Actress Aoibhín Garrihy shares her nuggets of newlywed info ahead of the Ultimate Wedding Planning Event, Weddings to a Tea in Clare, Cork and Kerry this January.
1. It’s just a dress
Bridal Style can be a minefield! The first thing I will say is it’s not “The Dress”…It’s just “A dress”! That may sound controversial but there is a reason I say this. The minute I started to see my wedding dress as “just a dress” was the minute I eliminated stress and pressure from the equation and started to enjoy the process. As a woman who loves style, I’m a firm believer that a wedding dress is just a chapter in a woman’s “fashion story” and not something to fret about.
2. Don’t dive in too soon
Lots of brides get so excited about the dress they choose it before the venue, the date, and the theme. These are all HUGE deciding factors to help tie the whole wedding style together. For example, a castle wedding should inspire a regal romance or a festival wedding a more relaxed boho vibe. Bearing your venue and date in mind will help keep your overall theme on track.
3. Create a mood board
This might sound slightly over indulgent (what’s wrong with Pinterest I hear you say) but sometimes it helps to see everything laid out clearly in front of you. Every time you see a picture in a mag, a colour or style, a sleeve, a veil or hair accessory, a neckline or detail that you like, keep it and add it to your mood board. It will help you get a sense of the overall style and theme you’re leaning towards and also helps when you go to the boutique, meet your florist, your hairdresser or other suppliers understand and get a feel for where your head is at!
4. Too many cooks
While your bride tribe are a huge part of your wedding journey, too many opinions can send your head into orbit. Better to choose one person (two max) whose opinion you really trust to be honest with you. However, at the end of the day it’s best to go with your gut… people will think they know but nobody knows like you do. Go with whatever will make your heart sing on the day!
5. Don’t be afraid of “The Pippa”
There is nothing more endearing than a bride who lets her bridesmaids shine as brightly as she does (mine also wore white with the same Swarovski encrusted embellishment as my dress) which leads me on to my next tip…
6. Open the lines of communication
I had a whatsapp group with my bridesmaids and every time we saw a colour, fabric, a shape, shoe, a detail, a bouquet or hairstyle we liked, we shared it with one another and gave the thumbs up or down. That way I knew exactly what they were thinking, what they would feel comfortable in and where to start looking.
7. The rules are there are no rules
The bridal parties that stood out for me last year were the ones who made their own rules. Celebrity make up artist Tara O’Farrell had three bridesmaids while her husband had four groomsmen, my mom wore a white trouser suit, I loved when I saw bridesmaids in jumpsuits or brides in blue. They all featured on my mood board and the more adventurous the better. Don’t be afraid to do your own thing, it’s your day.
8. Consider your options
While most will opt for off-the-peg, I would encourage brides to consider all your options. We have some wonderful Irish designers, we have incredible tailors and dress makers, vintage and charity shops, pre-loved and family heirlooms and this could be an opportunity for you to create something totally unique to you or wear a dress with a story for that touch of ‘Je ne sais quoi’!
What the Expert Says:
Bride-to-be and Weddings to a Tea Stylist Holly White…
Stylist Holly White
Before you go dress shopping it helps to roughly define the overall style of your day. If your wedding is formal, go all out with tailoring and structure, but if your day is going to be a bit more bohemian, it’s nice to mirror that in your dress and any accessories you may be wearing and your flowers. Having an idea of the overall feel from the outset really helps the decision-making process for everything from invitations, flowers, table settings but most importantly your bridal style