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Strictly Bridal

How to Find the Best Wedding Dress for Your Body Type & Shape: Figure Flattery

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Here is the revisited, revised version of some of our best advice on how to find the best wedding dress for your body type. It has been one of our most popular articles since we posted it back in August 2012 and we thought with the recent launch of our latest collection, now would be a good time to revisit it using more up-to-date examples and styles!

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Have you met Ann?

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Since 2000, Ann Wilson has designed thousands of gowns for real women on an international stage. An industry innovator throughout her whole career, Ann creates luxurious runway looks that cater to all styles and preferences. Each gown is personally designed in Australia by Ann herself, and through her clever design and sharp cutting each has the signature ‘Ann Wilson fit’. She ensures only the highest quality fabrics and materials are used, coupled with superior construction and carefully hand-sewn embellishments.

When you find your dream dress at Strictly Bridal, you’ll also receive the highest quality product and level of service available in the country. Ann’s incredible work has gained her an unrivalled reputation in the industry, and as soon as you see and wear her gowns you’ll understand why!

Whether you’re shopping for a wedding dress or formal evening wear, off-the-rack or made to measure, you can feel confident in your choice from Strictly Bridal. Just have a look through our posts for some incredibly kind words from of our brides and happy customers, and see what they’ve had to say about Ann’s gorgeous creations!

Make Me Up: Healthy beauty habits for brides to be.

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All brides to be are excited about their upcoming wedding and take months in preparation for their special day.Here are some easy, healthy steps you can take now for radiant beauty results by the time you walk down the aisle. You might already practice some of these great habits and others will fit seamlessly into your existing beauty routine.

1. Drink more water- We hear this all the time, right? For several reasons it is to our benefits to drink water through out the day. Water flushes out toxins by purifying the liver, it clears up skin, help organs absorb nutrients, and aids in metabolism. Win all around!

2. Take a daily multi-vitamin- First and foremost, the best thing you can do is have a healthy diet but with busy lives we know all too well that it’s not always easy to do so, thats where a multi-vitamin comes in. Look for one that has antioxidant powerhouses like vitamins B6, C, E, A as well as iron and Omega-3 fatty acids which help maintain skin’s suppleness and strengthen hair. All-in-one awesomeness!

3. Moisturize- Replace lost moisture and repair damaged hair with a weekly deep conditioning hair mask, whether homemade with coconut oil and avocado (apply 2 tbls coconut oil and 1/2 avocado, mashed, to dry hair and leave on for 20 min, then rinse) or store-bought like It’s a 10 miracle hair mask. Get those shiny locks you’ve always aimed for!

4. Repair- We all have those aspects about our skin that we want to change, right? Now is the time to make those changes happen and the fun part? Things in your pantry can help! Mix nutmeg (as an exfoliator) or baking soda for oily/acne prone skin with dairy milk (for the lactic acid which helps break down dead skin cells) until it forms a thick paste. Apply onto clean, dry skin and leave on for 20 minutes then rinse and pat dry. Ta-da, instant spa facial at home!

5. Color/ Highlight hair 2-4 weeks before wedding- this way the color is perfect for the day and has a more natural look/color and in case you hate the outcome there is time for changes to be made.

6. Tan starting 3 months prior to wedding date- you don’t want to get overly tan or red. Therefore, give your skin time to adjust to the tanning bed. If using self tanner, make sure you use the product at least 3 weeks before to see results before wedding day and have time to learn best applying techniques.

7. Have a hair and make-up trail 3 weeks prior- this will allow time for both make-up artist and hairstylist to get all the products needed for your wedding day and allows time to have another trail if you did not like the first one.

8. DO NOT use new skin products within the month of wedding- If you start using new products your skin may have a reaction and then it could last until wedding day.

9. Consult wedding hairstylist about prepping hair for day of wedding- Everybody has a different hair type and your hairstylist should give you advice on the best way to prep your hair before he/she comes in to create your bridal day look.

After the Wedding: Bridal Gown Care.

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Several Strictly Bridal clients have asked us the best way to care for or preserve their gown.  Many bridal gowns are made of delicate silks and therefore require extra special care.  Whether you’re keeping your dress in your closet, or planning to preserve it, these care tips can help.

General Care:

Hang in a dry place and leave your dress bag on for protection. Hang your dress up high so that the bottom isn’t sitting on the floor.Always use care when zipping your dress.  Remember, many dress fabrics are delicate and can be damaged if a zipper is twisted or yanked.  Dying to put that dress on one more time before you preserve it?  Have someone else zip your dress for you – if your hand is twisted to get the zipper in the back, you are likely twisting the actual zipper and could break it.


Simply put – DRY CLEAN ONLY. If you get a stain on your dress, don’t touch it!  Take it to the cleaners 100% of the time….and not just any cleaners, take it to a quality cleaners.


If you aren’t planning to have your dress professionally preserved, you should still have it professionally cleaned.  You can save money by pressing it yourself.

Rules to ironing:

1.  Fabrics safe to iron:  Raw silk, all taffeta’s, satin, dress linings (except silk charmeuse).

2.  Make sure your iron is clean.

3.  Always start the iron on a low setting.  You can turn it up little by little if it’s not getting the wrinkles out.  If the iron starts to feel “sticky” on the fabric, it’s too hot.

4.  Iron the lining and the dress separately to be most effective.


Rules to Steaming:

1.  Steam dresses made of lightweight silks like chiffon, charmeuse, and crepe.

2.  Make sure to use the proper type of water your steamer calls for.  Some call for distilled water, and others call for a combination of distilled and tap.

3.  Always hold the handle so that the steam flows upward.  This will often keep the steam from dripping or ‘spitting’, and will steam the dress more effectively.

4.  Steam each layer of your dress separately for best results.


Will you be my Bridesmaid?

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On your wedding day your bridesmaids help you get dressed, calm down your nerves and fill the day with laughter and remembrances. It’s arguably one the most important and moving questions you’ll ever ask of a friend. So how do you pick? It’s a emaotion filled choice that has vexed brides-to-be for thousands of years. No literally, thousands. Did you know in Roman times bridesmaids were originally included in wedding ceremonies to confuse evil spirits as to which young lass was actually becoming a Mrs ? Strange but true!

It’s best to start with family at hand, whether you make your sister your maid of honor is really up to you, failing that it’s safe to assume that all your fiancé’s sisters should also automatically have consideration. But once you move past the family, how do you whittle down your number? Obviously there are endless permutations, you can pick one friend from each stage of your life (high school, univeristy, work, etc), or you can limit it just to family members, however consider this sage advice: Pick who will make you the happiest on your big day.

You want to be surrounded by people who understand you and who will make you the best version of yourself once you walk down that aisle. The best bridesmaids can help you wiggle into your dress, keep you from bursting into tears and apply expert lip gloss while still recording everything for posterity on their iPhones. So deciding which of your friends and family you want to be in your bridal party is a big deal. And we can’t think of a more touching way to ask them than with these beautiful homemade bridesmaid “boxes.” Fill each box with tokens of your friendship, warm wishes, and even wedding inspiration:

An Ann Wilson: Great Gatsby Wedding.

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The upcoming Baz Luhrmann film adaptation of Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby is due for release later this year. The fashion world has become mesmerised by the glamour & style of the 1920,s as featured in the film. A number of gowns from Ann Wilson’s latest collection have been inspired by this era and have been given the unique touch that only Ann Wilson can achieve to make the dresses sophisticated & wearable for the modern bride.

We here at Strictly Bridal are also excited to announce that one of Ann Wilson’s gowns will be featured in an upcoming high fashion editorial dedicated to the films release in one of Australia’s leading fashion magazines to co-inside with the film’s Australian release.

“The Great Gatsby” is something designer Ann Wilson has liked to draw inspiration from and she was particularly inspired by the romantic and feminine elements present in the original 1974 film. So much of the Art Deco era is very white and bold in terms of colour so she wanted to illustrate that the 1920’s can be done in softer tones, specifically soft creams and gold, which always marries well with bridal style. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the spread and in the mean time enjoy the Gatsby inspired gowns and blog.


Tips to Keep Summer Brides Cool.

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Summer is a great time of year to get married, especially if you love the heat and the spectactular sunsets. Guests attending your wedding from out of town will appreciate summer nuptials because their children are out of school and it is the perfect excuse for a vacation. Along with the hot weather summer brides need to act cool and look fresh all the while the temperature rises.

We all know how unattractive sweat stains and are, especially on your wedding dress so it’s always a good idea to pack an extra antiperspirant in your handbag so you can reapply it throughout the day. Melting foundation from sweating can leave streaks on your face; one idea is to go a little lighter with your make up in the summertime to avoid the melting result. Summer sun and heat can also wreak havoc on your hair especially if you’re prone to curl outbreaks. Wear your hair pulled back or in a sleek updo to keep cool and if you’re wearing it down, use a humidity control product to avoid the frizzies.

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, don’t forget the sunscreen. Sun burnt, blotchy spots will not good in the wedding photos. Using the restroom for any bride is a bit of a hassle, however make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the day to avoid nausea or dizziness later on at night. Another idea is to consider taking the party inside, having the reception indoors will keep your guests cool, however you can still take photos outside and consider giving your guests a fan or an umbrella as a gift it will help them beat the heat and look great in photos.

Ethereal Lace: A Brides Best Friend

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The strong use of lace in Ann Wilsons new 2012 Bridal Collection gives the gowns a timeless and classic feel. But what is it about this fabric that so flawlessly expresses such an intense sense of tradition and beauty? Season after season, lace features on catwalks from New York to Paris. But just how long has lace been in fashion? And why do the royals love it so?

In 1840, Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert of Germany in a white dress that included a lace skirt, veil, and train. It seems as though the Queen was onto something. Not only is white the classic color for bridal gowns, but lace too has stood the test of time when it comes to getting married. It is the ultimate wedding fabric.

It feels timeless because it has proven itself to be. Lace adds a delicate but beautiful detail to a gown. When worn directly over the skin, its effect is sensual, subtle, and elegant. When appliquéd to the dress itself, lace provides a sense of tradition and complexity, texture and character. The overall effect is some kind of romantic nostalgia. For the bride who wishes to embrace tradition, nothing says more about weddings than lace.

Queen Elizabeth I, a high-profile 16th-Century laceophile, showing off one of her huge and highly fashionable ruffs.

Here’s Grace Kelly (who married in this elegant lace dress in 1956)

Dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris in 1926.

Diana, Princess of Wales not at her wedding, incredibly, but at a dinner in Washington in 1985.

Duchess Catherine’s dress has since spawned a millions of Brides around the world getting married in lace, just like a real princess.

A selection of Ann Wilson’s exclusive gowns featuring lace details.