Wedding season is here and after the last couple of years of restrictions it seems that weddings are now back in full swing. With a never-ending stream of invites the panic may be real! So ESP's style advisor Karen Miller has rounded up some tips to help you before you hit the shops and provide some inspiration in your search for the perfect wedding outfit.

Do you need a whole new outfit?

This may seem like an obvious point, but before you embark on shopping for your wedding outfit, decide if you need to go shopping at all. Are there items in your wardrobe that can be adapted to keep the cost of your outfit to a minimum by wearing them with updated accessories?

If you decide on an outfit that you already have, ensure that it still fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t quite fit, take it to be altered, a good tailor or dress maker will be able to alter it to look like new. If you have decided on a new outfit ensure that you have in mind what you’re prepared to spend including shoes and accessories and also think about what type of wedding it is that you’ve been invited to, is there a particular theme i.e. vintage or glam.



Where to shop

One of the worst times to be wearing the same outfit as someone else is at a wedding. If your budget dictates that you’re buying from the high-street then being more creative with your outfit will help you adapt it if another guest happens to be wearing the same.

Separates can be a good way of avoiding this happening or if you’re wearing a jumpsuit, dress or suit ensure that you can switch it up with your accessories. Avoiding statement prints off the high street is also a good idea if you’re concerned someone else maybe wearing the same outfit.

One of the questions I often get asked is where to buy ‘Mother of the Bride’ outfits, this is nearly as important as the bride’s dress!

For high street brands I recommend, Phase eight, Reiss, The Fold and LK Bennett. However for a slightly higher price point and a more exclusive design small boutiques and designers who specialise in weddings are also a great place to start.

Anne Furbank has some lovely outfits from a range of designers, www.annefurbank.co.uk and Matches and Net a Porter have an extensive range of outfits for both wedding guests and bridal,www.net-a-porter.com and www.matchesfashion.com/bridal stocking brands such as Zimmerman, Self Portrait, Emilia Wickstead and many others.

Lavish Alice

Cho Chi London: £70


One of the easiest ways to minimise wearing the chances of having the same outfit as another guest is to buy something that is pre-loved. Local to Peterborough, Circles in Yaxley has some amazing designer outfits, particularly for mother of the bride as well as a superb collection of hats and accessories, www.circlesofyaxley.com.

Another amazing find for actual wedding dresses is Lily Rose Bridal Boutique in Peterborough. They specialise in affordable, ex sample, vintage, pre-loved as well as brand new bridal dresses and accessories, www.lilyrose-bridal.co.uk.

A range of affordable pre-loved, ex sample and vintage bridal dresses are available from Lily Rose Bridal, 20 Culley Court, Peterborough, PE2 6WA

Can you wear black to a wedding?

This can be a tricky one, it used to be considered inappropriate to wear black to a wedding, however, it now tends to be more about how you wear it rather than not wearing it at all. Make sure you add colour through your accessories, hats, wraps, shoes and bags and a more colourful shade can be added to a black or dark coloured outfit.

Forever Unique: £120


As with any occasion accessories are a fabulous way of making your look more individual to you. If your style is more quirky, take the opportunity to add creative touches from vintage shops or individual boutiques.

Ensure that any jewellery compliments your body shape and draws attention to your best features. If your style and outfit is more glam then take the opportunity to add some glitz with fake fur or sparkle, embellished shoes are huge this season and cater perfectly to weddings and occasion wear.

Hair and Makeup

Finally, hair and makeup are the finishing touches to any outfit at any time, immaculate grooming makes a huge difference to the overall appearance. If you’re wearing a hat or fascinator, make sure that your hairstyle compliments the style of either. Also remember that makeup translates differently on camera, which is why some people look very different in pictures to how they look in person.

I’d always recommend having your makeup done professionally, however if you are doing your makeup yourself, a good tip is to have a practice before the day and take a picture either on your phone or get someone to take it for you, this will show you if you need to add or take away or even change the colours slightly to make sure it compliments what you are wearing and looks fabulous on camera.

Karen Miller