With the gentle arrival of spring, the wedding season warms up. Preparations that began months ago are settling into place, venues are booked, dates coveted, and the metre-long 'to-do' lists are gradually being ticked off. Topping the list, after ideal groom and venue, must be the bridal gown. The selection of the dress of a life-time is often easier than expected due to the bride's gorgeous glow of youth.
For the rest of us, dress requirements can be hugely diverse as every wedding has its own story. It may be a garden, beach, native bushland, woolshed, island resort, vineyard or even a church ceremony anywhere in the world. Our picks to cover this diversity are:
Moss and Spy: this 13-year-old Australian label designed by Lia Tsimos, aims to create feminine clothing for women who want to be noticed. The selection of signature fabrics include embroidered silk, lace and sequins with a focus on colour and texture resulting in stand-out designs. Moss and Spy is a bold choice of both guest and 'mother of' for that statement wedding anywhere. We have proudly stocked this label for the past twelve years and love its limited editions.
Frank Lyman: this 'made in Canada' label named after its owner, creates mid to high-end clothing that accentuates body shape using firm, flattering, fabrics that ping colour. Perfect for many wedding occasions as his classical styles can be worn again and again and again.
Joseph Ribkoff: born in 1957 (a very good year), this Montreal label by designer Joseph Ribkoff has stood the test of time. With the tagline 'No one knows me like Joseph Ribkoff', he prides himself on designing body-confident styles for women who wish to turn heads when they enter a room - a perfect requirement for 'mother of'. Not all designs suit a sleeve and because the majority of women dislike their arms, Joseph Ribkoff''s designing edge are his variety of cover-ups that always match, no matter how long ago you bought the dress.
Emily and Finn: established in 2002 from humble beginnings at Portobello Market in London is a retro label now stocked across the world. For the 'Nigella-look' woman who loves theatrical colours, natural fibres, pockets and full skirts, this is the brand for you. Perfect for 'mother of' or guest at a beach or garden wedding on a hot summer's day, as it screams fun.
Zaffina: This locally-designed, made in China brand owned by Gary Chettleberg, has become an icon for the patterned stretch cotton shift and the boldy-coloured combination dresses with sleeves, perfect for a relaxed wedding. Based at The Mount, Gary knows the New Zealand woman and her love of summer and creates affordable, easy-care, fun garments that can be dressed up or down to suit all occasion.
So when you've sorted out what you're wearing to the wedding, don't forget about the casual but classy number you'll be needing for the barbecue brunch the next day or the outfit for the 'meet the in-laws' dinner the night before – oh and you'll need something for the plane…