Life is a catwalk: Dress to impress as a wedding belle

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THEY say choosing your wedding dress is one of the most stressful things about getting hitched, but bear a thought for the guests, they also have a tricky job.

I am normally an organised person, but recently I became Mrs-Headless-Chicken when I struggled to find an outfit to wear to a very dear friend’s big day. As a wedding guest there are two outfit rules: dress appropriately and don’t upstage the bride.

With absolutely no risk of me upstaging the bride, who is, hands-down, the most glamorous person I know, I just had to dress appropriately. Appropriately can mean many different things – a beach ceremony may call for a flowing dress and bare feet, or a black tie wedding may require a cocktail dress. If the day has a particular theme it should say so on your invite, but most weddings in this country don’t have a strict dress code, which is where the dilemma starts.

For my glam friend’s wedding I bought a total of three different dresses. The first was too short, the second was too uncomfortable, the third just right. Then panic struck as my dress broke another, unspoken, wedding guest rule, it was the same colour as the bridesmaids’. I placed a quick call to the bride to ask permission to break this rule, as the bridesmaids were, quite unusually, and very chicly, wearing black. Thankfully my dress was a totally different style, plus when worn with a few quirky accessories, it was obvious I was a guest.

If you too find yourself in a similar position, a neutral coloured, classic around knee-length dress, with a fascinator, will do the trick for most services. If in doubt, ask a member of the wedding party, such as the maid of honour or even the bride herself, for guidance. Oh and play it safe, avoid big white dresses at all costs, or you could turn any reasonable-minded friend into a bridezilla.....

Caption: Illustration by Lizzie Bailes visit for more info.

Alex Gardner is the senior features writer for Style Magazine Buckinghamshire.

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