Here comes the bride

You might think that it is just a little early to talk weddings but there is no time like the present to get ready for being a bride or a guest. In the last three years I have been to nearly 20 weddings, all of which were great fun. But having an outfit ready for each and every one was just a little bit of a challenge.

The key is to recycle; wear the same dress twice — it’s OK! You can mix and match accessories, like shoes and hats, to change the look. It is just about getting the foundation right, and starting with what is most important — do you want to wear separates or a dress?

If you are the bride, buying a dress can be stressful as much as it is enjoyable. When I was shopping for my own dress, I found the experience difficult. What I thought would suit me simply did not, and I ended up with something a lot more simple than I had planned. Wedding dresses are so important, but there are a lot of options out there, especially from some stores which are very familiar to us.

The bride

There are some amazing bridal shops in this country, all of which are highly experienced to help you find the perfect look. If you are not looking to spend a lot of money on your gown, don’t worry, there are so many options available. Second hand dresses can be the perfect option, after all they have only been worn once. There are plenty of shops that sell second hand dresses, but one of my favourites from my research is online store discountdesigner.ie which sell second hand dresses, including designer gowns, for a fraction of the original price. This is definitely worth a look. You can also look to high street stores, such as Coast. Coast launches an exclusive bridal collection from the beginning of March. The collection is exclusive to its Dundrum store and is gorgeous, and every style is catered for, whether you like a long or short style. The collection is also available online (coast-stores.com ).

The mother of the bride or groom

When I went shopping with my mum for her outfit to wear to my wedding we wanted to find something special. We ended up with a dress and jacket option which is the most versatile style for any mother of the bride or groom, especially if we cannot guarantee that the day will be warm. Plus, you can wear the dress and jacket separately after the big day, making your investment worthwhile. Occasions Boutique in Galway is renowned for stocking a great selection of options and has recently taken on a new label, Pifer and Mayka, which has a lovely selection of colours and prints.

The guest

If you are like me and have been on the wedding circuit for the last while, and it shows no sign of stopping, then you have to be practical with your outfits. I have four weddings this year and I will buy one dress. And before you ask, the same guests will be at three of the four. So how will I get away with this? I plan on buying one classically cut dress, to which I can add different cardigans, blazers, shoes (sandals, Dune, €115 ) and fascinators to reinvent the dress for each occasion. My pick so far is from Niamh O’Neill, in the most beautiful shade of pink. This can be worn with black, cream, or different shades of pink for contrast (€350, niamhoneill.com ).

How will you style yours?

Lorna Claire Weightman

@styleisleIRL

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