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Women2Day - Weddings: Wedding belles

Walk down the aisle in your dream dress with our big day style guide.

Just like meeting the man you're exchanging your vows with, they say when you've found The dress, you 'just know'.

But you still might have to kiss a whole bunch of frogs first and wriggle your way into gown after gown until you find your perfect match.

Sometimes even hardened anti-meringue brides may be swayed once they first step into a flowing voluminous dress, and similarly those seeking gigantic trains can fall head-over-heels with a sleek fishtail frock.

This season, designers put the recession on the back burner to make bridal gowns more opulent and statement-making than ever before.

Jenny Packham, David Fielden, and Reem Acra showcased dazzling styles on the spring/summer catwalks featuring twinkling sequins, crystals and metallic threads, while even the most simplistic dress at Alberta Ferreti, Vera Wang and Amanda Wakeley said a thousand words with Grecian draping and mesmerising asymmetric lines.

The big day might be all about you and your husband-to-be but the stylish search for your dress is a love affair you'll never forget.

Traditionalist, modernist or bling-fiend bride, your gorgeous gown awaits...

Mrs Traditionalist

If you've always dreamed of the big white princess wedding, now is your chance to wow your very own Prince Charming with a modern-day fairytale gown.

Think tumbling cascades of tulle, beaded bodice and never-ending train.

Designer Suzanne Neville says: "There has been a recent trend for lots of embellishment, which many of our gowns this season feature, especially Swarovski beading, bows and beautiful embroidery.

"Although I take these trends into account, my gowns are timeless and classic. I think it's more important to find a gown which you love and which suits your shape, rather than getting too involved with the latest trends."

Styling tip: Floral corsages, oversized bows or crystal sparkle, make sure any extravagant detailing is focused on your best feature.

Try: Ian Stuart Bride tulle gown, from £1,350; BHS Wedding Carissa gown, £495, Rosa Clara Rodeo gown with flower corsage, £4,900 at Liberty.

Mrs Modern

Those seeking something different to avoid being a cookie-cutter bride don't have to opt for a daring black gown a la Sarah Jessica Parker to stand out.

Opt for clean lines, simple shapes, and futuristic detailing for a cutting-edge look to echo the catwalks. Quirky detailing and embroidery can also make you stand out from the traditional bridal brigade.

"Brides are looking for something unique more than unconventional," says designer Laura Lees, who offers a customising service for brides.

"In the sea of white dresses there is definitely a yearning for individuality. Embroidery lends itself to this perfectly, from personal embellishments, the name of your betrothed embroidered on the dress, through to an alternative to a veil, it's all about the detail."

Styling tip: Body-hugging sleek dress? Invest in comfortable but silhouette-enhancing underwear to flaunt your figure to the max.

Try: Amanda Wakeley Sposa silk tulle dress, £3,500; Monsoon Klee dress, £200; David Fielden fishtail dress with sequin cascade, £4,444.

Mrs Magpie

Your big day focus doesn't have to be all about the dress. If you're a self-confessed accessories addict, keep your gown pared-down and sparkle with jewels, pearls and diamonds.

Splash out on statement shoes, jewellery or a head piece to make a decadent impact.

"If the dress is very ornate, you need a simple style of accessory, but if you're wearing a sleeker style, go to town with more elaborate jewellery," advises Ashley Wells, senior designer for The Earring Boutique, who has launched a new wedding collection.

"It's important not to over-complicate the look. Either wear earrings and a bracelet, or a necklace - if you have too much going on you lose the effect."

Styling tip: Long chandelier earrings will really set off an asymmetric neckline.

Try: Faith LuxuryB embellished t-bar shoes, £75; Ebuni Flower Sensation hair comb, £22; The Earring Boutique Oval Cascade Chandelier Earrings, £125.

 

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