My Wedding - - FASHION & JEWELS - By Anita Turner-Wil­liams

Brides­maids - They’re a vi­tal and very vis­ual el­e­ment in sup­port­ing a bride. What they wear re­ally does set the tone for the whole wed­ding. The colour cho­sen is a great way for the bride to ex­press her per­sonal taste.

Things get a lit­tle tricky when brides want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent from ev­ery­one else, yet still feel con­fi­dent that it all will come to­gether.

Your bridal gown designer will hap­pily of­fer op­tions and ideas to guide you in the right di­rec­tion, as will stylists, who are used more of­ten th­ese days as a sound­ing board, putting to­gether brides’ ideas and vi­sions.

So, when choos­ing the gowns for your maids, a good start­ing point is to con­sider colour. Keep in mind your maids’ colour­ing, and don’t just think of one colour, ei­ther - come up with a few op­tions.

Some­thing else that can as­sist in your colour-de­ci­sions are the flow­ers you are con­sid­er­ing for the wed­ding. Take swatches with you when con­sult­ing your florist; if you don’t have ac­cess to swatches, a paint sam­ple card in the clos­est ton­ing will suf­fice.

Re­mem­ber that ev­ery­one is go­ing to have an opin­ion - the brides­maids them­selves, the mums, and the groom. Per­son­ally, I tell my brides that they need to re­mem­ber whose wed­ding it is! Be pre­pared to take ad­vice, but be strong, and don’t get bul­lied!

When it comes to the style of gown, con­sider your maids’ shape and height … are they big busted or flat-chested, do they have short bod­ies or long, are they sport­ing any tat­toos (in some cases, a tat­too may not re­ally be some­thing you want dis­tract­ing from the look you are ty­ing to achieve).

If you are con­sid­er­ing a short gown for your maids, re­mem­ber that the shoes will play a large role in the over­all look of the out­fit, and they all have to match!

Lastly, re­mem­ber that what­ever style and colour you choose, it needs to com­pli­ment you, them, the weather, the venue and the style of wed­ding.

Trends that are start­ing to sur­face of late in New York are strap­less gowns, or at least those with ei­ther very thin shoe­string or or­nate lace straps. There are lots of big bows, as well as hand­crafted flower de­tail­ing. Sil­hou­ettes are trend­ing to­wards the fig­ure hug­ging, bil­low­ing be­low the but­tock area. Con­trast is also fea­tur­ing more and more – if you’re af­ter trendy, con­sider a skirt in a cream or bronze with the bodice in white, or a black bodice over a white skirt.

What­ever you choose, please DO be fussy! You want the girls to look fab­u­lous. Yes, by all means browse the in­ter­net. You’ll find a ton of in­spi­ra­tion. But be warned – while those dresses look so good on screen, sadly not many will ar­rive look­ing the same, and the fit is of­ten not the best! There are too many sad sto­ries out there, with ill-fit­ting dresses at the root of many prob­lems.

There are shops of­fer­ing generic dresses, as are fash­ion bou­tiques like Moochi, Ruby and For­ever New who are of­fer­ing up small ranges suit­able for the pur­pose. It’s also ex­cit­ing to see lo­cally made gowns like Vic­tor also do­ing a great job of cre­at­ing small ranges in dif­fer­ent colour­ways, mak­ing it easy for a bride to choose dresses to suit her girls.

How­ever, if you want some­thing truly spe­cial, in a cer­tain colour and style, then the best bet is go shop­ping for fab­ric and get a dress­maker to help you out. Your designer should be able to rec­om­mend some­one and ad­vise you on this.

What­ever you do, get the ba­sics right - choose gowns that will suit your maids, opt for a colour that will flat­ter and com­pli­ment ev­ery­one in the bridal party, and en­sure a fit that does them all jus­tice.


Robert Her­rick (1571-1674)

Wel­come, maids of hon­our! You do bring in the spring, and wait upon her. She has vir­gins many, fresh and fair; yet you are more sweet than any. You’re the maiden posies, and so graced to be placed ‘fore damask roses.

Yet, though thus re­spected by-and-by ye do lie, poor girls, ne­glected

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