Weddings: The death of style

Paula Joye

Last updated 11:49 14/10/2011
brides

GOOD TASTE: Why do so many bride-to-bes forget it?

brides
GOOD TASTE: Why do so many bride-to-bes forget it?

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Weddings

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OPINION: What the hell happens to a woman's sense of style when she becomes a bride? Seriously. Bride-to-Be is not code for makeover and yet many are choosing their wedding day as the ultimate transformation opportunity. It's natural to want to look your best, feel beautiful, even make other women jealous but when it comes to bridal wardrobes some women seem to lose their minds. I mean way.

I went to nuptials recently where this happened like I've never seen it happen before. The bride, who's a great looking woman with a fairly conservative style. completely lost her fashion mojo. I imagined she would have opted for a Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy type of wedding but I was unbelievably inaccurate.

She walked down the aisle wearing something that looked like it had come out of the costume archive from Gone With The Wind. The part where Scarlett O'Hara makes her dresses from curtains. The gown had a hoop skirt that was so big she couldn't actually fit between the pews of the church. There was tulle, bows, lace overlay, a red velvet sash, a tiara and veil to rival Princess Diana's and one of those cascading waterfall bouquets. This wasn't the worse part.

She decided to try out a whole new hair and make-up look too. Her usual understated glow was replaced with black liquid liner, red lipstick and ringlets. I think they were supposed to be "gentle waves" but she looked like the captain of the Good Ship Lollipop. She didn't rest there. Each of her SEVEN bridesmaids were dressed in red velvet puff-sleeve gowns (to match the sash) and forced to carry miniature hatboxes filled with white butterflies to release after the ceremony.

Help me understand this. I love a good makeover and believe that fashion can have life-changing effects on self-esteem but I can't comprehend why you would ever choose your wedding day as a dry run?

I've lost four hours of my life this week watching Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event (Foxtel, E!). I'm completely transfixed by those sisters and their commitment to make-up. Kim and Kris's wedding was an outrageous spectacle complete with a two million dollar ring, three Vera Wang gowns, custom scented candles and a 500 metre aisle. Yet despite its extravagance the bride still managed to look like herself. Kim on her wedding day didn't look that different to Kim going grocery shopping. I never thought I'd say this but KK is a fabulous example of how it should be done. Of all the days in your life, your wedding is the one where you want to look like yourself.

Two of the other most famous women in the world also got married this year and like Kim, managed to stay true to their style. Kate Moss looked as she always does - glamourous, bohemian and just a tiny bit disheveled. While Kate Middleton looked safe and lovely. Can't you just picture the Duchess nervously applying her own eyeliner? But despite these high profile examples every weekend women are turning up to the church dressed as their alter ego.

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Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (Foxtel, Lifestyle You) is a British documentary dedicated to this kind of insanity. Admittedly, the brides featured on the show aren't poster girls of chic to begin with but, week after week, they end up looking like Tim Burton made their frocks. The episode in which the bride wears a wedding dress covered in flashing, fairy lights is on a whole other level. She had a generator sewn into the bodice, which malfunctioned and caught fire during the reception. Not an ideal outcome on your Day of Days.

So brides, by all means go to town – horse drawn carriages, swans, balloon rides, diamonds – build your dream wedding as you choose. But please do your groom a favour and try not to misplace your style in the process. The day will be gone in a flash but a picture lasts forever. And forever is a long time. Particularly when your hair is in ringlets.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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