Sunday, July 09, 2006

How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Dress

Dress by Cassandra Bromfield Photo by Perez Folds

Post By Helen McMaster

A long formal dress is suitable for a church wedding of a civil ceremony although many brides do prefer wearing a smart dress or tailored suit for the Registry office.
Some religions also frown on sleeveless dresses or low cut outfits and this will need to be taken into account too.
No matter which style you pick, remember that the back view is as important as the front, you will have your back to everyone during the ceremony.
Choose fabric that is resistant to crushing and creasing. Detachable trains that can be removed or hooked up are also wise. Dress ideas and colours will need to be discussed with the groom without revealing all the details so that the colours and styles of the wedding party can be coordinated. Look in the mirror
Be realistic and don't try and aim for what Hollywood starlets look like on their wedding days, most of us don't have personal trainer and chefs to look after us and help keep us in shape.
Don't set your goal posts too close to the moon, you will only be disappointed and feel like a failure when your big day is meant to be a celebration of your love for one another.
Concentrate on the real you! Think about what you normally wear, what colors suit you and which styles flatter you figure and most important, which outfits make you feel on top of the world, what type of ceremony and theme are you looking to create-traditional or relaxed, formal or informal.
White dresses are not obligatory these days, if you don't feel white is your colour or will complement you then don't wear it. Wedding gowns are becoming increasingly popular in cream, pale gold, pale blue, pale pink and red. There is also a trend these days to go for darker colours like burgundy or shades of green which is a beautiful idea for a Christmas wedding.
You will feel better in a dress that flatters your complexion or one of your favourites instead of going with white because it seems to be the norm. If wearing a bright coloured dress the details should be kept to a minimum.
The right style for your shape
Choosing a style that flatters your shape can make a huge difference to how you look and also give you a huge confidence booster. Trying on dresses that either don't suit your body or the ceremony is notably, a waste of time, but can also depress you. You might find that you give in and buy the wrong dress anyway. A sure fire way to put a damper on your big day.
Tall and Thin
Choose a ball gown with a strapless, fitted bodice
Bony shoulders or collar bones can will suit dresses with a higher neckline that are long and fitted
If you feel you are too thin for this style consider that you can set of your height and leanness with some delicate detailed embroidery or beading.
Short with a fuller, feminine Figure
Try an empire line dress which has a seam under the bust line and in the right fabric, the dress will flow instead of cling.
A Knee length dress will also look good, the longer dress will add height and give you a taller silhouette.
Sleeves should also be long but not too tight if considered.
Thick Waist
Conceal a wide waist with a boned corset or wear a decorative jacket that falls just below the waistline
Avoid fitted ballerina styles
Very Full Bust
To draw attention away from the bust choose a dress with a long bodice or cowl neck
Dresses with a natural waistline will draw attention to the bust area
Pick a plain bodice and avoid low necklines
Pick a detailed hem if you want to add a little embellishment
Full or Wide Hips
Avoid bustles and ruffles or tiered dresses
Most styles will look great but avoid tight styles around the hips
Princess styles that are fitted on the top and flare slightly to the hem will help disguise larger hips
Ball gown styles in simple fabrics will also draw attention away from the hips
Big bottom
Avoid bows or back fastening ties
Consider a light train from the top of the bodice or waist
Wide Shoulders
Wide straps will narrow the appearance of your shoulders or cover them completely
Draw the focus to a v-neckline
Wearing a sheer wrap will also soften the effect
Do not wear puffed sleeves, don't even consider them!
Short or heavy legs
Opt for a long dress
Sheath styles which are straight but not too clingy will add height
Short Arms
Three Quarter length sleeves will be flattering
Do not go sleeveless
Chubby Arms
Choose long simple sleeves that are not too tight
Wear a bolero, shrug or wrap
Pregnant Brides, OOPS!
Maternity bridal wear is a fairly specialist item to find and not offered at standard bridal shops. Having a bump does not equal frump. Pregnant brides can still have the dress of the dreams.
If you are having a baby or have just had a baby then take into account the fact that you are going to have long day, so go for comfort when choosing what to wear.
Don't try to squeeze in a corset style dress in the size you used to be. Your dress will have to allow for your changing shape and you will need to find a reliable dress maker for last minute alterations.
If you want to disguise the pregnancy go for a dress that is one size up and getting the bust altered. A big bouquet will also disguise the tummy area.
You do not need to sacrifice style to be comfortable, tight waists and figure hugging dresses with tightly laced bodices are not worth sparing a thought for as they will only torment you on your special day.
Focus on showing off your new curves with a focus on the shoulders or bust. Styles that are perfect for the pregnant bride are Empire lines, princess lines or A line dresses. These styles flare from under the bust, the empire line has a straighter skirt. A Chiffon overlay can be added to soften the lines of your dress or opt for a medieval style dress with long flowing sleeves.
Made to measure maternity bridal wear is available at at an affordable price.
Some guidelines when deciding on a dress:
Try on as many different styles as you like and view them from as many different angles as possible, take some shoes along that will be similar in height to the ones you may wear. To get the full effect have the shop fit you out in a veil with the dress as you wont want to take your wedding dress with you when you go veil shopping
Take your time to make a decision and don't feel pressured by pushy salespeople
How much deposit is required and when is the balance due
Does the price include VAT
How much extra are the alterations
How far before the wedding must you order
How many fitting will be required and do they offer Saturday or after work hour fittings
Can you arrange a fitting with accessories, lingerie and shoe
Get confirmation of all appointments and money paid in writing
How far before the wedding will the dress arrive
Do the shop offer storage garment bags
Ask about the care instructions for getting the crease out before your big day
What is the shops policy on cancellations
Have you added the dress to your wedding insurance
If you are going to hire your dress
Check to see if the chosen dress will be available on your day, cleaned and ready for collection.
Does the hire price include a full 24 hours.
Does the dress have to be cleaned before its returned (an added expense) After the wedding who will be entrusted with delivering the dress back to the hire shop as it should be
Enjoy the Journey!
About the author:Hellen McMaster is a successful wedding professional helping brides pick the best dresses that suit them at along with all the necessary accessories like veils, tiaras and jewellery. Hellen also has a sister website specialising in wedding stationery design and favours at affordable prices. Widest range of Tartan and Scottish themed stationery on the internet and also uses the exclusive Pride of Scotland theme ribbon

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