How to Take the Stress Out of Picking a Wedding Gown

by DeAndre Green on Nov 17, 2010

Choosing a wedding dress is a decision most brides-to-be take very seriously. In fact, it is often the first personal choice they are expected to make. Since most designer dresses take anywhere from four to six months to complete, they must start shopping immediately. Because few modern brides have much experience with formal gowns, they must rely on the advice of trained professionals. In this article we will review a few simple tips for choosing the perfect wedding dress. Where to start? There are several viable options when it comes to shopping for a formal dress. There are designer showrooms, bridal boutiques and salons, department stores, and online stores and auctions. As a general rule, it is never a good idea to purchase a formal dress online. These dresses must be properly fitted and the amount you save on the sale price may not cover the cost of alterations. Also, there is no way to tell if the dress is really “you” unless you try it on first, preferably in front of an audience. Where should we go? Department and discount stores typically offer a wide selection of dresses, but they are not experts. The bridal section is just a department in an enormous store. Now, it may cost you a little more, but we recommend a bridal boutique or salon. These stores specialize in every aspect of the wedding. They even have experts whose job it is to help shoppers find a dress. Not to mention that fact that many salons have their own seamstresses on staff, which makes alterations a breeze. What to know The first questions you must answer are where and when the wedding will take place. As you might expect, the season and the venue are important considerations when choosing a dress. The Fabric For an indoor wedding, a heavy designer dress with a train and an elaborate veil can be worn at any time of year. During the warmer months, however, the invariably overheated bride will often change into a reception gown shortly after the ceremony. On the other hand, when the nuptials are held outdoors in the summertime, the bride-to-be rarely chooses a heavy dress with a train or an overflowing veil. Dresses designed for the outdoors typically have higher hemlines and are made from lighter fabrics like chiffon or crepe, instead of satin or velvet for the indoor gown. Cut Formal gowns are often designed with different body types in mind. This means that different cuts are more flattering to certain figures. Therefore, it is important to know which body type you are and which cuts are best-suited for your figure. The most common body types are tall and thin, small or petite, pear shaped, curvy or plus-sized, and the ruler body shape. Knowing which shape you are will make it easier for the salesperson to show you dresses that will flatter your figure. For example, a curvy bride-to-be often carries most of her weight in her thighs and hips. Therefore, a wedding dress with a high waist works to draw attention away from these areas and makes the bride appear more proportional in pictures. A gown with an empire waist, which gathers just under the bust line, is a popular choice for plus-size brides. Theme As we mentioned earlier, outdoor wedding are often held in the summer months when lighter fabrics are a practical necessity. But dresses can still be quite formal depending on the theme or venue. A garden or backyard wedding, for example, can be quite formal. There may be a string quartet that plays the bride down the aisle and the maid of honor may carry the train of her dress. But when a wedding is held on a beach, it tends to be far less formal than any other location. After all, there are certain accessories the bride will not be able to wear. First and most obviously, she will not be able to slip into a pair of high heels, because she'd sink. Many times, brides go barefoot in the sand. This informality often has an effect on the bridal dress, which typically has a much higher hemline and a lower or décolleté neckline. Budget Last but not least, it is important to know exactly what you have to spend before you enter a bridal salon, boutique, or even a department store. Designer dresses cost between one and two thousand dollars, but the average bride only spends around eight hundred dollars on her gown. And since most brides prefer designer dresses, that means most brides must compromise because of budgetary concerns. Knowing exactly what you have to spend on a dress will make it easier to find the best gown that fits your budget.

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Source: DeAndre Green is a freelance writer who writes about weddings, fashion and wedding gowns.
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