Bridal Style: 4 Ideas for the Perfect Dress

Ever wish you had a professional stylist to make you look perfect for your big day?  Well, today you do!  LA fashion stylist Catherine Sheppard of The Life Styled not only does styling for fashion shoots and private closets but is a go-to source for brides across the country (plus her chic style blog is an HAP favorite!).

Find out what type of bride you are and check out her pro picks for the perfect wedding ensemble:

No matter what kind of wedding you’re planning, your bridal ensemble is undeniably one of the most monumental parts of expressing your style. With all eyes on you, you want to feel like you’re not only capturing the perfect vibe of this special event you’ve worked so hard on, but also representing your authentic everyday self. There are countless ways to express yourself on your wedding day. Here are a few ideas from which to draw inspiration this wedding season.

Black Tie Glam Bride

Gowns by Romona Keveza, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta

Some brides just like to pull out all the stops. Whether or not there’s an actual red carpet at the wedding, she wants to make an entrance that oozes sleekness and sophistication. The fanciest of black tie weddings call for a gown that causes a mass gasp as the bride saunters down the aisle, like these Oscar worthy theatrical dresses. When it comes to accessories, the more sparkle the better (which is why I usually recommend girls check out for their accessory choices). When else could you wear shoes covered in crystals?

Lanvin Ostrich Feather Trimmed Veil, Christian Louboutin Shoes, Che Bella Clutch, Brass Paperclip Vintage Hanky, Bloomingdales Earrings, Vintage Cartier Watch

Garden Party Bride

Gowns by Melissa Sweet, J. Crew, Priscilla of Boston

There’s a certain level of old world class that comes to mind with a garden party wedding, like that of the Gatsby parties I always wish I could be invited to. While it’s a classic and elegant wedding style, it also has the feeling of a comforting backyard party where you can take your shoes off and walk in the grass barefoot. Floral embellishments make the perfect details to any garden wedding, while some may have a little fun with an Alice in Wonderlandlike touch, such as a black and white grosgrain garter. I have always loved the Priscilla of Boston linen and lace mermaid gown which reminds me of the vintage table linens you might find at a garden tea party.

Clockwise from Left: Londonxox Hairpiece, Nelle Flutter Clutch, Liliswan Vintage Earrings, Pink Frosting Parasol, Badgley Mischka shoes, Garter Lady garter

Cool Girl Bride

Gowns by Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang, Reverie by Melissa Sweet

Who I like to call the “Cool Girl” bride doesn’t follow the pre-set traditions of weddings. She makes her own rules, and doesn’t look back. She shies away from things like the white-from-head-t0-toe rule. This bride likes to look outside the box and bring in some touches that aren’t specifically made for weddings, and therefore can be worn in her post-nuptials life. She may opt for a vintage inspired gown, or a more unexpected dress, like many of Vera Wang’s avant garde designs.

Clockwise from left: TianaChe Bolero, Badgley Mischka Earrings, L’Atelier Couture Birdcage Veil, Pomp and Plumage Marie Antoinette Garter, Nelle Tuxedo Cherub Clutch, Kate Spade Shoes

Beach Escape Bride

Gowns by Anne Barge, Vineyard Collection, Rivini

The beach escape bride choses a beach wedding for a reason – to escape. She doesn’t want all the same traditions and responsibilities of the typical wedding, and her bridal fashion should reflect that. She’ll be most comfortable in a breezy, flowy dress that won’t look out of place on the sandy beach, with an umbrella drink in hand. Accessories are inspired by elements of the ocean, like a funky glass necklace, aquamarine shoes, and of course the perfect pair of shades.

Clockwise from left: Little White Dresser Greek Goddess Headband, Penny Larsen Necklace, J. Crew Silk Cashmere Wrap, Topshop Sunglasses, Martinez Valero Shoes

For more wedding looks from Catherine, check out her post on Elemental Weddings!



Filed under Weddings

6 responses to “Bridal Style: 4 Ideas for the Perfect Dress

  1. Pingback: Bridal Style on Haute Apple Pie «

  2. Jamieson

    Love these ideas! But do you have any tips for the bride on a budget who still wants to look glamorous?

    Can you put a look together for under $2000?

    • Absolutely! In fact, 3 of the gowns featured in this post are under $2000. The J. Crew chiffon is under $1,000 – a great deal for a gorgeous dress. A slew of the accessories are from fabulous designers for affordable prices on Etsy (my personal favorite place to shop for innovative wedding stuff), and we’ve even got some Topshop in there.

      As for the drool inducing pieces that are a little out of reach… there’s always a similar more affordable option for almost everything. You just have to know what you want, and dig for it. Try Ebay,, vintage shops, and your local bridal boutiques which carry more affordable gowns inspired by the runway. You can also shop sample sales at designer boutiques, who sell certain gowns off the floor for significantly discounted prices, and watch for trunk shows where they offer special sales on the newest designs.

  3. Pingback: Bridal Beauty: 4 Ideas for the Perfect Look «

  4. Christine

    Great job Catherine! I love everything on here. You are so good at putting together the absolute perfect look!

  5. Great looks! Was surprised and delighted to find my hankie in there…thanks for including me. I’m honored. 🙂

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