Say No To The Dress: Bridal Separates
Wedding dress shopping is an über daunting task, with high emotions, high expectations, and high spirits. Regardless of whether you've built it up in your head for years, someone else will certainly have done on your behalf, and so it can feel like there's certain boxes you have to tick to say you've found "The One". You may think that your mum has to burst into tears as soon as she sees it, you may think you need to look the image of a Princess for it to have legitimacy, or you may think you need a brand-new never-before-tried design. Inexplicably, we often end up in wedding dresses that are miles away from anything we'd ever usually wear; whilst there is merit in this - it's a special day and (hopefully!) you'll only get the chance once, so you may as well take it whilst you can - it can also be a bad idea. If you wouldn't be comfortable in it on a normal day, why would you want to wear it on one of the most important days of your life?
Your wedding outfit should always be a reflection of yourself, and make you feel your best. If this is a giant meringue the size of which only Laduree could dream of and an incredible amount of sparkle, then you do you and look FABULOUS whilst you're at it. But if it's not you, don't worry - there are some lesser trodden paths that are no less fabulous but a lot more you. If you're a bride who doesn't want to wear a dress, one of your options is bridal separates.
BRIDAL SEPARATES? you might scream, in the same way that Peter Kay questions Duffy begging him for BIRDSEED? What might they be? Well, they're as they say: a bridal outfit that's composed of separate pieces. Most often, this is a top and a skirt, but not always - it can be a top and shorts or trousers too. They look uber chic, are super comfortable, and they also allow for mixing and matching, meaning you can build your dream wedding outfit piece-by-piece. They're perfect for brides who want something slightly more relaxed, or simultaneously brides who want something slightly more sartorial and tailored. And don't worry, they don't look like you've just chucked a top and trousers on - bridal separates are still crafted from the most sumptuous fabrics by expert and experienced crafters.
If you still can't get your head around it - don't say yes to the dress, say yurrrrrs to a top and a skirt - we've compiled a list of the most beautiful separates to show you the best in the biz.
The Harlow is a masterclass in bridal simplicity - clean lines and effortless cuts affording a complete blank canvas for styling. Alexandra Grecco's designs all feature gorgeous soft silhouettes, making the Harlow a classic and timeless choice. Alexandra Grecco is in store at Ghost Orchid Bride in Hessle right now - get in there!
Rime Arodaky's trademark style of rock n roll chic with a feminine edge culminates beautifully in the Caplan and Pennington set. Featuring a heavily detailed lace back and the most dramatic and incredible skirt ever, it cinches in at the waist to show off a gorgeous figure (as well as the new ring on your finger!). Rime Arodaky is exclusively stocked at The Mews Bridal in the UK, where there's also more bridal separates to ooh and aah over.
House of Ollichon
House of Ollichon are officially dressless! Not in a naked kind of way, but in a no-dress-zone kind of way. Tops and skirts, trouser combos and jumpsuits are all in abundance, but no dresses. The genius behind the brand, Hannah, struggled to find an outfit for her own wedding, which was an uber cool city affair hosted in a town hall and then a pub. The dresses that were available just didn't seem very right, and they didn't seem very her - and so House of Ollichon was born. We especially adore the Stevenson (above) with an edgy cut-out detail and athletic figure. The clean, graphic lines are bold and beautiful, finished off with delicate and traditional lace to give the skirt a gorgeous shape and structure.
Belle & Bunty
Belle & Bunty designs are fun, flirty, and feminine, drawing on vintage inspiration to produce inimitably modern pieces. We adore the Flossie Top and Petal Skirt above, with divine draping detail, a soft statement back, and a beautifully flowing skirt. The fabrics are to die for, too, making it an incredibly comfortable choice - perfect for dancing, hugging, drinking and schmoozing well into the early hours...
YES TO WEARING A CROP TOP TO YOUR WEDDING. This Lolita two piece from Luna Organic's bridal range is mind-blowing; soft scalloped eyelash lace and bamboo silk create this stunning silhouette. Like a gorgeous second skin, this dress is not only exceptional, but is also ethically sourced and made. Slinky and sophisticated, it's an absolute winner!
So, now we've separated the wheat from the chaff - what do you think? Bridal separates can still look traditional, effortless and sophisticated, whilst above all making you feel your absolute best, but without making you feel uncomfortable. We love them!