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The dress of your dreams

Melissa Chrys looks at that all important dress - your wedding dress

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08 August 2011

So, you're getting married - congratulations. Now it's time for all the other big decisions; the date, the venue, the food, the bridal party, the honeymoon destination, blah, blah, blah. Really, there's only one decision we all care about, and that's the most important one of all: The Dress.

The Dress makes you look truly magnificent, captures your spirit and your style; it expresses your unique beauty, highlights your best assets, it makes everyone gasp in wonder and makes your new husband weep with delight. It is The Dress to end all dresses. It is fabulosity encapsulated. The Dress is your chance to truly indulge all your fashion fantasies; it is an opportunity to go nuts and wear whatever you want. Many brides start out with a very strong idea of what they want; but be warned, it might not be right for you. What you really need to do is get out there and start trying on as many dresses as possible so you can get a realistic idea of what does and doesn't work for you. Remember, it's way more important to choose a gown that flatters your figure rather than opting for something highly fashionable.

Comfort is important; while plunging backs and necklines might look amazing, if you're going to spend the entire day adjusting, fiddling and feeling exposed you'll end up ruining the whole look. Give yourself lots time; alterations and fittings can take forever, so you need to get the process started at least six months before your wedding day. Book yourself in; weekends are a stressful time for dress shopping, the staff are busy and bridezillas abound. Try making a mid-week appointment with stores or designers; sounds like a lot of effort, but trust me, this will ensure you have the staff's full attention and you won't have to compete with a bunch of frantic brides. If you're getting your dress made, make sure you and your designer/dressmaker are on the same page. Listen to what they say, you're paying for their expertise. Make sure it's the dress you want; it's your day, so while friends and family try to give well-meaning advice, it's you who has to walk down the aisle and it's you who needs to be happy with the final result.

BODY SHAPE

Before you embark on an extreme 'shedding for the wedding' diet, stop and think. Crazy diets, insane gym schedules, cosmetic dentistry and, disturbingly and bridalplasty (cosmetic surgery for brides-trust me it's real, there's a show on Foxtel) may not be a realistic solution. The desire to fit into The Dress can be an all-consuming and exhausting process of punishing workouts and food deprivation that can leave you feeling resentful and depleted. No amount of diet and exercise is going to change your body shape overnight. So when you're choosing a dress, think about your shape and choose a dress that will highlight your best assets.

Pear shaped: An empire cut, a-line dress or anything that is nipped in at the waist and creates a gorgeous silhouette will work for you. Draw attention to your top half with a gown that flatters your cleavage or with a bit of ruching on the bodice. Avoid straight cut and slinky dresses.

Top heavy: You'll look best in a strapless gown with lots of volume at the hem, this will help balance out your top half. Too much detailing around the bust will add extra bulk and high necklines will make you look even bigger.

Straight up and down: Look for strapless, halter neck or sweet-heart necklines and create shape with a fuller skirt. Stay away from straight or bias-cut dresses as these will just make you look straighter.

Hourglass: You need a dress that will flatter your curves and accentuate your waist. Choose a bodice and a full skirt. A halter neck will also flatter your curves and accentuate your waist Big tummy: Anything with an empire line or a fitted/ruched top and a high waistline that falls straight down. Avoid slinky dresses that cling to lumps and bumps.

Wedding accessories

It's the little details that can help make a wedding truly special. Liz Aravanis, wedding and christening specialist, Princess Elle, shares the news on the latest arrivals in store. Bonbonerie Princess Elle's new shipment offers a collection of sterling silver charms, along with a brand new range of delightful truffles and chocolates. Flower girls A brand new collection of flower girl frocks exclusive to Princess Elle. The brand new Cinderella range draws inspiration from princesses and fairies, with delicate crystal beading and a range of current pastel colours perfect for the spring / summer season.

Stefana

A new range of stefana are also in store now, featuring beautiful Swarovski crystal embellishment and new leather or silver-plated cases.

Candles

A full range of lambathes are now available at Princess Elle, with the latest styles and accessories including netting and lace and available in many popular shades.

Centrepieces

Princess Elle can work with you to create customised centrepieces for your special day, call or drop in to discuss.

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