It should come as no surprise that most of my time is spent perusing wedding blogs, but when I get the chance to mix it up a little, I have some amazing fashion blogs that get added to my reading list. My favorites are Go Fug Yourself and Tom & Lorenzo – not only are they absolutely hilarious but the bloggers bring plenty of constructive criticism to the table. Rather than just ripping apart an outfit on a deluded celebrity, more often than not they take the time to point out styling decisions and tweaks that could have made the pieces into a gorgeous look.
I’m not exactly what I would call a fashionista, but I’ve found myself hearing my ‘fairy blogmothers’ voices when it comes to picking out an outfit for the day or when I’m considering new additions to my wardrobe. For the most part, they are all about celebrating style and giving real women the tools to create a fabulous look regardless of their designer budget. I wanted to combine my two passions – weddings and fashion – and put together a bridal styling guide for wedding day looks, engagement shoots, and bridesmaids!
Styling your Wedding Day
Let’s be serious – the bride and groom are the focal point of the wedding day, so whatever your wearing will have all eyes on you. It’s your Oscars Red Carpet, your Cannes photo call, except that most of us only get one. The most important thing to keep in mind – whether you’re walking down the aisle or making your red carpet debut – is to consider the person inside the clothes. Your wedding day style should be a hypersaturated version of your everyday look, something that you will be comfortable in and feels like ‘you’, but a you on a day when every head turns your way.
Photography by Joel Bedford Photography, Dress designed by Rosa Clara via Wedding Chicks
Photography by Paula O’Hara, Styling by Alise Taggart Wedding via Wedding Sparrow
Start with your personal style and build from there. Ultimately, your entire wedding should be a reflection of you and your soon-to-be-spouse, so your big day style should fit in with that scheme. Loose and relaxed boho, elegant and classic, chic and modern – your wedding styling should grow organically out of the looks you choose for yourself on a daily basis. Choose accessories in-line with your dress style to keep your look cohesive – more on that to come!
Grace Wu in Giambattista Valli
Photography by James Christianson Photography, Dress by Vera Wang via Style Me Pretty
Styling your Engagement
The engagement shoot is where you have a chance to really cut loose with your style! Wedding days have certain expectations when it comes to fashion – chances are high that someone will be wearing a big, white dress – but all bets are off when it comes to the engagement. You’ll still want to dress and feel like yourself, but this is your chance to have some fun! If your taste runs to prints and patterns but you’d rather keep your wedding day look classic, the engagement session is the perfect time to bring them into play.
Photography by Anastasiya Belik
L: Photography by Hunter Ryan Photography
R: Photography by Feather and Stone, Wedding Dress by Alex Perry via Ruffled
Incorporate elements of the look you envision for your wedding – if the big day will have a boho vibe, why not a pleated maxi dress with layered necklaces? If you’re rocking an A-line princess dress for the wedding, pick a flirty cocktail length frock with a little swing in the skirt. Short and sequined is the perfect prelude to a slinky, sparkling wedding dress!
Photography by Creatrix Photography via Hey Wedding Lady
Photography by Acqua Photo, Styling by Amorology Weddings via Inspired by This
Not everyone’s engagement budget runs to Vera Wang (honestly, whose does?!) but if couture is the look you’re going for, Rent the Runway is a great resource for champagne taste on a beer bottle pocket. They even include a second size in your dress of choice to ensure that you’ll have the right fit! Splurge on upscale accessories with long term wearability, since they can be easily incorporated into everyday looks after the portrait session, and come with fond memories.
Styling your Bridesmaids
One of my favorite trends for bridesmaids has to be the mix and match dresses. Letting your gals pick their own attire – with direction – is a surefire way to make them happy, and can ensure a stunning bridal party! The secret to a great bridesmaid look is to think of it the same way you approached your engagement look. Steer them towards a play on your overall wedding day style to keep things cohesive, but let each ‘maid pick a dress that’s the right fit for her body.
Photography byMatt + Julie Weddings via Style Me Pretty
Photography by Ryan Ray, Styling by Stefanie Miles, via Southern Weddings
Photography by Erich McVey Photography via Style Me Pretty
Jenny Yoo Collection via Nordstrom
Photography by Landon Jacob via Southern Weddings
Styling by Grey Likes Weddings via Elizabeth Anne Designs
It’s all in the details
Here’s where the real styling comes in – it’s not enough to just pick a really killer dress and call it a day. The key to a fabulously pulled together look is one that considers all of the elements – the hair and makeup, jewelry, and other accessories. Your dress should dictate the overall feel of the look since it’s the focal point, so keep pictures on hand when picking the rest of your pieces.
Photography by Amy Nicole Photography via Ruffled
L: Photography by Nancy Ray Photography via Style Me Pretty
R: Photography by Eric Kelley via Bridal Musings
Use your accessories to elevate the story you are telling with your gown – loose waves may feel out of place with a ballgown, but we all know that a flowing skirt is a smash on the beach, so tie them together with a chunky gemstone necklace and dainty, brightly colored earrings to create a formal but breezy look. A sleek updo and vibrant lips pair best with a crisp, tailored gown, while drop earrings and a jeweled pendant provide tie in with the makeup. The Fug Girls maxim is, you’re never fully dressed without a bracelet, so make sure to pick the perfect one!
L: Photography by Alea Moore Photography via Wedding Chicks
R: Photography by Brooke Boling via OnceWed
Photography by Tory Lea Photography via Burnett’s Boards
L: Photography by Blue Barn Photography via Style Me Pretty
R: Photography by This Modern Romance via Green Wedding Shoes
Shoes, shoes, shoes!
There are some cardinal rules that both blogs live by – no matter how trendy it may be, something sheer will always look better lined, and nude shoes are the most boring punctuation to an outfit possible. If a taupe shoe fits in with your color scheme, pick something with an interesting shape – a strappy sandal or laser cut pump make for a gorgeous accent to your look, and you can never go wrong with a metallic. For my money, the best way to finish off your wedding day style is with a fabulously colored shoe!