How To Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Getting hitched this year? And are you on the hunt for your dream wedding dress?

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Peak wedding season is fast approaching; you might want to heed the advice of go-to wedding expert, White Lily Couture’s Alera Kingham who has 11 years industry experience fitting brides from all over Australia.

Alera, 31, (pictured), owner and style director at White Lily Couture, at prestigious Brisbane shopping precinct, Park Rd, Milton, is a certified wedding consultant and is also armed with a diploma in interior design. So, you know she has an eye for detail, but Alera says her best asset is “life experience”.

bridal couture, wedding stylist, bridal trends

The bubbly redhead lives and breathes all things nuptial and told me she has channelled her love of love into changing lives, one white dress at a time, via her bridal boutique – one of the largest in Brisbane.

“I’m an entrepreneurial, detail-focussed kind of person,” she says. “I found out during my days as a wedding planner that this perfectionism really worked to my advantage. It was when I really paid attention to all the little things that come together to make for a truly amazing wedding. I think this translates even more so today in my role as style director at White Lily Couture.”

Now, when it comes to the all-important task of choosing your perfect gown, Alera says it’s all about “trusting your instincts.”

“We see hundreds of brides each month and the ones who have the most enjoyable time are the ones who give themselves permission to feel each gown,” she says. “It sounds a bit airy-fairy I know, but connecting emotionally to your dress is one of those experiences which you don’t understand until it happens to you.

“It’s always helpful to have an idea in mind of what you see yourself wearing on your wedding day. This will allow your bridal consultant to best select gowns for you to suit your vision. In saying that, the best way to ensure you feel a million dollars is to be open-minded to something you may not have imagined. Often these are the styles that make you feel like a bride while keeping your personal style in check.”

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White Lily Couture caters for both traditional and unconventional brides and reflects bridal trends and a hand-picked range of designer gowns from around the world. Labels in-store include Pronovias, Mori Lee, Augusta Jones, Ronald Joyce, Madeline Gardner New York and Victoria Jane.

In addition, Enzoani’s latest collection is now available to brides-to-be at White Lily Couture. The coveted collection has been fast tracked from the US and is perfect for discerning brides who favour stunning silhouettes and exquisite, hand-stitched details, Alera says. So, is unconventional bridal couture a hot, new trend?

“In our times, almost any bride could be considered unconventional,” she says. “I think as women we all want to make our mark that allows us to stand out from the crowd and what better day than our wedding day?!

“It’s not what I would call a trend as such, but more a reflection of our modern times. We see just as many off-beat brides each week as we do traditional ones so I think there will always be a mix of the two.

“We’re so excited to be the exclusive stockist for Enzoani (pictured) here in Queensland. This stunning collection is very fashion-forward with an edge which our brides are loving. We also exclusively stock Augusta Jones which is a gorgeous collection for the more traditional bride. Their use of French lace is divine.”

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And when I ask Alera how she copes with her fair share of bridezillas, she’s customarily sweet and diplomatic. “Brides are like any consumer really, but their expectations are much higher. This is one of the most important garments of clothing that we will wear in our lifetime so it is crucial that we get it right! As style consultants here at White Lily Couture, our focus is understanding our customer’s vision and finding the dress to not only meet that vision, but exceed it. If we get it right, it’s the best feeling ever!” she says.

“The thing I love most about what I do is seeing passion put into practice. I’m really fanatical about customer service and providing our brides with an extraordinary customer experience so it’s a thrill when we see that happening in real life,” she says. “The hardest part for me is getting lost in the details. I have to force myself to step back and look at the big picture sometimes!

“My main focus is to provide brides with an exquisite range of wedding dresses, in a luxurious setting with unparalleled service. It’s the little details that make White Lily Couture memorable. We love going out of our way to help brides find ‘the one’ and even provide iPads with Skype for brides with friends and family who can’t make the fitting.

“I just love that regardless of the stressful times, we share a part of someone’s happiness and that makes it all so worthwhile.”

bridal couture, wedding stylist, bridal trends

Alera’s Top 5 New Bridal Trends

  • Colour is huge and will continue to dominate the new season. Designers are loving soft tones such as blush, gold and nude.
  • Tattoo lace is really gaining momentum with many new styles showcasing this lace-on-skin look.
  • Beading is back and in a big way. For several years now beading has been less desirable so there’s plenty of lost time to be made up!

bridal couture, wedding stylist, bridal trends

  • Fitted silhouettes are the hottest trend right now. Ball gowns will never go out of style but the mermaid, fit and flare and sheath styles are so hot right now.
  • Sleeves and high necklines are pushing strapless styles aside here in Australia and designers are really using flattering ways to show off a woman’s body with elegance and class.

bridal couture, wedding stylist, bridal trends

April 4, 2015

Winter-Inspired Wedding Dresses

Just because the temperature is dropping, it doesn’t mean that you have to freeze on your wedding day!

There are a number of dresses and accessories for brides who have set their nuptials during the colder months of the year, without compromising their own personal style. Below are just a few of our winter-inspired bridal gowns for chilly weather.

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3/4 sleeves

Choose a dress with sleeves just under the elbow. Not only will this keep you relatively warm, it also looks very sophisticated for night-time wedding.

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Long silhouette

A floor-length gown is perfect for winter since you can wear close-toed shoes, and keep your feet and pins warm! If this idea seems rather matronly, choose an off-the-shoulder style to keep it modern and fresh.

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Anything with sheer sleeves or panels is great for a winter wedding dress since it won’t feel too warm or constricting once you’re inside. It gives the perfect amount of warmth without feeling too over-heated.

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Multiple layers

A dress with an abundance of layers is bound to be a good thing if the weather is cold and dreary. They’re bound to keep you warm without requiring any additional accessories such as a shawl or pashmina.

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Images via Belle The Magazine, Wedding Inspirasi

December 31, 2014

Wedding Dress Shopping

It’s Saturday morning and you’ve decided you’re ready to hit the wedding boutiques. But before you grab your bag, credit card, mother, mother-in-law-to-be, bridesmaids and sisters you better read our tips. With the cost of wedding dresses averaging around $700- $1000 you might want to make sure you have all the necessary information before you even considering fessing up! SheSaid have come up with 6 can’t-do-without tips. With them in your hot little hands you will conquer successfully that dreaded gown shopping.

In the picture:

We think a clever bride should have snaps on hand when they decide to go wedding dress shopping. If you’ve got the snaps, you won’t forget what you want. This is especially important when it comes to gowns. Once you start hitting those wedding shops you’ll find that it is all too much to look through racks and racks of dresses. There are far too many. With your evidence at hand, you won’t get confused and start going down the wrong road. You won’t have to rely on the taste of the sales assistant. There is nothing more attractive than a girl who knows what she wants, so turn up with your magazine tear-outs and your snaps. Do whatever it takes.

Know your style:

Personal style is what sets you apart from the rest. The style of your wedding has got to go with the style of dress you choose. For eg, an elaborate ball gown is definitely not going to suit a backyard bbq wedding-not that you want that, but you get the picture. Although it is you day and it’s your show, so if you want to walk down a grassy knoll with five sheep and a shepherdess, then that’s your business.

Keep an open-mind

One of the best tips all been there done that brides have said to us is that you should try on at least one dress that isn’t anything you perceive as being ‘you’. It’s amazing how many brides walk into bridal boutiques thinking they want to wear something simple and straight and walk out looking like Cinderella. So, remember the dress you finally decide on may not have been anything you ever imagined yourself wearing and that’s all fine too.

If wearing white know what’s right!

Sounds really silly but there are many shades of white and wedding dresses come in just about every shade. It’s is good to know which shade will flatter your colouring, rather than ending up with a colour that makes you look like death warmed up! We asked 5 bridal specialists what the best whites are to wear if you don’t know? They confirmed that the most flattering whites are diamond white and silk white. However if you don’t like the look of yourself in any kind of white, you can go for a colour. Go for pale hues such as rum pink, champagne or pale blue. Lastly, remember the samples you try on in the store are probably a bit dirty so they are not going to be the exact colour your actual dress will be. Important tip, ask for a swatch of fabric that your dress will be made out of. Hold this up to your face. This will allow you to see if it suits you or not. No one wants to look like Frankenstein’s bride.

Impulse buying…no no no

Never impulse purchase when shopping for a bridal gown. This type of buy is not like purchasing a denim skirt at Witchery you can always return it and get a credit until you find something else. SheSaid did a bit of market research and rang a few bridal boutiques. After a bit of a ring around, no one wants a used gown. If they do take it back, you will definitely not get 50 percent off the total cost of the dress. Oops! On that note, you better be pretty certain that he’s Mr Right too.

Venue Check

If you are getting married in a church be sure to check if there is a dress code. For example, some churches still don’t like you to expose your shoulders. A shawl, wrap or jacket, which can be removed, will certainly solve the problem-unless of course you’re mad keen for a nude wedding.

June 18, 2002