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Weddings: Dress to Impress

It’s your wedding day and you want to dress to impress! After all, you will remember this outfit for the rest of your lives. Sara Whatley looks at the latest trends for brides and grooms in 2024

Congratulations, you’re tying the knot! There are so many fun and exciting things to plan for your big day, from the venue and food to the music and flowers. The most memorable weddings are always the most unique ones, which are laden with individual touches from the bride and groom’s life.

But we are here today to talk about some other very important aspects of the day, the outfits! No wedding is complete with The Dress and only a completely dapper groom is ready to take his vows.

So read on for the latest in wedding dresses, groom’s attire and complementary outfits for the ushers and bridesmaids.

THE BRIDE   

Wedding dress blindness can quickly set in when you begin your search, turning everything into a swirl of snowy white tulle and lace. To help keep you afloat here are a few of the big trends for 2024’s wedding dress styles.

BOWS AND FLOWERS

Many brides will fall in love with the sweet addition of a bow on their dress. Bows come in all shapes and sizes from a cascade of dinky ones, to the bow being incorporated into the bodice of the dress, to an impressive oversized bow at the back. Applique flowers are another dress adornment popular this coming year. This 3D flower styling can be structural and bold or soft and feminine, but will always create a stunning element to the dress.

COLOUR

Open your colour palette and look beyond the white! Pretty pink hues, lilac, baby blues and other pastels can look very striking for a wow dress, and are right on trend for 2024. Flower motifs lend themselves to colourful dresses, either adding the splash of colour themselves or perhaps in a same colour lace layer. For something more dramatic, the UK is following the Australian bridal gown trend of turning to the dark side. Stepping down the aisle in a deep navy or scarlet red gown can be a mark of elegance, power and mystery, and who doesn’t want that on their wedding day?

SHAPE SHIFTER

Floor length is the tradition when it comes to wedding dresses, but if you are looking for a different silhouette then you are not alone. Some designers are making their dresses more versatile with a removable overskirt, so you can enjoy a full skirt for the ceremony then remove it for a slinkier evening gown. Short dresses and long veils are also having a moment, creating a fun and flirtatious look. For a très chic alternative to the traditional dress look to a jump suit or pant suit and capture that continental glamour.    

Now that’s the bride sorted, what about the bridesmaids? Bridesmaid dresses are great fun as they can be anything and everything you desire. If you have a gaggle of bridesmaids you might want to have them in matching dresses, or you might want to think about them looking simultaneously cohesive yet individual. Staying within a colour boundary helps bring this look together, then dress each bridesmaid according to her taste and body shape. Popular colours for bridesmaid dresses this coming year are green, Champagne, and pastels.    

THE GROOM

Time to turn our attention to the groom, the best man and the ushers. Gone are the days when the groom could simply rock up in rented tux and be done with it. Now, the attention is on the details. Here are a few pointers for the groom to make sure he looks the part.

THE FIT

Expert tailoring can lift a suit to a thing of beauty. Off the rack suits can be transformed by a nip and tuck here and there or go the whole hog and get your wedding suit made to measure. Fitted styles are still popular for grooms walking down the aisle in 2024.

STYLE

Wedding suits come in all sorts of colours and styles to fit the groom’s individual personality. Blue has long been a popular choice for grooms, but green is becoming increasingly popular as well. From sage to forest green, this is a very adaptable and fresh colour to choose. Pay attention to the texture of the fabric – tweed is a natural choice for rustic country weddings. Look for some fun inspiration from your waistcoat; go floral or plaid, paisley or pastel.

ACCESSORIES

This is where the groom can elevate his outfit to memorable and unique. Think socks and shoes; hat; tie or bowtie; pocket square; lapel pin and buttonholes; statement watch or pocket watch; and cufflinks. And of course, every groom should be groomed to perfection – styled hair, trimmed beard or a clean shave, whatever your look make it count towards your final masterpiece.    

As a rule of thumb the groom's best man and ushers, should be in complementary outfits to that of the groom. Like the bridesmaid's outfits, setting a colour boundary can help bring the look together. You might want to gift the ushers with matching ties or pocket squares if they are not in matching suits, something to unite them with the groom.

THE REST

And as for the rest of the wedding party? Well, anything and everything fabulous of course! Weddings are a chance to pull out all the stops and show off your finest and most stylish outfits and accessories. Just remember to dress for the weather, and if at all possible, don’t outshine the bride and groom!

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