Wedding season ready
Most of the sartorial stress is on the Bride on her wedding day, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for the rest of us. Don’t panic, we’ll talk you through the best way to feel guest appropriate.
First rule is to not upstage the bride (this is also not the time to experiment!) but at the same time look sartorially sensational from ceremony -to prosecco on the lawn- to dinner table- to dancefloor seamlessly.
For a summer wedding, pastels are the choice of fashion forward guests for that understated, less is more appeal. You are also more likely to adapt them into your summer wardrobe after the event.
Ready for our close up
From left, Rose wears: Dress, £130, Jarlo at House of Fraser; headpiece, £645, Emily London; earrings, £8; bag, £30, both Asos; Sophia wears: Dress, £250, French Connection; clutch, £150, L.K. Bennett; crown; £445, Awon Golding Millinery; Margot wears: Dress, £50, Asos; hat, £370, Awon Golding Millinery
Not sure whether to wear maxi length to a wedding? Well Emily Blunt, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lawrence to name a few have all opted for floor length for their wedding guest attire.
The key with wearing a maxi dress to a wedding is to choose a style with a structured silhouette. If you wear anything too wafty you’re at risk of looking like you just walked off the beach.
Strike a pose
From left, Margot wears: Dress, £280, Body Frock; hat, £195, Eliane Sarah Millinery; earrings, £5.99, New Look; clutch, £195; wedges, £235, both L.K. Bennett; Sophia wears: Dress, £350, Phase Eight; hat, £240, Awon Golding Millinery; clutch, £195, L.K. Bennett; Rose wears: Gown, £150, Jarlo at House of Fraser; heels, £76, Dune London; hat, £225, Eliane Sarah Millinery; clutch, £35, Issa at House of Fraser; earrings; £12, Asos
This Body Frock dress nips in at the waist, and the tiered chiffon effect creates that impact you need. The panelled lace neckline and gorgeous ditsy print chiffon all combine to create the perfect English rose look for nuptials in the country.
This feathered hat from Eliane Sarah Millinery and simple gold clutch from LK Bennett reinforce this look perfectly whilst letting the dress do most of the talking.
This white appliqué maxi dress from Phase Eight with sheer panelled neckline is a great easy to wear style, and the appliqué florals will disguise any lumps or bumps.
Pretty in pink
This lace maxi from House of Fraser with off the shoulder neckline and sloped hem creates that incredible hourglass silhouette and only needs minimal accessories in matching tones to create a dramatic look.
Dresses are the failsafe way to keep the look effortlessly feminine. The dress option will also save you hours of stress finding coordinating separates that can look cluttered.
Simplicity is key in wedding dressing, and also makes room to have fun with playful accessories.
Needle & Thread never fail when it comes to occasion wear
Sophia wears: Dress, £325, Needle & Thread; hair clips, £22, Anthropologie; earrings, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
Needle and Thread are a trusted favourite for their pretty appliqué dresses. This rose pink style with dainty frill sleeves is a failsafe option.
These pearl hairclips from Anthropologie will make your hair look dressed for the occasion.
Keep the palette pastel and accessories to a minimum
From left, Rose wears; Dress, £68, V by Very; heels, £137, Nine West at Littlewoods; hat, £70, Issa at House of Fraser; Sophia wears: Top, £79, Coast; skirt, £39.99, H&M; courts, £195, L.K. Bennett; hat, £240, Eliane Sarah Millinery
Kate Middleton is a fan of the label Self Portrait, who really put geometric lace on the map last year and the highstreet have followed suit with some great affordable versions. We love the structured cut and artfully placed frills of this pale blue dress from online retailer, Very.
The lemon yellow pleated skirt is a great investment piece and can be adapted to wedding style with a lace top like this one from Coast. Matching lilac hat and heels add uniformity to the finished look.
Grecian and boho styles are ideal for a summer wedding
From left, Rose wears: Dress, £350; sandals, £150, both Reiss; headband, £32, hair pins, £32, both Anthropologie; earrings, £6.99, New Look; Margot wears: Dress, £58, Asos; sandals, £295, £295, Chie Mihara; hair clips, £24, Anthropologie; earrings, £5.99, New Look; clutch, £17, Accessorize
This maxi dress from Reiss screams grecian goddess and is made for metallic accessories of any kind.
Florence Welch is known for her billowing boho dresses and this Asos equivalent has the added volume in the sleeves and shoulders that every girl wants in a dress.
Keep hats natural if wearing a dress that has added detail
Margot wears: Dress, £145, Comino Couture; hat, £69, Jacques Vert
Full marks to this dress from Comino Couture for detail.
The beaded bow is a perfect Gucciesque touch and the appliqué embroidery adds a decadent vintage vibe.
Add a contrasting shoe and novelty bag to jazz up a simple dress
Sophia wears: Dress, £69; fascinator; £40, both Debut at Debenhams; heels, £149, Kurt Geiger; bag, £24, Asos; bracelets, £199; rings, £109-£429, all CARAT* London
This brocade lilac shift dress from Debut at Debenhams makes a simple statement with a subtle rolled hem which is always a winner for hourglass as it draws the eye towards the waist.
A simple dress like this calls for a statement shoe, and these satin embellished heels from Kurt Geiger will add that eye catching touch of glamour you need.
Precious moments with friends
From left, Rose wears: Dress, £130, Jarlo at House of Fraser; sandals £45, V by Very; headpiece, £645, Emily London; earrings, £8; bag, £30, both Asos; Sophia wears: Dress, £250, French Connection; courts, £250; clutch, £150, L.K. Bennett; crown; £445, Awon Golding Millinery; Margot wears: Dress, £50, Asos; sandals, £275. Chie Mihara; hat, £370, Awon Golding Millinery
There’s no way round it, you need to travel light when it comes to packing the wedding handbag.
Small statement clutches like the pearl encrusted ball from Asos may not be room for all your essentials, but will look fabulous and add a sense of humour to the final effect.
If you dare, clash those prints!
From left, Rose wears: Dress, £69, Sosandar; heels, £45, V by Very; hat, £585, Emily London; clutch, £64 Dune London; Margot wears: Dress, £160, Issa at House of Fraser; hat, £170, Eliane Sarah Millinery; earrings, £95, MeMe London; ring, £15, Accessorize; clutch, £15.99, New Look
It’s official, leopard is now a neutral and that means wedding appropriate if worn in the right way. Besides, sometimes you just have to break the rules. This is where Sosandar come in with their soft feminine take on this cult style.
Hot pink accessories like this beaded clutch from Dune London and these heels from Very will punctuate a monochrome outfit and a tilted pillbox hat adds a quirky, English Eccentric feel.
The abundance of chiffon in this flowing dress from Biba at House of Fraser will flow beautifully as you walk to the church. Keep accessories simple and small scale with this one, the dress will speak for itself.
Photographer: Chris Bracewell
Stylist: Paula O’Connor
Stylist assistant: Sian O’Donnell
Photographer assistant: Jem Rigby
Hair and make-up: Carolyn Wren using Bobbi Brown and Kevin Murphy Hair Care and Ami Penfold using Aveda and Laura Mercier
Models: Sophia at Nevs, Rose at Nevs, Margot at M + P
Location: Gaynes Park country estate wedding venue in Epping, Essex (01992 660329, gaynespark.co.uk)
With thanks to Venus in Flowers bespoke wedding/corporate floral designers. Local to Gaynes Park (firstname.lastname@example.org 01992814052)
Accessorize- 020 3372 3052, uk.accessorize.com
Awon Golding Millinery- awongolding.com
Body Frock- bodyfrock.co.uk
CARAT* London- caratlondon.com
Chie Mihara- chiemihara.com
Comino Couture- cominocouture.com
Debenhams- 0844 800 8877, debenhams.com
Dune London- 0333 240 73 06, dunelondon.com
Eliane Sarah Millinery- elianesarah.com
Emily London- emily-london.com
French Connection- 0333 400 3285, frenchconnection.com
H&M- 0344 736 9000, hm.com
House of Fraser- 0345 602 1073, houseoffraser.co.uk
Jacques Vert- 0344 770 5838, jacques-vert.co.uk
Kurt Geiger- 020 7781 7480, kurtgeiger.com
Littlewoods- 0844 822 8000, littlewoods.com
L.K. Bennett- 020 7637 6731, lkbennett.com
Marks & Spencer- 0333 014 8000, marksandspencer.com
MeMe London- meme.london
Needle & Thread- needleandthread.com
New Look- 0344 499 6690, newlook.com
Phase Eight- 020 7471 4422, phase-eight.com
Reiss- 0207 473 9630, reiss.com
Sosandar- 0333 305 2866, sosandar.com
Very- 08448 222 321, very.co.uk