So you’ve seen hundreds of wedding dresses on the catwalk, but how do they look in real life, on real women? And how should you accessorise to complete the look? We’ve chosen 4 of our best-dressed real-life brides to bring you some big day inspiration…

Mel wears Alan Hannah

Bride says: “I was so lucky, my step mum had recently opened her own wedding boutique so I went to see her range and fell in love with a beautiful Alan Hannah gown as soon as I set eyes on it. I then has the privilege of having it fitted by Alan himself and his wife Marguerite. It was such an honour to see where and how my dress would be made. I felt like a princess!”

Wedding Ideas say: “The gentle A-line, the sheer lace overlay and sparkly belt all work together to give Mel the perfect bridal silhouette. Her simple headband lets the dress do the talking and her faux fur jacket was the perfect finishing touch for December.”

Ellie wears Jenny Packham

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Bride says: “I knew straight away it was my dream dress. It was the first one I put on and I only tried on another two for comparison. It cost rather more than I’d been expecting to spend but Greg said he wanted me to feel perfect.”

Wedding Ideas say: “This slimline design flatters Ellie’s figure beautifully. The ivory silk is complemented by intricate beading over the top and is perfect for a 20s-themed celebration. We love the cap sleeves, too, ideal for giving a little extra coverage if you don’t want to show off the tops of your arms. You don’t need too many accessories with a heavily embellished dress like this – Ellie’s headband and simple bracelet are perfect.”

Victoria wears Sassi Holford

Bride says: “It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love instantly! I loved the classic styling and the vintage feel and I wore it with a beautiful lace-trimmed cathedral-length veil.”

Wedding Ideas say: “Scarlett by Sassi Holford is such an amazing gown. The kick out at the knee gives the illusion of an hour-glass figure, it features vintage lace – a hot trend for 2014 – and the beauiful bow on the back is a big surprise for your guests as you walk past them, down the aisle! The statement circlet headband finished the look to perfection. Love it!”

Becky wears Ronald Joyce

Bride says: “It was only the second dress I tried on but I didn’t want to take it off. I pranced around the shop looking at it from every angle and tried on every accessory just so I could keep it on longer!”

Wedding Ideas say: “We love the fact that Becky had this dress customised just for her. She added a halterneck and we think it makes the dress much more flattering for her figure and gives a more balanced look with the A-line of the skirt. The sparkly belt detail helps draw the eye to Becky’s smallest part. A fabulous choice – top marks!”

See all these real brides’ big days in the April issue of Wedding Ideas – on sale now! And for more dress inspiration, no matter what your shape, theme or budget, check out our fabulous Fashion section…