Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress
You’re shopping for a wedding dress – and you want it to be perfect, of course.
It can be a stressful and frustrating process, however, as it will probably be the most important (not to mention the most expensive) dress you’ll ever wear. Wedding dresses come in many styles, lengths, colors and price points, so let us give a few preliminary tips to help you find the dress of your dreams.
- Research. Look online and tear out magazine ads. You’ll find hundreds of lovely wedding dresses to consider, so try not to get overwhelmed.
- Budget. Are you paying for your wedding dress or is someone else? Unless you’ve been told you have an unlimited budget, it’s best to set some general parameters to avoid embarrassment or problems later on.
- Timeline. When is your wedding day? Remember, you may need to order your wedding dress up to a year in advance, unless it is off the rack and ready-to-wear.
- Location. Keep your wedding location and venue in mind. Are you planning a beach wedding, or a destination wedding somewhere hot? If so, your wedding dress should be light, floaty and comfortable. If you are getting married in a church, on a ski slope or somewhere in a colder temperature, you can choose a more elaborate, heavier dress.
- Theme. What is your overall wedding theme? Are you having a casual garden or barn party or a more formal affair? Your wedding dress should mirror your theme.
- Style. Narrow down your style. Given your wedding theme and location, what general silhouette appeals to you? Are you looking for something classic and simple? Romantic with embellishments? Edgy? Sexy? Full length or short? Be honest about what looks best on you in your everyday life - or ask someone you trust.
- Here are some basic wedding dress terms to help you in your search:
- A-Line. Looks good on most body types. It is fitted to the waist and flares into an A-line shape to the ground. This shapes makes your waist look slimmer while flattering your bust.
- Fit and Flare. Fits tightly around your body and then flares out below the hips.
- Mermaid. This wedding dress shape follows your contours then flares out from the knee.
- Trumpet. This silhouette has a straight bodice to the hips then flares out from the mid-thigh. It is slightly less contour hugging than the Mermaid fit.
- Ballgown. This wedding dress fit is all about volume and drama with a full skirt flaring from the waist, giving you that fairy-tale princess look.
- Slip. This is a minimal, sophisticated, chic style. It looks like an under-slip and shows off a perfect figure. If you have a less than perfect figure, you’ll need supportive undergarments.
- Sheath. This fit contours the body from neck to toe, making a petite bride look taller.
- Column. This is similar to the sheath but generally features a structure stiffened with taffeta, lace or brocade.
- Tea-length. This length flares from the waist and hits your ankles. It has a quasi-vintage feel about it and is perfect for a garden party or casual wedding.
- Mini. Trendy, cute and fashion forward, this length can often be worn on other occasions.
- Sizing. A word about sizing here. Wedding dress sizing is often one to two sizes bigger than you normally wear. Even if you plan on losing weight before the big day, shop for your current size, not your hoped-for It’s easier to take in a dress than to let it out.
Whatever style or look you choose, make it yours, not someone else’s. This is your special day, so wear what makes you feel glamorous, comfortable and happy.