This is the time of year when brides-to-be are planning for the biggest day of their life. Dresses, cakes, venues, flowers - there are many things a bride needs support with. Talking of support, one of the most supportive things a bride can have is appropriate bridal lingerie.
Spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a wedding dress deserves to have the right foundation to look its best. The humble bra can change the way your dress fits. Because cuts and lines of wedding gowns change dramatically - some are strapless, others are off-the-shoulder - it is vital that you buy your dress first before you choose your bra.
Your dress will determine whether you need a bra to keep you up or push your cleavage together. One important thing to remember is to take a variety of bra styles with you when you try your dress on so that you can get a vague idea of what bra style you should go for.
You'll need a good, supportive bra to lift you up as you walk down the aisle and keep you comfortable for hours of dining, dancing and posing with your new husband.
Many bridal boutiques offer decorative bras that are as creative and extremely costly. While some of these elegant bras have unique proportions that can be quite useful with the right gown, you should make comfort your priority. You don't want insufficient support or annoying wires cutting into your sides on your wedding day. If you are buying with your special wedding night in mind, remember that you can slip into more provocative, flimsy lingerie when you take the gown off in your boudoir.
Before you buy, ask about the store return policy. You'll want to be able to try the bra on at your final dress fitting so make sure that as long as you leave the tags on, the bra is returnable for a full refund.
Regardless of which style you choose, try not to have unrealistic expectations for your bra. Ask yourself whether that massive boost is really worth making you feel incredibly uncomfortable to wear for a 12-hour stretch on your very special day.
While old-fashioned girdles have long been out of style, you might try one of the several contemporary slimming supports that use Lycra or Spandex to hold your waist trim.
As with the bra and slimming support, choose knickers that offer comfort over sex appeal: there's just no way to discreetly rearrange a pair of creeping knickers through a wedding gown. If your gown has an unusually slinky cut or is made of very thin material, you may want to use tights with built-in underwear for an ultra smooth look.
Tights/hold-ups and stockings
Unlike your bra and knickers, your legs may well be on view when it comes to your photographs so a bit of show is good in this area. Don't opt for a garter belt to hold up stockings: you will be uncomfortable and may end up with wrinkly knees and a day of endless attempts to hitch up your tights.
A garter, usually a gift from your bridesmaids, is best left as a pretty but superfluous item, teemed with a pair of sleek and sexy hold-ups that stay put exactly where you want them to.
Make sure you take your bra, slimming support, knickers and hold-ups with you for your final fitting, and jiggle around a bit to make sure everything stays where it should be: both your body parts and the lingerie.