Last week I went for a coffee and a chat with Jennifer Jones, a Bridal Stylist based in Warsash, Hampshire. We chatted about ballet (Jennifer used to be a dancer!), wedding dresses and shopping. Jennifer let me in on a some tips for buying your wedding dress, her thoughts on the upcoming bridal trends for 2019/2020, and why you should consider a bridal stylist when planning your wedding…
One of the reasons I was so keen to meet you is because I never knew about Bridal Stylists when I was planning my own wedding. And wedding dress shopping can be quite overwhelming, especially if you aren’t a natural shopper! So tell me, what does a Bridal Stylist do?!
I help brides look and feel fabulous on their wedding day and beyond by helping them understand what wedding dress silhouettes, necklines, fabrics and accessories flatter their body shape. I also advise what colours best compliment their skin tone and what wedding dress styles are most suited to their wedding theme and personality.
Why should brides hire a stylist & when is the best time to do this?
Your wedding dress is one of the most expensive items of clothing you'll ever buy so it's important that you get it right. And, with your guests admiring your outfit and you photographers capturing your every move on the day, you want to look and feel your best. It's best to hire a stylist once you've booked your venue and you have an idea of the theme/style of your wedding but before you start shopping for your dress. I can help ensure you know exactly what to look for to save you time and stress – after all shopping for your wedding dress should be a fun and stress-free experience.
What is your process with brides? How does it work?
All my bridal styling packages start with a full bridal styling consultation, in the comfort of your own home, where we'll discuss the styles, fabrics and accessories that are right for you. I then build you a Pinterest board that brings your wedding style together, helping you visualise all the elements you need to create your ideal look. And, you'll receive your own unique summary to help you in your journey to achieving your wedding style, including recommendations for the best bridal boutiques/shops to visit. This style consultation alone is perfect if you're looking for a steer in the right direction, a head start on the wedding dress shopping process and some impartial professional advice about how you can look your best on your wedding day.
What bridal trends do you see coming up in 2019/2020?
You might have already seen a lot of stars on wedding dresses and accessories - stars are set to carry on being really popular this year, along with overstated bows and an exaggerated skirt. And, since Meghan Markle's wedding, the simple and elegant look is becoming more popular including the famous halter neck style which is making a comeback thanks to Meghan's beautiful evening gown. In 2020, we'll start to see more midi dresses on younger brides and more experimentation with colour. I also expect to see more layering options, such as over skirts to enable you to interchange your look from day to evening.
I love when brides wear a veil, for the photos it gives us so much to play with… but what is your professional opinion? Veil or no veil?!
I personally love a veil but it's not for everyone. It's so important that you feel like you on the big day so if you opt for a veil, make sure it suits you just as much as your dress. There's so many types of veils and alternative accessories available so it can be tricky to pick the right thing. The right length and style of your veil is also determined by your body shape and skin tone. The impact of colour is more important when it's near your face so it's important that what you put here compliments your features. And, of course, veils or hair accessories can change the look of your dress so you want to be sure they work together. After their Bridal Style Consultation, my brides will often add on a personal shopping session so that I can come with them to try on dresses and accessories to help make sure they're picking the right things.
Do you have any words of advice for brides who have started shopping for their dress?
It's important not to go wedding dress too early or too late. If you begin your search a year in advance, this will give you two months to try on dresses and make a decision. Wedding dresses are complicated to make and the more detail, the longer it'll take. You also need to allow for transportation of the dress as you don't want to be worrying about it not arriving at the boutique in time for your fittings.
When it comes to going shopping for the dress, make sure you take someone with you who will be completely honest and only have your interests at heart. Again, you want to come away with something that you look and feel amazing in, not what somebody else likes or something that doesn't suit you.
One of the biggest tips I can offer is not to try on too many dresses. There is such a thing as wedding dress fatigue - if you keep going after you've found the right one you can end up confused and feeling like you're not getting anywhere. That said, sometimes it can be hard to know when you've found the one. Some brides know instantly, whereas others need to try on just a couple more to make sure they're making the right decision.
With so many options out there, how do you tell which wedding dress shapes are best for you?
To determine what silhouettes best suit your figure, it's important to first know what your body shape is. Are you an hour glass, pear, inverted triangle or apple? Once you know this, you can determine what shapes compliment your shape the most. Then, when it comes to your wedding dress, have a look through your wardrobe or think back to a time when you loved a particular top, skirt or dress. What was it about this that you liked when you were wearing it? What made you feel good? What styles are you mostly drawn to - is it pretty feminine patterns/details or do you prefer edgy asymmetrical lines? All of this can help you decide what style of dress is right for you.
Is there anything you should you look out for when choosing colours or shades of dress to match your skin tone?
Again, this all comes down to what skin tone you have. If you're warmer in your skin tone, you're more likely to suit warmer colours and if you're cooler in your skin tone, the same applies. You want the colour to compliment not clash with your skin tone. Then, it's on to your features. Are your eyes and hair quite soft - do they blend or do you have contrasting features such as bright blue eyes and deep brunette hair. Depending on which one, this will determine whether you suit bright or muted colours. As you can tell, there's quite a lot to it and with so many tones of bridal gowns available, picking the right tone can be tricky.
Why is it so important to look your best and feel comfortable on the day?
Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life and one of the most exhausting. Not only do you want to be comfortable and not worrying about how you look or whether something is fitting you right on the day, you want to look back at the professional photos and be wowed by how amazing you look. And it's true... if you feel amazing, you will look radiant.
When you say you help brides look and feel fabulous on their wedding day and beyond, what do you mean by beyond?
If you hire a stylist when you're getting married, you'll not only know how to look best on your wedding day, you'll have an understanding of what principles to follow when shopping for a special occasion and even when you're updating your day-to-day wardrobe. I also pride myself on being your stylist for life - I offer postnatal and career styling also so I'm always here if you need more advice for another time in your life. You never know when you might need a stylist again.
To get in touch with Jennifer and chat about your wedding dress stye…