Help with TWO dresses! One for beach, one for reception at home...

Hi everyone, kind of new to this site, joined as a bridesmaid needing advice, now I'm looking at planning my own wedding abroad in two years time!

I'm usually a total wedding dress geek and used to be able to identify designers at the drop of a hat, but now I'm so rusty and totally lost in the wildnerness of all these designs and new fashions. When I first got married, six years ago, the side-apron style dresses were very much in full swing, as were the long-train and ballroom styles. The dress that I had was so popular that they still make it now:

Beautiful, isn't it?! But that was then, and my chance for the show-stopper and the huge white wedding has passed, tbh neither of us want that anyway. I've put together a few ideas of dresses that I like, please help, modern-day brides!

This one I really like for the beach bit as I'll only be wearing it for literally the ceremony and photos, tho I do think its a bit short and very unforgiving with my current figure!

Its really weird because when we talked about getting married abroad I immediately googled 'beach wedding dresses' and this was one of the first ones to come up, h2b saw it and loved it. Just seems a bit too easy tho to go for this one!

I like this one by Pronuptia for possibly the beach and the reception, minus the straps and the top flowers tho:-

I've also discovered Donna Lee Designs, and by some miracle her dresses are stocked in my home town, both of these lovely ones would be suitable for beach and home wedding reception:-

Although I'm really not sure about straps as I'm so busty (36G!), but hopefully with weight loss they may decrease slightly.

And this gorgeous one, in ivory:-

Very pretty. So, what do you think? Need a lot of help in all areas as I have absolutely zero experience with weddings abroad, and am so cross that the designs I loved 6 years ago have all disappeared! Any help gratefully received x


  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    Just found this one by Veromia, a designer I remember from the first time around as being one that uses flowers a lot in their dresses, I'm also toying with the idea of having a bit of colour in my home dress as I most likely won't be having actual flowers, and as I'm so pale some colour will be needed. Maybe not quite so pink tho!

    Also like the skirt of this White Rose design

  • singo44singo44 Posts: 3,420
    i like the veromia - but not pink lol! x
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    i like the veromia - but not pink lol! x

    Yes it is a bit intense isn't it! But I love the style and the flowers. What makes it even harder is when I'm browsing through wedding dress sites, h2b makes so many negative comments on all the ones that I like image last night he said that the silver Donna Lee one that I liked looked like it was made out of crepe paper! Even tho I'd said I liked it in ivory, because of that comment its not on the list anymore. Kind of thinking of breaking with tradition totally and taking him with me to shop for the at home reception one! image
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184

    This has just caught my eye, its by Mark Lesley, not something that I would usually go for but its the prettiest simple dress I've seen so far that I actually like - and it paves the way for a BIG second dress at our reception when we return!

    My only hmmm point would be the empire line waist as I'm so short and dumpy (at the moment)

    Opinions please as this is definitely my number 1 at the moment, not that I've even searched for stockists, doh!
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184

    This one by the same designer is really lovely too although I prefer the floatiness of the other one. For someone with no clue yesterday, I'm not doing too badly!
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184

    Wow! Not since the days of first discovering Maggie have I loved so many dresses by one designer!
  • barbie_86barbie_86 Posts: 626
    My tips when looking for a dress for a wedding abroad would be to consider very carefully the practicalities: will you be allowed to carry it on separately, or will it have to be crammed into hand luggage? Will it travel well, or will it be creased to high heaven when you arrive? Is your destination going to be very hot, and will it be comfortable in the heat? If you're marrying on the beach and plan on having photos taken in the sand, is it easy to walk in? Etc.

    We were in Mexico about 6 weeks ago on holiday and saw A LOT of weddings. Brides in big, structured, heavy dresses looked seriously hot and uncomfortable, so do think about that.

    With that in mind I personally would lean more towards your last 3 choices; the Veromia, Pronuptia and White Rose designs look too big IMPO to a) travel well and b) be comfortable in a hot destination.
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    Thanks Barbie, I'm really leaning more towards those ones as well, especially the last one. Thankfully they are stocked in a really good bridal shop near to me, so I'm thinking that is fate! So the search for the beach dress has narrowed down, its just the at-home reception dress now. At the moment the style of the Pronuptia one is definitely my favourite - dresses with flowers on used to be everywhere but they seem to have gone a bit out of fashion now in favour of the really slim a-lines; they're beautiful, but they don't suit short wide people like me!
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184

    Really love this for the at-home bit but think would nead a slightly more subtle version as I'd get just lost inside it! Wonder if the hunk in the background is included in the price!
  • MrsChez2bMrsChez2b Posts: 476
    You should look at the Destinations collection by Maggie Sottero, they're designed for beach weddings. My friend had a destinations dress last year for her wedding in Mauritius and wore it again at home for their 'reception' party.

    Hope that helps x
  • BiffsWifeBiffsWife Posts: 820
    in your first lot of pictures, I love the first and last one x
  • XGeminiXukXGeminiXuk Posts: 83
    I really like the Mark Lesley one best. We haven't yet came to a decision about whether to marry abroad or at home so for now I have a list of dresses for both image the ones below are my current favourites if we marry abroad.

  • RowenaFWRowenaFW Posts: 2,078
    I like teh first and the second to last ones!!!

    Edited: you just added two more. I like these too.
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    To everyone who has said they like the first one - is that the short length one or the very first one with the train? Only the absolute first one with the train is what I wore to my first wedding! So hmm yes while its stunningly gorgeous and would save me a hell of a lot of money, don't think it would go down too well with the h2b!!

    I'm definitely leaning towards the Mark Lesley, especially the one with the traily bit at the front.

    Gemini I love the bottoms of both of the dresses - the 2nd one is stunning if you can get away with the one sleeve look.
  • pixiedonpixiedon Posts: 5
    I'm the expert on short & dumpy...! I went to a bridal shop at the weekend who gave me some great advice. Empire line is fab but make sure the bust "dips" (sweetheart, halterneck etc) to make sure the shape is right and doesn't make you look dumpy. Straight across at the bust = bad! Just pulling the bust down can change the entire shape and make a dress look right. Chiffon is excellent for a beach wedding as its light, floaty and not too hot. Don't just limit yourself to looking at destination dresses - there are some lovely bridesmaid dresses out there which you can get in white or ivory. E.g. Love by Enzoani, Eternity bridal.

    Hope this helps! x
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    Ooh I didn't think of using bridesmaid dresses, what a good idea! Makes a lot of sense, thanks for that tip. Although it does open up even more possibilities!! x
  • HappyHippy85HappyHippy85 Posts: 184
    Went a bit mad on Friday and visited the magazine stall in town, got SIX yes SIX bridal magazines for £5! That's just over what you would pay for new ones, and these are only three months old at the most. Anyway, have started in earnest on my wedding scrapbook (although in my excitement I've glued all the cut-out pictures into an unused notebook and now I'm wishing I'd got a nice sketchbook to make it look really pretty - may well be cutting them out and starting again but that's another story!). Some of the wedding magazines were American which is fine but I've fallen utterly in love with a dress that is 1) too tall for me and 2) only available in the US. It seems from the site that they do have some sort of UK agent but it sounds a little dodgy and I'm a bit unsure. With the exchange, the dress is around £500.

    Let me know what you think --- apart from the mermaid low skirting, and there's a funny looped bit at the back, I think its pretty much perfect for my reception:

    Blast it the site is copyrighted, had to link instead x
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