Throughout this site, we, like everyone else, continually refer to the outfit that the Bride will wear on her wedding day as a 'dress'. However, to call it a 'dress' may be slightly misleading. A dress infers that the outfit is a single garment that does not separate in any shape or form. However, these days the vast majority of outfits worn by Bride's are not dresses.
Instead, the outfits that 21st century Bride's wear are made from ingenious combinations of perfectly matched separates. Separates have a number of benefits over a fully fledged dress.
The main plus point of separates is that all parts of the outfit can be perfectly tailored to suit, and fit, the Bride - this is particularly beneficial if the Bride is not of ‘regular’ proportions. A dress can only be altered by raising or lowering the hem (possibly by taking it up at the centre) or by taking it in to create a snugger fit round the bust, waist and hips. Separates can have the bodice shortened at the waist to fit even the smallest lady, and the skirt can be made much more individual by having the flexibility to alter it almost everywhere.
Another benefit to separates, is the fact that you can create almost any look you want by matching together any skirt and any bodice. The only thing to bear in mind here is that it is worth sticking with a range from a single designer to ensure the fabrics are an exact match.
Separates can also provide a benefit to those ladies who hate the idea of putting their outfit in storage never to be seen again (except for those trips down memory lane of course!). Rather than tucking the whole of the outfit away in a cupboard, the individual elements can easily be dyed or altered and worn with other clothing and create a new stunning outfit ideal for Christmas Parties or posh functions in the future. Of course a dress can be altered or dyed, but it is much more difficult and it will still probably look like a Wedding Dress after the changes are made!
Whether heading down the separates or dress route, there are a number of elements to any outfit that need to be considered, and there are articles that look at each one in turn throughout this section of the site. We would advise that the best place to start is to look at the Profiles article and take things from there. However, be aware, whilst it may all be about the dress (d'oh there we go again!) there is more to chooisng one than you might think, so be sure to take your time!
Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.