When my Aunty Marg went through her fabric stash and told me I could take what I liked I don’t think she expected this. A black and Ivory stripe taffeta that was so old I could tear it with a pin carefully pleated and sculpted into this amazing dress.
I used this dress for the finale of the parade. It worked beautifully with the black sequin bridesmaids. I also had a strapless sequin dress I borrowed back from its owner to use for the maid of honour.
The floral crowns were all made by Jill at the Little Bouquet in Merimbula. A tiny little comb held the veil in place and the crown sat over the top. I loved that they were so lush and dramatic, the perfect complement to a dramatic dress.
I can’t thank enough the models who helped out with the bridal show. Our 3 lovely bridesmaids in matching sequins were such a wonderful addition to the event.
I am going to gush about this fabric for a moment. I have worked with these small sequins before and never tire of them. The sequins are sewn onto a stretch base making these dresses quite quick and simple to make. The fabric itself isn’t cheap (unless you want black) but with the reduced time they take to make can actually work out to be an economical choice. Not just for bridesmaids as I have seen these sequins in a bridal pearly white, silver and soft rosey gold. The dresses are also indestructible and need no ironing, perfect for a destination wedding. I carried these 3 black dresses to the expo in a woolies bag.
Vintage stars. If you know someone handy with a jigsaw perhaps the moon and star backdrop could be easily made and used for a photo booth.
Etsy is a wonderful place to search for creative little star details in accessories and jewlery.
I have seen these starry string lights around on Pinterest but never anywhere for sale in australia. they seem to have much smaller bulbs than your average christmas might and also are on a wire that can be shaped and will stand on its own. Perhaps worth a search online.
These lanterns were a diy made from an easily available pattern for a star lantern. The garland would be easily made from cut out stars, 2 stars stuck together with string in between.
Norman Hartnell sprinkeld the wedding gown of the then Princess Elizabeth and her bridesmaids with stars.
He must have loved them as he used them in a few more gowns.
Invitations inspired by charts of the night sky.
The ladies of the 50’s really did have style skills that have been almost lost to us now. One of these was their ability to wear polka dots. That perhaps isn’t entierly true as there are below some lovely modern brides re-interpreting the spot.
Large and small dots together. They look great in black and white but I wonder what colour they were?
A fine spot in a chiffon fishtail dress.
Another cascade of spots in chiffon. A little contrast added through a fine black lace trim on the hem. I would love to see the front, Is the strip around her shoulders a shawl or large collar?
A wonderful way to wear spots, A maxi skirt with a contrast top to break up the pattern.
I love this spotty tulle over the contrast lining.
Incredibly stylish spots from Valentino. Perfectly matched shoes as well.
A little collection of dresses for the non traditional bridesmaid.
Dip dyed dress above from Bottega Vanetta. A lovely silk slip with a cute little belt. The idea of the dip dye hem is achievable for a made to measure dress.
Below are two more from Bottega Vanetta, The first a cute little peach dress pleated and gathered down the sides. The seccond a long sheath using the same belt as above but with subtle white on peach.
Oscar de la Renta dress below I love for the shorter lining covered with the patterned tule overlay. This would be a simple way to use a print for a bridesmaid dress. the sheer layer would make any print subtle and romantic.
The skirt on this one caught my eye, another Oscar de la Renta lovely. The fabric is a light silk and the skirt is cut with some fullness at the asymmetric hem for movement.
If you or your bridesmaid are pregnant, surprise or not there is no reason to worry that the expectant mum wont look amazing on the day.
The dresses I have featured are not my work (and not all pregnant), I am just using them as examples of ideas and shapes.
Ist trimester – If you will only have a little bump then it is often possible to simply shape the style you would otherwise have chosen to fit. When making the dress a little extra is left in the seam allowances so the dress can be let out a little if needed. Lacing at the back can also be great as it means the dress can be tightened as little or as much as needed. Special consideration will also need to be made for larger and possibly uncomfortable breasts.
If you are hiding your bump then a little soft gather or ruffle across the tummy will do the trick. (Also plan a signature cocktail that can be made without alcohol and will still look exactly the same as what your guests are drinking)
2nd trimester – A medium size bump still leaves a lot of room for style choice. Again lacing at the back is a great option when a dress is delivered weeks before the wedding. If you can have the final fitting in the days before any closure will work. Gathers are a great way to leave a little extra room for a bump, as is stretch fabric. (most sequin fabrics like the mini dress above have a stretch fabric as their base). A 2nd trimester bump can also sit a lot lower than a larger one so a nice fit around the chest is possible allowing a perfect fit for strapless for any size.
3rd trimester – For a larger bump the style and fabric chosen will be a little more limited. Planning is Key. A dress fitted around the bust and draped or gathered over the bump is an easy choice. An addition to this is to consider having a full skirt like the tulle gown below. A dress can also be shaped to allow room for a bump if you want a more modern simple style like the layered Dior dress below.
A strapless will only work well for smaller breasted ladies, the structure needed to keep a larger bust from being over squished isn’t possible with a larger bump. A little extra support over the shoulder is all that is needed, asymmetric , fine straps, halters and fine fabrics will all do the job.
Having a dress made is a wonderful way to remove any stress around dressing a baby bump.
although 5 years old now I wanted to show off my own wedding. It was lovely looking through the photos again. This will perhaps provide an insight into why I love intimate day weddings.
Venue – A ‘backyard’ wedding made super stylish through having a gorgeous beach house in the family.
Dress – Made by me in superfine Dupion silk.
Hair – Albino peacock feathers and petals made from seed pearls.
Flowers – I sourced flowers from a local wildflower farm. Well established growing red waratahs I secured the first crop of white waratahs for my bouquet. On the tables were single stem red waratahs in glass vases. In the garden were large loose arangements of native flowers from gardens of family and friends. Buttonholes and corsages made with flannel flowers.
Food – simple cold seafood, home made bread, local chicken and home grown salad. Baby pavs, fruit cake port and tea.
Bridesmaids – Based around the stunning blue shoes was a slightly 40’s little ensemble of tweed skirt and silk blouse.
A small guest list and budget but still an amazing day. The little bit of rain had gone by the time I arrived leaving its mark on the surrounding bush enhancing the colours. I would recommend anyone who is working with a tight budget to consider having their wedding at home. there are so may more ways you can avoid paying too much for things. Perhaps I should make another post about that.
Mismatched bridesmaids are very hot right now. This wedding nailed the look with a very easy technique. The bridesmaids were allowed to wear whatever they wanted. The only restriction being that they were floor length. Each bridesmaid choose her shape and fabric and worked with me to make her dress.
This wedding party may also be the only one I have seen for a long time where the tresses can truly be worn again.