Should You Wear A Veil? by Katrine Mikkelsen

Whether you have visions of yourself walking down the aisle dressed like Maria aka Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music or you fancy yourself as a more relaxed, informal bride á la Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, choosing a veil (or not to wear a veil) is a minefield!

Some strongly feminist brides take real issue with wearing a veil because of the tradition’s history. It certainly screams bride the second you put one on but are you comfortable with the fact that it is rooted in Ancient Greek and Roman beliefs which felt that wearing a veil was important for a bride in order to protect her from evil spirits? There’s also the issue that it helped to disguise the appearance of the bride during arranged marriage ceremonies when the bride and groom were meeting for the first time at the altar after the ‘I Dos’, making it too late for the groom to back out if the bride wasn’t floating his Lordship’s boat after the big reveal! 

If you decide that, for you, wearing a veil is a vital aspect of being a bride, then you next have to decide what sort of veil you want to wear. Most importantly, the veil needs to compliment your wedding dress but I’ve written a helpful list of tips to guide you through this challenging area.

Length

 

 The first thing to do is to choose your length. From birdcage to cathedral length, there’s so much choice! Cathedral length veils are all about glamour and drama. They are the epitome of fairytale princess bride, think Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey. They can be anything from 7ft long to an awe-inspiring 20 foot long! The excellent thing about cathedral length veil is that they work with any wedding dress. 

If a Cathedral length veil is too ostentatious for you and you’d prefer something less cumbersome, then a Ballet length veil might be just the ticket. They usually finish somewhere between your fingertips and just above the ground. Like a cathedral length veil, a ballet length veil works with the majority of wedding dresses.

Floor length, or Chapel length as they are sometimes called, add a soft flush of romance to your bridal look without the stress of needing someone to monitor your veil for potential slips, trips or falls. Falling to the floor and sometimes a couple of inches more, the chapel length veil is an excellent choice as it combines the drama of the cathedral length veil with the convenience of a shorter veil. It works perfectly with a wide variety of dresses.

Fingertip length veils brush softly against your skin anywhere from your elbows to your fingertips. It is famed for being the most flattering length veil for any body shape as it lengthens your body. Its length is also excellent for highlighting your gown. 

A Blusher or Birdcage veil is normally a single layer of tulle or net which graces just your face. The tradition evolves from the ‘unveiling’ of the bride after the marriage ceremony when, in an arranged marriage, the groom would be permitted to see his wife for the first time. Now, this is simple fashion forward idea can add either a dash of delicate fairy mystery or creates a strong, sassy retro look.

 Bling, Lace and Ribbons

Adornments of any type need to be kept firmly away from any razzle dazzle on your dress so that the look isn’t too fussy and the two designs are competing with each other. Of course, if you have a really simple, plain dress you can go as wild as you want with your veil. Ribbon running across the bottom of your veil can look stunning and very ‘50s, however some people feel that it has a tendency to make you look shorted buy slicing you through the middle with its white or creamy horizontal edge.

If you have sequins, appliqué, lace or beads on your dress, don’t worry! Your veil does not have to match your dress. They only need to flatter each other. The same can be said of the trend towards antique veils. If you have elected to wear a family heirloom, don’t get it dyed! You not only run the risk of ruining the veil, it’s also surely not the point of wearing your utterly unique piece of fashion history?

Think About The Pics

Crystals reflect the light better than rhinestones, which have a tendency to look like black spots in wedding pics because of their sharp outline. 

Check how you look from every angle for the best photos. Make sure your veil shows off as much, or as little as you want of your outfit. Speak to me about this for some more ideas!

Free to Shake Your Booty

Many brides wait until after the first dance before removing their veil because you do run the slight risk of altering your perfectly styled hair. You can have it attached to a comb so that it slides easily out of your hair leaving you free to shake your booty on the dance floor after your romantic first whirl around the dance floor with your dashing new husband.

 

X Katrine

Are You A Kim Kardashian or An Audrey Hepburn? How To Spot Your Silhouette by Katrine Mikkelsen

In my head, when I’m rocking a cigarette pant on a Monday morning on my way to work, I’m totally Audrey Hepburn and when I’m strutting my stuff on a Saturday night in a bodycon dress and heels, I think I’m Kim Kardashian. In reality, I’m more like something in between Kim Kardashian and Audrey Hepburn. Identifying your silhouette is crucial to choosing, or designing, your wedding dress. 

Once you’ve decided on the tone or mood of your wedding, for example, formal, elegant and sophisticated or cute, casual, ditsy vintage tea party, then it’s time to jump into the fluffy, frilly, lacy world of wedding gowns! You want something utterly flattering for your body shape, something which highlights your best assets and skims over anything you want to conceal. This week’s article will show you how to spot your silhouette! I’ve drawn some sketches of designs you might want to look at when you come in! 

 

1. If you’re hourglass or pear-shaped

Aren’t you a lucky woman?! You have the most coveted body type going. For you, an A-Line shaped dress, which flares out from your naturally tiny waist down to the floor will perfectly showcase your stunningly small middle, bursting away from your curvaceous hips and thighs. A thick, structured fabric like duchesse satin or taffeta will be particularly flattering on you as they’ll skim past any areas you don’t want fabric clinging to. If you have a really dainty, slim upper body then spaghetti straps or a V-neckline bodice will highlight how slender you are. When dressing for the tone and mood of your wedding, a classic A-line shape suits a more formal wedding, especially when made out of the stiffer taffeta group of fabrics, if your wedding is a more relaxed celebration then the silhouette also lends itself beautifully to being made out of more casual materials like eyelet lace or raw-silk shantung. 

2. If you’re busty

Dresses with scooped necklines will draw attention up to your face by displaying your décolletage instead of highlighting your cleavage. If you have visions of yourself swirling around the dance floor in a strapless dress then choose one with a sweetheart neckline, or a slight tuck or split in the neckline as a strapless dress which goes straight across your torso will make your bust look even larger and might even create the appearance of the dreaded boob shelf! Try to avoid dresses with a sheen like organza, satin or silk, as well as ruched fabrics, on the bodice too as this will draw even more attention to your chest.

 

 

3. If you’re plus-size

Empire dresses, where the skirt of the dress begins directly under the bust line,flowing softly and gradually to the floor in a relaxed A-line, will flatter and elongate your body. Try to avoid pleated fabric, which is very similar to maternity wear as well as the waist line starting on the chest, as it has a tendency to be clingy. The dress should be perfectly structured to your body, supporting your figure in the most flattering way. If it is too loose, it has an unfortunate tendency to add pounds. Structured, stiff materials like satin and taffeta, rather than anything looselike chiffon, will help to support your body. However, if you wanted a more romantic bohemian look to your day then you can add an embroidered tulle overlay on top of a stiffer base to create your perfect look. 

 

4. If you’re apple-shaped

If you carry all of your weight around the middle, or just don’t have a well defined waist, then a dress which pulls you in at the waist before flaring out into a soft A-shape will flatter your body by creating the illusion of feminine curves. When choosing your bodice, lots of texture will camouflage anything you want to conceal. A tight fitting bodice will work, like a corset, to cinch in your waist at the smallest point. A deep V neckline will draw the eye upwards vertically lengthening your torso, which is extremely flattering. Trumpet dresses are to be avoided as they will emphasize the widest parts of your body and will cover you up where you are at your most slender.

5. If you’re tall

A simple silhouette will emphasize your natural shape, but bear in mind that you will need to reflect your longer proportions by having a lower waistline, a floor-sweeping hem and if you’re wearing long sleeves, they should finish after the wrist. You want to avoid looking like you’ve borrowed someone else’s dress! Keep it simple with the finer details too, let your statuesque beauty speak for itself. You don’t need frills, ruffles and heavy beading; you’re an Amazonian goddess!

6. If you’re athletic with a straight up and down shape

Creating curves is easier than you might think! A sheath dress made from a light, floaty fabric, such as charmeuse, which has been cut on the bias, with the curving side seam on the hip, will give you a silhouette that even Kim Kardashian would envy! Alternatively a ball gown dress cinching you in at your smallest point before exploding into a beautiful full, floor-length skirt will show off how slender you are and will create the illusion of full hips. If you have a small bust then you can create the illusion of a generous bosom with some ruching or lots of detail on the bodice. 

7. If you’re petite

Creating the illusion of height is probably one of the trickier illusions to pull off when dressing a bride for her big day, however it is possible! Trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line gowns where the waistline sits just above your natural waist will make the lower half of your body appear longer. You’re not limited in the least by types of fabric. You have complete free reign! You could even pull off the shiniest, high sheen fabrics. The only thing to approach with caution is the detailing. Try to keep that petite, you don’t want to look swamped by a huge bow! Another simple tip to make you look taller is to keep most of the detail on the bodice. This will help to draw the eye upward by elongating your body.  The most flattering dresses for people who are short and sweet are full length and cut at the smallest point of your natural waist. Dresses with dropped waists will make you look shorter by making your legs look smaller. You could easily get lost in an enormous princess style ball gown so keep it sleek or A-line if possible. If you’re having a very casual, informal wedding, or maybe this is your second wedding, also try to avoid a dress where the hem hits you on your calf as this too can make your legs look shorter than they really are.

8. If you’re small chested

It is so easy to create the illusion of a generous bust. Rather than being reliant on chicken fillets in your bra on your big day (not so romantic later on in the evening, when you want to consummate your marriage!) try a ruched bodice. The extra fabric up will add depth to your bust area and will creating extra curves. You could also have extra padding sewn into the bust of your dress! We always recommend investing in a brilliant bra and pants set before your big day. It helps when choosing your dress and of course, you want some lovely lingerie for the main event. A bra with adhesive silicone cups, like those made by NuBra, is much more effective than rubber chicken fillets of old!

Living Up To The Dream – Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Dress by Katrine Mikkelsen

Dear all future brides to be! 

We know that there can be a lot of pressure on you to nail your wedding dress. It’s meant to be something that is totally you, but also the best version of you … and also suitable for the elderly, often conservative relatives without being considered frumpy by your friends.  You’ve also got decide on what your vision is for your day. Are you having a modern minimalist contemporary urban wedding or a modern minimalist contemporary sophisticated wedding? The choices are endless.

Of course the primary difficulty of choosing a wedding dress that has to be completely you, is that wedding dresses are not YOU! You don’t live in floor length tulle and lace nor do you float around the office in a cloud of chiffon and you certainly don’t mop the kitchen floor whilst wearing a diamantéencrusted veil. Well, I don’t anyway and I’m surrounded by these gorgeous dresses every day. Admittedly the temptation to do that is sometimes hard to resist. So if you see me in Waitrose wearing a satin bolero and a white fur muff you’ll know I finally caved. 

Because we know how hard it can be to pick the dress for your Big Day, we’ve put together this hopefully helpful guide to ensure that you make Great Aunt Hilda happy, but mainly you!

 

1. Try on as many dresses as you need to

This is so important, even if you’re having a wedding dress specially made by me. Trying on as many dresses as possible will help you to work out what you don’t like, what you really don’t want and ultimately what is essential for you. At Katrine Mikkelsen London you don’t go and buy a finished wedding dress. This is why it’s important that you’ve tried on different wedding dresses before you decide on your design. So you know that the idea of the perfect wedding dress fits reality. It’ll also help you to find your silhouette if you’re still not sure what suits your body best.

 

2. Focus on silhouette

This is really the starting point. Once you’ve sorted out what shape your ideal dress is, you can then set about the finer details, such as fabrics, embroidery, straps or sleeves, buttons and ruffles. One easy way to choose your most flattering silhouette is to work out what your best-loved assets are and if there is anything you wish to conceal. I have sketched all sorts of examples of elegant and feminine silhouettes so if you’re still doubting which silhouette fits your body type best then please do feel free to ask me and I’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction!

 

3. Wear a luxurious bra and pants set to your fittings

Such a simple thing but so effective! No doubt you won’t be wearing your once-white-now-grey saggy knickers with the elastic coming off the waistband on the day, so why wear them to your dress fitting? Putting the right bra and pants on will help to streamline your body (even if you’re a size 6) so that the dresses fit smoothly on top without any visible lumps and bumps detracting from your vision. Try to wear the same undergarments to each fitting so that you know what shape the dress is making your body as compared to your bra and knickers.

 

4. Design your wedding dress to suit your wedding day

As much as I love The Great Gatsby and 1920s Flapper dresses, wearing a dress like that to a rustic wedding in a barn where the catering will include ribs and corn on the cob would look rather peculiar! Knowing the place, time and mood of your wedding will help focus your search. My advice is simple; make sure your wedding dress fits your wedding day, season and location.

 

5. Design and details

This is where it gets exciting because when you’re having your wedding dress specially made all options are open. Every decision is up to you and I’ll always be at your service if needed because having to make all of these decisions yourself can sometimes be quite overwhelming and stressful.

Enjoy designing your dream wedding dress. I’ll always be at your service and I will make sure that youget the exact wedding dress to fit your body and soul! … and just take Great Aunt Hilda out for a cream tea to butter her up if she’s still not sure about your dress. It is your day after all!