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I've been thinking this week about how much weddings have changed since the early 1990s when I got married..... 
Flowers in your hair, where do you stand?  
 
For a start, wedding dress styles have changed enormously. Some might say for the better, but each era is entitled to put its own stamp on things. In the 80s and early 90s bigger was definitely better, with lots of flounces, puff and ornamentation. It was also the era of flower crowns and alice bands and I myself had one of them. I'm not knocking it, it felt really pretty and dried afterwards it made a nice keepsake. It will come back into fashion at some point but for now its tiaras or much smaller ornamentation all the way.  
 
Church versus Registry Office 
 
When I got married weddings were still really traditional. It was church or registry office by law. Most of us chose churches but there are some good Registry Offices. I would put a vote in for Felixstowe Town Hall here. This fine red brick building, overlooking the sea, has a gorgeous black and white checkerboard floor inside and the well kept municipal garden next door is good for photos. There is a lovely flower display outside in the summer. I went to a wedding there and the staff couldn't do enough to help (@felixstowetownhall). The odd thing is that this building used to be the court and still has cells (watch out all you misbehaving guests) 
 
 
 
 
 
Yet another Royal mounted the steps at St George's Chapel this weekend. Find out more about her gorgeous wedding dress... 
Lady Gabriella Windsor's Wedding 
 
Lady Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia Windsor (yes, it's a mouthful, but an elegant one,) wed this weekend. I had predicted that Princess Beatrice @beatriceandeugenieofyork would be the next to walk up St George's Chapel aisle but it turned out I was wrong. Yes, that's an admission from an ex-lawyer, might be a long time before there's another 
 
So, was she wearing something clingy and revealing? Well, fitted, yes, but revealing, no. HRH The Queen was in attendance after all and a reasonable level of modesty is de rigeur for most Royal brides 
 
Lady Gabriella, whose father Prince Michael of Kent is the Queen's cousin, wore a custom gown from Luisa Beccaria in Milan (@luisabeccaria) and a Russian Fringe diamond tiara, worn by both her grandmother HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent and her mother HRH Princess Michael of Kent 
Heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the safe arrival of their son 
As I write this Harry and Meghan have just appeared on BBC News with their baby boy snugly wrapped up in a blanket. This was an eighth great-grandchild for The Queen, coming after Savannah and Isla Phillips (born 2010 and 2012 respectively), Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (2013, 2015 and 2018) and Mia and Lena Tindall (2014 and 2018) 
 
Most of the royal great-grandchildren have performed the honourable duty of being a bridesmaid, flower-girl or pageboy at a Royal wedding. Both Savannah and Isla were bridemaids for Princess Eugenie when she married Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. Rumoured to be mischievous Savannah was caught on camera standing on Princess Eugenie's train, whilst Prince George beamed a cheeky grin behind her. This followed her covering Prince George's mouth at the Trooping of the Colour and telling him off for singing. Savannah, we like your style! 
 
 
Also in attendance as a flower girl was Princess Charlotte, looking just gorgeous in her bridesmaids dress at the tender of just three. However this was not the first time she had been a bridesmaid. She first graced the stage at the wedding of her aunt, Pippa Middleton, in May 2017, and was caught on camera licking her confetti basket. She then repeated the honours in May 2018 for the Duchess of Sussex, sticking her tongue out at photographers as she went passed in the car 
 
Prince George is a pageboy stalwart and has been on parade at all of the above weddings. His most popular look (or at least the bride's) is silk knee breeches in a variety of colours, usually paired with an ivory or white silk shirt and a cummerbund. Check out Lychgate's silk shirts, shorts and cummerbunds for an upmarket look to accompany your bespoke silk wedding dress. But as an alternative he rocked a replica of his father's uniform for Harry and Meghan's wedding. The outfit even had GC for George of Cambridge monogrammed in gold thread on the shouder. Now that's what we call swanky 
Is the strapless wedding dress ever going to go out of fashion? Well, it might, but not in a hurry I suspect 
The strapless bridal gown really came into its own in the 80s when society and religion became more permissive. But it wasn't in fact a new trend, it was just the explosion of a much older one. It was born in the 1950s when brides no long felt that they had to cover up quite so much 
 
The trend started slowly in the 1950s for the most daring brides who usually opted for some form of sleeve or overlay. However by the 1980s it was a major influence 
 
 
 
The spaghetti strap wedding dress is quite a bold choice but brilliant bridal wear for beach weddings 
Not if you're a royal bride of course, as the Queen is not keen on bare shoulders. But for those of us marrying on exotic sandy shores the spaghetti strap is very much on the menu  
 
A gorgeous example of the simplicity of the spaghetti strap was Cindy Crawford's bridal gown when she married on Paradise Island in the Bahamas in 1998 
Will a princess line bridal gown suit you? 
Choosing the right shape of wedding dress for you is a daunting task. Choose the correct shape and you'll have your guests gasping in delight. The wrong shape and at best it will go down like a lead balloon. The princess line bridal gown is a popular shape due to its very forgiving nature. Bridal wear should always flatter and this type of wedding dress rarely fails to please.  
 
This style of wedding dress was first created for Princess Alexandra of Denmark. At the tender age of 16 she was chosen to marry Queen Victoria's son, Albert Edward. He later became Edward VII..... 
 
 
Did you know that Queen Victoria was an influencer of her day? On her wedding day she wore a white gown, something that was not popular at the time. She teamed it with a white veil and orange blossom wreath 
Of course there was no social media and it wasn't televised but word still got around through fashion magazines and newspapers. Soon the previously fashionable silver for bridal gowns was no more and a new tradition, the white wedding dress was born 
 
Although white fabric remained a staple, the elements of bridal attire remained subject to fashionable change. Queen Victoria patronised Honiton lace and many wealthy brides followed this trend and deep flounces of Honiton lace were not uncommon, often paired with Honiton lace veils and a floral wreath 
 
Flowergirl outfits of the day tended to be ornate. Flowergirls were often seen in a dress and jacket, trimmed with swansdown, to which were added scarves, sashes and bonnets - a veritable smorgasbord of frills and furbelows. Or, put another way, more in the 19th century, was definitely more 
 
Nic 
XX  
 
 
 
Come and visit me at the Hatfield House wedding show on 24th March 2019. Find out more about this ancient stately home below... 
The handsome jacobean Hatfield House and garden was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury. Impressively its been in the ownership of the Cecil family ever since and is currently the home of the 7th Marquess 
 
 
It will be fascinating to see what London Bridal Fashion Week and White Gallery will be showcasing this spring. Read on to find out what's predicted for 2019  
I'm pleased to say that embellishment, including floral appliques, are hot, hot, hot. If you came to the recent wedding show at Chelsea Old Town Hall you will recognise the bridal gown I was showing (shown with 'Elowen' flower girl dress). This stylish one-shoulder dress featured a gorgeous floral applique by Platinum Bridal Fabrics 
 
Continuing to be on trend are luxurious laces, illusion details and opulent beading. Brides are spoiled for choice. Conversely we are going to see more pared back, unadorned styles, ultra slinky and feminine. Megan Markle started that trend and what could be better than aligning one's self with royalty... 
Choosing a wedding dress can be a confusing task. Everyone will have an opinion on what will suit you..... 
Watch the second part of my series of videos on what skirt shapes suit which figure to find out whether an empire line style of dress will suit you. Grow in confidence that the dress you choose will truly be the dress of your dreams 
 
Nic 
XX 
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