Guide to finding the dress of your dreams
1) Consider your venue as the setting will create the tone for the style of the dress. For example, if you are considering a beach wedding you will require light and airy fabric so if you have your heart set on a voluminous "poofy" dress you might want to reconsider as walcing in the sand in that dress would not be ideal.
2) Do your research. Look online and through magazines for ideas for your perfect dress. Try to decide on your attire a year prior to your wedding day. Designer gowns should be ordered six to nine months in advance as this assures sufficient time for delivery and alterations. Also if you're planning to customize your dress you can do so by adding beading, lace, re-styling the neckline and making the train shorter or longer. It would be helpful to bring images (of what you would like added) to your seamstress as it would assist her in creating your perfect dress!
3) Come up with a realistic budget! I commonly find brides devastated when they find "the one" dress but don't have the available budget to purchase it, so by planning ahead, momentarily you would be ready to confront the price tag and be practical about your budget.
4) Familiarize yourself with the glossary terms of wedding dresses:
Ball gown - This gown has a fitted bodice (top half of the dress) and a dramatic full skirt
Recommended for slender or pear shaped figures as the full skirt emphasizes the waist and hides the lower body
Trumpet - This gown flares out under the hips without any extra volume
Recommended for petite figures as the lowered waistline creates the illusion of a longer torso
Empire - This gown has a raised waistline which sits under the bust, the rest of the dress flows under the hem
This dress can suit any body type. Especially handy for women with a smaller bust as it draws the attention of the eye upwards. It is also greatly situated to hide a long torso or short legs and useful for pregnant women as the flow of the dress can cover a growing belly
A-line - This gown is fitted at the bodice and flows out in an unbroken line
This dress goes perfectly for any body shape, especially suitable for women with a bigger bust
Mermaid - This gown amplifies your curves and accentuates your feminine side. It contours your figure from chest to knees, then proceeds to flare out to the hem
Recommended to be worn by someone who wants to show off their curves
Mini - This dress falls short above the knee
This dress is ideal for petite, slim or banana shaped figures
Tea length - This dress normally cuts of between the ankle and knee
Not recommended for women of a petite frame as this emphasizes how small they are
Sheath - This gown fits closely to the natural curves of the body from top to bottom
Recommended for lean figures of any height
I suggest to try on one of each types when you first go shopping especially if you don’t have any ideas. Although thismay seem like a tedious job it is highly effective in your search for the perfect dress as it will quickly become clear which style suits you best for your shape.
5) Appointment off-peak time! If you are able to set aside a full week day for your appointments that would benefit you more as that way you can expect the best attention from the staff of bridal salons.
6) Entourage! It might seem tempting to please everyone with one of the most important purchases of your wedding - your dress. So the more people you bring along to the appointment the higher chance that you’ll end up being overwhelmed and confused with all the different opinions. My advice is to select two to three loved ones. They should be honest and have your best interest in mind. I have personally seen it many times where a bride will decide on a dress that everyone else wants them to wear. So please remember that this is your day and so is the choice of your wedding dress!
7) Test the dress! This means putting the dress through trial and seeing how comfortable it is. This can be done by sitting down, dancing, walking up and down the room. Remember to choose a dress that is flattering to your body rather than what is trending.
8) Ordering your dress. When it is time to order your gown make sure that you buy the dress closet to your bust, waist and hip size. It is always easier to take a dress in then out. Even if you're planning to lose weight try not to buy a dress smaller than your current measurements.
9) Fall in love! You should feel beautiful and confident in your wedding dress. Only you can make the right choice. If you're having difficulty deciding on a dress pop on your veil and imagine yourself walking down the aisle in it. When you don’t want to take of the dress that is a sure sign that your search is finally over! Yes you have found the dress of your dreams!