessories, and this emphasized her uniquely gorgeous collarbone and shoulders. Make sure your gown shows off your best features and masks your worst.
- Long veil, short veil, no veil – it’s all beautiful! Go with what you feel and what looks good on you.
- Not everyone looks wonderful in white. It’s OK to choose off-white, ivory, cream, or champagne, as Liz Hurley’s cream gown shows. Just look how it pops against her skin tone!
- Don’t choose a gown that’s very in the moment. You might love it at the time, but think of your children. And your childrens’ children. We all know what’s trendy. Stay away from it. Take a cue from your man – tuxes are classic, chic, and truly stand the test of time. Make sure that you can say the same about your gown. Even Bo Brady circa 1985 looks pretty darn good in that vest (although I can’t say the same about the hair)!
- Look at your own wardrobe – see what style you tend to choose in your daily life. All of these brides (with the notable exception of Avril Lavigne – although her style has become much more elegant as she has matured) are wearing dresses that are very similar to their red carpet style. You DO want to look all decked out on your wedding day but you DON’T want to look stiff and not like yourself. And you DON’T want to feel uncomfortable.
Many sites, especially Bridalwave, who have an excellent series on Iconic Brides, have blogged about celebrity brides whose looks are coveted. Read these series before choosing a gown. Study what you like and don’t like about them. And bring your mother, aunt, FMIL, etc to shop with you – if they love your gown and so do you, chances are it’s bound to be a classic!