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Traditional moves - classic pale gowns

Choosing your wedding dress is probably the most important part - to you, anyway - of planning your big day. Sure, the venue is really important, and you want to pick a photographer you feel comfortable with, and a band that will get your guests up out of their seats... but the gown is something that so many gals have been dreaming about for years, and often have some seriously firm ideas in their heads about!

It's so much fun to look at wedding dress "alternatives", those gowns that don't fit into your wedding-dress stereotype: tea-length dresses, colored fabrics or kooky, off-the-wall designs. But so many times brides will come back to traditional, classic dresses when it comes to making the final decision! There's something so perfectly "bridal" about the classic, traditional wedding dress. It is, after all, the one day in your life that you'll get to wear a seriously show-stopping dress - so while we're not necessarily big fans of spending more than the price of your car on a gown (seriously?!), it is worth investment, even if that investment is more in terms of time and careful consideration than finances!

If you haven't already picked out your gown, here are four designer numbers you may not already have seen - and which may help spark off an idea of the perfect dress for you!

A relative newcomer to the fashion scene, bridal designer Lillian West launched late last year with its 2014 preview collection, a series of classic designs in luxurious fabrics such as satin and lace. Silhouettes are figure-hugging and slightly sexy (nothing to the Berta Bridal and Galia Lahav collections, for example) with a distinct nod to old-school fairytale glamor. We love the beautiful full skirt of this full lace dress, the sensual V-neck (not too low) and embellished belt detail, which really draws the waist in and gives a great hourglass figure. Prices range from roughly $1,350 to $2,850.

Laila Monroe is a bridal designer label based in Dublin, Ireland that ships worldwide. All of the gowns are custom-made, either to regular sizes or to your precise measurements (specifying your stats will only set you back $10, so we'd highly recommend it!) - and they start at a super-reasonable $350, up to around $2,000 for a tulle ballgown with hand-beaded bodice. We love this strapless gown with full train and embellished detailing (although we'd highly recommend getting a super-great strapless bra and trying out a lot of moving and shaking in it before going down that aisle!).

Allure Bridals started out in 1998 as a retail store, but soon started to design their own gowns, now available in retailers all over the world, under a variety of labels: Allure Bridals, Allure Romance, Allure Women, Allure Bridesmaids, Allure Couture, Madison James (the brand's debut designer collaboration) and Allure Modest, for women who prefer to be a little covered-up or who, perhaps for cultural or religious reasons, can't be "on show" for their ceremony (without sacrificing on style!). Because Allure is stocked in so many different stores, prices seriously vary - but you can expect them to start at around $1,350, up to $2,700. Check out bridal sample sales to get a bargain, and always try to haggle with your salesperson - even if it means paying full whack for your gown, but getting a great deal on your shoes!

Caroline Atelier is a bridal collection by a British designer whose signature lies somewhere in the mid-20th century: think bias-cut silk shift dresses, peplum waists, subtle embellishment and fringing. From Caroline's atelier, she will design a gown to your precise specifications, sometimes from a combination of two or more existing designs (the sleeves from this, the back from that) - with prices in or around $2,700. We love this super-simple silk sheath - and after years of ivory and cream, sometimes bright white is the refreshing jolt you need to make your traditional gown stand out!


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