Selecting the Right Wedding Gowns
Wedding planning is more than choosing a date, finding a reception hall and selecting invitations. While those events are important, the most special part of wedding planning is shopping for bridal gowns with your mother. But looking great on your big day means knowing what type of wedding dresses look best. Should you go with formal or informal wedding dresses? Are day or evening bridal gowns acceptable? What are the best wedding gowns for your figure and height? The information below will help you select the right apparel for your memorable trip down the aisle.
Choosing Your Wedding Dress and Bridal Gown
Bridal gowns come in a wide variety of styles, materials, colors, lengths and prices. You should order your gown at least four to six months before your wedding if your gown has to be ordered and then fitted.
Options: Different gown styles can help create a shorter, taller, heavier, or thinner look. Here are some tips:
- A short, heavy figure: To look taller and slimmer, avoid knit fabrics. Use the princess or A-line style. Chiffon is the best fabric choice because it produces a floating effect and camouflages weight.
- A short, thin figure: A shirtwaist or natural waist style with bouffant skirt will produce a taller, more rounded figure. Chiffon, velvet, lace and Schiffli net are probably the best fabric choices.
- A tall, heavy figure: Princess or A-line are the best styles for slimming the figure; satin, chiffon and lace fabrics are recommended.
- A tall, thin figure: Tiers or flounces will help reduce the impression of height. A shirtwaist or natural waist style with a full skirt are ideal choices. Satin and lace are the best fabrics.
The guidelines below will help you select the most appropriate gown for your wedding:
Street-length gown or suit
Corsage or small bouquet, No veil or train
Floor-length gown, Chapel train, Finger-tip veil
Formal daytime wedding:
Floor-length gown, Chapel or sweep train
Fingertip veil or hat, Gloves
Formal evening wedding:
Same as formal daytime except longer veil
Very formal wedding:
Floor-length gown, Cathedral train
Full-length veil, Elaborate headpiece
Long sleeves or long arm-covering gloves
Things To Consider: In selecting your bridal gown, keep in mind the time of year and formality of your wedding. It is a good idea to look at bridal magazines to compare the various styles and colors. If you see a gown you like, call boutiques in your area to see if they carry that line. Always try on the gown before ordering it. When ordering a gown, make sure you order the correct size. If you are between sizes, order the larger one. You can always have your gown tailored down to fit, but it is not always possible to have it enlarged or to lose enough weight to fit into it! Don't forget to ask when your gown will arrive, and be sure to get this in writing. The gown should arrive at least six weeks before the wedding so you can have it tailored and select the appropriate accessories to complement it.
Beware: Some bridal boutiques have the practice of ordering gowns a size larger than needed. This requires more alterations which may mean extra charges. Ask for all alteration pricing in advance. Tailoring is a great source of income for boutiques. Also, gowns often fail to arrive on time, creating unnecessary stress for you. Have the store manager state, in writing, when the gown will arrive. And be sure to check the reputation of the boutique before buying.