Bridal Fashion - Wedding Dress Shoots

It's a match

As you choose your wedding dress, it’s not just about the when and the what – the where is just as important! Here’s how to match your gown to your venue, while still giving a nod to the latest bridal trends 

words Hannah May

What do you dress for? Your personality? Mood? Or perhaps to mirror your love of multiple fashions and style influences. What about place? As more couples give greater consideration to the venue of their wedding, so it follows that you may choose to merge the dress – the seminal piece of clothing to be worn during the day of ‘I dos’ – with where you choose to utter your vows.

Tying everything together means that an overall distinctive look can be achieved, since modern weddings are all about showcasing and linking ‘you’ to the choices you make, from the cake and catering to music, flowers and décor. So thinking about what you wear – and where you wear it – means that the maximum impact of both the dress and venue can be seamlessly and stylishly achieved.

Here are some ideas on how to match your venue with your dress, complete with the latest fresh-from-the-runway styles to swoon over…

One of wedding world’s most-wanted locations, a woodland or garden wedding is all about the great outdoors, whether you tie the knot under an oak tree to the soundtrack of a babbling brook, or opt for a leafy look to your marquee reception.

Ethereal dress styles are perfect for ‘green’ weddings, and the latest designs boast botanical and bohemian class. From slinky strappy gowns with a hint of metallic dazzle or body jewellery to super chic columns combined with fresh flowers in your hair and vintage mid-length frocks fit for a garden tea party, there’s plenty to pick from.

Tropical leaf motifs and prints, and wild flower-inspired palettes including blush pinks both hit the mark, while transparent princess capes add a fairytale Disney factor that channels a modern Snow-White-wandering-through-the woods-look. Dreamy indeed.

A coast wedding will always be one of the most coveted, and continues to inspire designers the world over.

Blues have seen a striking resurgence, with both baby and bright tones making an impact on the runways. Wear it head-to-toe or select sea-coloured accents and accessories for an ultra swoon-worthy look.

More romantic and relaxed styles lend themselves perfectly to beach venues, allowing brides to opt for informal two-pieces or suits on one side of the spectrum, or more whimsical designs complete with billowing-in-the-breeze veils and sand-skimming trains on the other.

Skin-baring styles such as miniskirts, high-low hemlines, short shorts, side cut outs, deep V-necks and high thigh splits are all in abundance in the latest collections, while, antithetically, simple, clean lines beautifully capture a hint of ’90s minimalism and allow your backdrop to share the limelight.

Country/Barn Weddings
The south-west is blessed with some seriously awe-inspiring rural venues that are perfect for showcasing the hottest bridal trends du jour.

Take inspiration from everything from botanicals to tropical and the homespun rustic movement for a country wedding with stylistic flair.

Floral gowns cover a diversity of features and enable brides to personalise accordingly, from patterned gowns worn as works of art to 3D flower details, exquisite embroidery and floral appliqués.

Meanwhile, mid-length 1950s styles touch on modern-meets-bygone fashion that – combined with bows on shoulders for a hint of whimsy or hues of peach and hot pinks for nature-inspired pops of colour – beautifully reflect a rural venue choice.

Castle/Hotel Weddings
From grand to intimate and ancient to modern, a wedding in a castle or hotel can be tailored to suit your own individual style and echoes high drama and romance.

Think vintage styles, but on the glamorous end of the spectrum. High necks (especially shirt collars), feathers, black or red gowns, monochrome and metallic, or features such as belts, will all add to the theatrical air.

Two top lust-have accessories are jackets (especially moto for a modern edge) and the next evolution of the ever-popular off-the-shoulder trend: detached sleeves.

For something unconventional but uber chic, consider wedding trousers (either flowing or straight cut), or a jumpsuit; or opt for statement-making volume via huge skirts, big earrings and dramatic veiling and trains.