If you’ve decided to take the less traditional wedding route by getting married abroad, you’ll want a dreamy dress that suits the warmer climate. That’s why we’ve chatted to the experts to bring you some handy advice on choosing the perfect gown for a wedding overseas…

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It’s important that you have the wedding day you want, but we’d just like to give you one vital piece of advice if you’re marrying abroad. Forget everything you’ve ever previously thought, dreamed or planned about the bridal gown you’re going to wear. If you’re tying the knot away from the UK, this really is a time to go wedding dress shopping with a completely open mind and no preconceptions.

For a start – the weather is likely to be completely different. You may be marrying in sultry humid heat – in which case a very formal, boned gown in a heavy taffeta would look and feel all wrong (and then how would you look in the photographs?).

Marrying on a beach

There’s an art to looking your best in an au naturel setting – and the frock that would look wonderful in an English country garden setting might not translate to white sand and palm trees.

When you’re wedding dress shopping for a destination wedding, you really need to talk to the boutique about your venue and location, the time of year, the weather and how you want to look. These people are experts and you need to make use of their knowledge. Keep asking questions. Taking a mood board with you is always a good idea.

Keep an open mind. Try on the frocks that are suggested for you – you’ll probably surprise yourself!

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Wedding dress tips from the experts

Ellie Sanderson runs three successful bridal shops and has advised many brides-to-be on how to look their best. So what are her tips for choosing a dreamy destination wedding gown?

“Chiffon, lace, silk organza and natural fibres are perfect – avoid anything artificial,” says Ellie. “Think silk flowers and pearls rather than diamanté sparkle. Wear wedges or tiny kitten heels, not stilettos. If you do wear flip-flops, then watch your posture. And tights? Forget them!”

“This is going to be the happiest day of your life,” says Jo Adamek of Thomson Weddings. “So it goes without saying that you need to feel good in what you’re wearing. If you’ve gone for an exotic beach wedding, you’ll probably want to steer clear of heavy, princess-style dresses and go for something in a light fabric, like chiffon, crepe or organza. It’ll keep you cool and leave more room in your suitcase for honeymoon mementos. That said, if you’ve always dreamed of a big Cinderella number, you can buy a dress hoop which will keep the fabric from sticking and create that A-line look.”

‘Goddess’ style dresses in long column styles look wonderful at a beach wedding, don’t take up too much room in a suitcase and travel happily. Many designers have created special destination wedding dress collections in lighter fabrics and styles that ‘flow’. Check out the the Voyage collection from Mori Lee for stunning gowns that are perfect for weddings abroad.

The all-important accessories

Kelly Hood, who runs her own wedding planning company Boho Weddings & Events, has some useful hints on shoes. “Try to keep your heels low, as huge skyscraper stilettos are going to kill in the heat after a few hours,” says Kelly. “The hotter you get, the more your feet will swell up. If you want to wear heels, make sure you have a cute pair of flats for the evening reception. Also, don’t forget sunscreen! The last thing you want is sunburn/sunstroke on your wedding day.”

Joyce Connor of Brides & Beauty has been making brides look beautiful on their wedding day for over 15 years. We asked her for some tips on getting married in the heat. “Wearing your hair up is definitely better – something loose and messy would be a good hairstyle choice,” recommends Joyce. “If you leave your hair down, it could frizz in the sunshine. Forget a formal chignon, which needs loads of hairspray – keep it loose but try to get your hair off your neck so you stay cool. You’ll also need to choose a good base and primer so your skin doesn’t look too shiny.”

As for accessorising your hair – if you’re marrying somewhere hot, a simple tropical flower always looks perfect. Talk to your hairdresser beforehand and try out some different styles to see what is going to suit you – and bear in mind the neckline of your dress, too.

Choose the right dress and the right accessories for your wedding abroad and you’ll have a dream of a day – you’ll feel comfortable and that means you’ll look your best. Which is what every bride wants, isn’t it?

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