Bridal whites for 12 seasons and dresses for the mothers

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The Bride

The dress should do justice to the season of the bride, not honour the season of the wedding

Imagine the Dark Autumn woman, getting married in June. Does she wear a bright white shiny satin dress and pink roses for her bouquet? No. She chooses a dress in ecru, cascading in a tumble of victorian cotton lace down her back, her dark hair glinting auburn in the sun. The bouquet: Burgundy and purple carnations, bird of paradise flowers, interspersed with chilipeppers of different orange and red hues. This is no average bride. This is a bride who honours who she is.

Another collaboration project with Christine Scaman of 12 Blueprints. I am having so much fun working together with Christine. Being a PCAnalyst in a group of colleagues spread all over the northern hemisphere, we do not have a chance to chat over a cup of coffee very often, but we grab the chance to work together across the miles, via internet. It gives us a chance to discuss and immerse ourselves in challenges, with multiple learning opportunities embedded. This time it is about wedding gowns, and the Mother of the Bride (or Groom) dress. It was with a little trepidation I approached the topic. One of the most important aspects of a PCA is that you get to know your most flattering versions of every colour, including white. As with all other hues, there are certain versions of it that enhance your beauty, and also some that don’t, but picking the correct nuance of white is sometimes a little daunting. However, your wedding day is your most important day, you will be the center of attention for the whole day, and you deserve to glow, shine and radiate happiness and beauty. No wonder picking the perfect dress is paramount, and all brides to be will agree, I am sure. So why not put together some catalogues with suggestions for the 12 seasons, we thought. It will be fun. Well, it was fun. But also difficult. As with all other screen pictures, we need to add the caveat that the only thing that is certain is that almost no dress will be exactly like it is displayed in these photos. So take it for what it is, a collection of screen prints, and the points being made about the photos are made based on how the screen and our eyes perceived these particular images. Heaven forbd you should buy a wedding gown online based entirely on some digital photos. So the exercise is to present the ideas about how a whiteyou’re your particular season should present itself, to better equip you when you go out and look at a dress in real life.

So the aim is to help you honour yourself, be the most beautifully authentic bride possible.

Look at the catalogues, enjoy the beautiful pictures, let yourself take in all the different nuances of white. The crisp, bright, white of winter, the spring white that is so bathed in sunshine it is almost juicy, the soft, ethereal, cloud-like summer white, and the earthy, ecru, almost beige version that the autumns look stunning in.

Mother of the bride (or groom)

Second to being a bride yourself, being the mother of the bride or groom is possibly the most important event you will ever prepare yourself for, and picking a dress is a big part of it.

So we included catalogues for the Mothers also. Just as the bride should honour her own essence, the mother should also have this privilege. Traditions vary across the world. In Norway, it is not considered appropriate to wear black to a wedding, black being reserved for other formal affairs, although I see this is changing, it is not so strict anymore. Bright red is another colour that has been avoided. Also, at least in Norway, the white dress is reserved for the bride. The mother of the bride/groom usually chooses a colour, and we have chosen a wide array of examples, to flatter each season.

Working with these catalogues I started thinking about my own experience. I have been the mother of the groom on two occasions, and both times I spent much energy agonizing over the dress choice.MOTG_dress2

The first wedding (the bride of which is pictured in gown and wellies at the top of this page!) was before I trained as a PCAanalyst, and I was a self proclaimed Dark Winter. I also had not even heard of Image Analysis. I could not find what I wanted in the shops, so I commissioned a seamstress to make my dress, in linen, a lovely darkened teal, in a fit-and-flare cut and with a short bolero jacket on top (which was a blessing on a rain soaked September day on the western coast of Norway). I was very happy with the dress, and got lots of compliments*. Knowing what I know today, that I am a Yang Gamine (thank you Rachel Nachmias of Best Dressed), when I look at the picture of myself in this dress, I see that the Yin Natural (or is it Yin Gamine?) shape of the dress makes me look square and more masculine, instead of accentuating my femininity, and that the choice of a subdued natural coarse weave linen fabric was not the best for me, but it was what pleased me at the time, and what I was most comfortable in. The happy couple was happily married, and I had a fabulous time at the wedding.

Enter colour analysis, enter training as a PCAnalyst and the revelation that I was a Bright Winter, not a Dark Winter (link to my personal colour journey here), enter Rachel and image analysis revealing that I am a Yang Gamine, and enter next wedding. This time, on a beach in the Carribean. For this occasion, I had an easier time choosing a dress, having already established what line and cut is best for my petite, square body type. No fit and flare for me this time around, I went with a drop waist silk dress, and I chose a (for me) outrageously blingy and glittery necklace.

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Since I was a relative fresh Bright Winter Yang Gamine I did not yet have the courage to go for shiny fabric and/or sequins. Perhaps for the next wedding? But anyway, there we were, barefoot on a beach, champagne in our glasses, another fabulously fun wedding.

What is the point of sharing this? First of all, I want to share with you that investing in a colour analysis and an image analysis is one of the best things I have done for myself. Also, I want to let you know that PCA and IA is no magic trick that changes your appearance overnight. You have to live it, work with it, let it sink in, let it develop, and learn it. But it is SO worth the journey. And I am here for you, to help you along on your unique personal journey.

Secondly, I wanted to let you know that the BEST thing about these two weddings was not what I looked like. It was the love and happiness that we shared by being together as families and friends celebrating the happy union of two people in love.

Link to Christine’s blog post and her 12 seasons of gowns for brides and mothers

Link to my catalogues:

When the bride is a Summer

When the bride is an Autumn

When the mother of the bride is a Summer

When the mother of the bride is an Autumn

As usual, when inspiration starts bubbling it pours over into other media. Christine and I got to talking about flowers, and I could not help myself, I started gathering images of bridal bouquets. So much loveliness, and so interesting to think about in terms of what would fit a bride of a certain colour tone! You can see the Pinterest board HERE

*) I am planning a separate blog post about The Nature of Compliments