Hey there Brides to be! I’ll bet you’ve not had a list so important since you last thought Santa Claus was coming to

town. Luckily, you’ve already checked off some of the most important requirements for the big day: gorgeous partner, check; the perfect venue, check; invitations posted, check; now all you need to do is get yourself kitted out from head to toe. With so many things to think about from the flower girl dresses to the caterers to the honeymoon, it is easy to forget that looking your best takes more than just getting the perfect wedding dress. So, here’s our guide to shopping for everything from shoes to tiaras so that you can look picture perfect for the…photographer (don’t forget to book the photographer!)

1. The Best Gown in Town

Let’s face it, it’s all about the gown, once you have that chosen everything else is going to fall into place. Well, maybe it’s not quite that simple but the right bridal gown, the one that brings out all your best features and shows off your unique style, will dictate almost everything else from your shoes and accessories to the bridesmaids dresses. Avoid fads or dramatic changes of style and choose something that flatters your figure and makes you feel beautiful. If you’re curvy, there are a stunning range of plus size wedding dresses available to suit every style from couture chic to boho bride. Just don’t go shopping for your dress alone; make sure you bring along someone who really knows you, preferably a bridesmaid, and brief them on what you’re looking for so they can help you get the exact dress you want.

2. Shoes Wisely

Traditionally, while the veil may have been the next thing on the list, the modern bride knows it’s all about the right to shoes. Whether skyscraper heels or understated pumps, the shoes need to match the dress in style, color and embellishments. White satin shoes can be purchased in a range of styles and dyed to match any shade of dress. Embellishments such as Swarovksi crystals, iridescent beads and lace insets can make your feet sparkle whether they are simply peeping out from under a full length gown or shown off as part of the outfit. If you’re wearing an open toe, get a pedicure well in advance and go for a nude polish regardless of the color of your dress.

3. Veiled Promise

Ever since Kate Middleton wowed in lace trimmed shoulder length organza, the veil has been making a comeback. These days veils come in every shape and variation from floor length Angel cut to flyaway tulle. Whether you opt for the allure and tradition of a lace Mantilla or a retro birdcage with French netting attached to a fascinator, anything goes with floral headbands, tiaras and bows. As with the shoes, this is where you can get really creative and do something that makes everyone go wow! to stamp your own style onto your trousseau. Consider adding texture and color with crystal beading, seed pearls or even monogrammed embroidery to make your veil bespoke while you get bespoken for!

4. Lace to Make Pulses Race

One thing that brides sometimes forget to consider while buying their dress is underwear. No doubt you will want to wear something that is flattering to the silhouette of the dress but sexy enough for your wedding night! Whether silk satin, lace or spandex, make sure what you choose will enhance the dress so that it fits you like a glove and looks amazing. Remember to wear something similar when going for fittings so you can see how it will look on the day; a sports bra is not going to show off a sweetheart neckline to its best advantage. Whatever you choose needs to be balanced between looking great and feeling comfortable enough to feel wonderful the whole day through from morning to night.

5. Finishing Touches

While there is an endless list of individual options and accessories available from diamante hair clips to gloves to beaded clutches there are a few essentials that every bride needs or needs to know:

●    Not every bride carries a purse but if you choose to have one, make sure it will hold what you want with you on the day: smartphone, lipstick, pocket sized perfume spritzer.

●    Hair and make-up run throughs are a given but you should also try out anything new you intend to wear in advance whether deodorant, hairspray, perfume or jewellery to ensure no allergic reactions.

●    Buy Chiropodists tape or gel pads for your inside shoes; from saying your vows to the first dance you’ll be on your feet for hours but you’ll still want to dance the night away in celebration.

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Photo by Steve A Johnson