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The BEST Bridal Outfits for Every Stage of Your Wedding

If you’re tying the knot in 2023, there’s a good chance your celebrations won’t be limited to the big day alone. Whether you’re planning a wedding ceremony that’s chic and intimate or an all-out party with a guest list to match, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun with bridal style both on your wedding and in the lead-up. From engagement party ensembles to wedding dress ideas, here’s what to wear at every stage of being a bride.

The Engagement Party

You may be feeling the butterflies on your first event as a bride-to-be, so aim to strike a relaxed style note. Off-white suits from The Mannei, Studio Amelia, BITE Studios and more make for chic, cosmopolitan style without restricting you to the typical bridal genre – meaning you’ll be free to re-wear the outfit post-wedding, too. If suiting’s not your thing, smart-casual midi dresses are equally understated yet elegant. Try pairing with a colourful shoe or clutch bag rather than going head-to-toe white, if you want to take it down a notch. These outfit formulas work perfectly, too, for smaller, town-hall style weddings – or for a whirlwind elopement.

Tweed jackets have long been synonymous with sophistication, prestige and opulence, so it's only right that Giambattista Valli – a brand famed for its ultra-feminine fits – has its take on the iconic silhouette. Sure to lend a touch of textural intrigue to your ensembles, this soft ivory rendition is cut to the midriff and styled with cropped sleeves for a more contemporary look and feel.

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Alexandre Vautheir's eponymous label is renowned for its commitment to precision and sensuality in equal measure. The label presents this plunge dress, characterised by the prominent shoulders and centralised draping – both signatures of the House – that are all drawn together by the crystal-embellished ring detail for a balanced silhouette that's made only for the finest events.

The Hen-Do

Here’s your opportunity to really have fun. While traditional bridalwear may call for Grace Kelly levels of poise, the so-called ‘last night of freedom’ invites something a little more daring. Put your faith in professional partiers such as The Attico, No Pise La Grama, 16Arlington, Area NYC and more, whose white hen-do dresses offer an abundance of feather trims, crystal embellishments, fabulous fringing and thigh-skimming hemlines.

The Attico seamlessly blends tailoring with a contemporary love for dressing up with the Silvye dress. Realised in a simple yet bold neutral fabric, the dress is balanced out through the sharp point collar and angled hemline.

Cult Gaia doesn’t simply create clothes, it creates objets d'art. That’s why each of the label’s designs has a personality of its own, with the Ashlyn dress exuding nothing but party-ready charm thanks to its feathered profile. Note how each feather is carefully placed so as to always sit facing upwards, ensuring attention-grabbing volume and effortless movement.

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Getting Ready

Some think of the wedding morning as just the staging area, but these are precious moments to share with your closest friends and family. Countless glam sessions with them have led to this moment – attention must be paid. Look the part in time for the photographer’s arrival in Sleeper’s signature party PJs or Morgan Lane and Loretta Caponi’s vintage-style sets with their ‘something blue’ motifs and bows; elsewhere, smooth silks from the likes of Carine Gilson and Olivia von Halle will be enough to soothe any pre-wedding jitters.

The Ceremony

The pièce de résistance – your wedding gown. No two brides are the same, and with the myriad options out there, choosing a wedding dress can feel daunting. The most important thing to remember is to remain true to your personal style. Wear a piece that makes you feel like the best version of yourself, whether it’s head-to-toe embellishment, a slinky silken number or a chic and structured silhouette. Mikael D’s beautifully adorned gowns make for the ultimate entrance, while Halfpenny London leans more traditional in style, and Roksanda’s alternative bridalwear is perfectly understated.

Woman wearing a white wedding dress and veil

The Fiona gown from ROKSANDA is the perfect representation of the label’s ladylike silhouettes with a modern spin. Crafted from lustrous silk, the longline profile features a draped bodice that gathers at the waist for a defined look. Bringing an ultra-feminine touch to your eveningwear collection, this number is bound to become a staple.How to wear Harrods: Style with heeled sandals and a clutch bag.

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If you’re seeking a life filled with beauty, the Arrival gown from Maticevski is an excellent place to start. Sculptural elegance meets effortless detailing on this sleek silhouette – note how it’s complete with oversized ruffles and a zip-up thigh-high split.How to wear Harrods: Style with heeled mules and a top-handle bag.

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The Reception

Now comes the party. As your guests make their way to the dance floor, this is the time to slip into something a little more ‘evening’ in tone and aesthetic. If you can’t do an outfit change on your wedding day, when can you? Opt for a clean silhouette with freedom of movement, so you can concentrate on having fun – rather than who’s stepping on your train – and lean into the celebratory spirit with mirrorball embellishments.

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