Andrea Anastasiou, fashion stylist and owner, White, Toronto and White, Montréal, reveals tips on selecting a wedding dress for a destination wedding.
1) What advice or tips come to mind on selecting bridal gowns for destination weddings?
The most important thing to consider is the style of wedding you are having. There are many factors to consider: the setting, the temperature, and the overall feeling of the type of wedding you want to have. A gown must reflect your sense of style first, and then be appropriate for your setting. You want to look at gowns that will require as little up keep and maintenance as possible, once you get to your destination. You want to avoid any added stress to the planning – hopefully, you choose a destination wedding for its romantic abandon, to keep it simple, and enjoy yourself!
2) Is it important to consider where the ceremony will take place – such as if it’s on a beach?
Yes it is important. You want to pick dresses that are made of fabrics that are light and airy. If you are heading to a warm or hot climate, you want something that has movement to keep you comfortable, and that can handle being dragged through the sand and still looks great!
Whether you opt for a light-as-air beach ballgown from Monique Lhuillier (style referenced: Severine) made of layers of tulle, or a sexy, barely-there, open-back dress (style referenced: Gala by Galia Lahav), there are so many wonderful options for destinations weddings. Designers are really considering that modern brides are putting together celebrations that require ease and effortlessness when it come to their destination weddings, but they do not want to compromise their sense of style. Brides still want to wow their guests and truly have their moment!
3) What’s important for brides to keep in mind when choosing a dress for warmer climates such as Mexico and the Caribbean? Are any fabrics, lengths, etc., better than others?
Whatever you choose – keep it light! Make it easy to travel with your gown of choice… keep the fabric textured, beaded gowns are great for travel and forgiving! Lace is a wonderful fabric to travel (style referenced: Berta Collection, see top photo) with as well, whereas a 100% silk satin bias-cut column gown will need some major touching up after travel, light silks wrinkle like linen! Sometimes going that route is just not worth it.
You may even want to consider dresses that have some synthetic in them – whether it’s stretch or in the weave, structure gowns with stretch keep their shape and have minimal wrinkles so they travel like a dream! (style referenced: Berta Collection, see below). You may not want to be fussing or worrying about the state of your gown so many miles from home.
4) Do you have any other tips to share on the topic?
Many of my clients stress over wrinkles on their gowns. Therefore, this is what I suggest brides do once they arrive at their wedding destination:
When you get your gown to your hotel, unpack it and let it hang overnight. If you can still notice wrinkles the following day, put the hot water on full blast in the bathroom and close the door. Let the room steam up, and hang your gown on the back of the door for about a half hour or 20 minutes. The steam should dampen the fabric enough to allow you to smooth out any wrinkles with clean hands – and have it be wedding-day ready! I am fearful about allowing the hotel to “TOUCH UP” or press your gown for you. I always mention to girls – I would rather you have a small wrinkle (that any photographer can get rid of with photoshop these days!) than a burn mark. Most brides always laugh in agreement!
Also – always be at the gate early to speak to steward about accommodating your gown on the flight. If you get to the gate early, let the airline know you are travelling with your wedding gown and ask if you can hang it in first class, or perhaps be able to take over an entire overhead compartment! Plan ahead, and have your gown travel well while it’s in the air!