Don’t procrastinateand then feel rushed, i.e., start early. Sometimes it’s love at first sight and you find your perfect gown on your first visit. Most often, like finding the right man, it takes time. Order your wedding dress 7 to 10 months before the wedding date. This is very important not only for you, but for your entire wedding party. Make sure they get their deposits made.
Limit the size of your entourage. Too many opinions will just add to your stress. Looking for your wedding gown requires time and attention. Just remember that the right wedding gown is the one that makes you look and feel your best. That said, sometimes you have to go with your heart, your decision, even if it differs from Mom’s or your good friends.
The more time you have, the better. When you find the right gown, order it. If you wait, the gown may be discontinued. The longer you wait, the less options that you’ll have. The more time you have, the more time you have to solve any unforeseen problems. Professionals recommend that you begin looking seven to ten months before the big day. You need that much time to try on different gowns, make your selection and get necessary alterations.
It all depends on you, when it comes to formal wear for your groom and his groomsmen. Literally, your gown sets the standard of formality for their apparel. If your dress is formal, theirs should be, too. Another factor is timing. If you plan a daytime wedding, the men in your wedding party can be more casually attired.
The right gown makes your figure look well-proportioned. It enhances your natural features and compliments your neckline, coloring, and shape. It distracts from your less-than-perfect features. Your weight may fluctuate before your wedding but your basic shape remains the same.
Women’s bodies typically belong to one of four categories: hourglass, triangle, rectangle or inverse triangle (pear). Your shape is determined by the relationship of your hips, waist and bosom.
You are the exception if you have the hourglass figure. The hourglass figure works well with many different styles of bridal gowns, including the princess, sheathe, off-the-shoulder and strapless. This means you have a lot of choices, and you can focus on your tastes and preferences.
Whatever your shape, the most important decision starts with your waist. You can go with your natural waistline, move the gown’s waist line up or move it down. Depending on your body type, each has an advantage.
Higher waist lined gowns are advantageous for women with larger hips. Moving the waistline up de-emphasizes your hips. It has a slendering effect. An empire waistline is placed just beneath your bust.
Another possibility for those with a small waist but larger hips is the princess seam. These designs create vertical lines that draw eyes upward while slenderizing the hips.
Brides with large busts and a small to average waist are the best candidates for a lowered waistline. The most common is the Basque waist. This is placed lower than the natural waistline and comes to a point at the front.It’s often defined with cording or embroidery, and helps slenderize most body types.
Your neckline will have strong impact on your appearance. Brides with larger bust line often select the sweetheart neckline. This curves down across the bust and comes to a point at the cleavage. It makes your silhouette better proportioned.
Women with smaller busts often pick flattering necklines. A possibility is the spaghetti strap, which leaves your neckline unobstructed. Spaghetti straps and strapless designs are often less flattering on brides with a larger bust line.
Common Wedding Dress Styles:
Ball Gown or Basque Waist:
The most traditional wedding gown is the ball gown. It is typically a full bodice and a waistline that leads to a very full skirt. It is good for a full or pear shaped figure. It also works well for the petite and thin bride as long as it’s not overly big.
The empire style gown is a high waistline (right under the bust) which falls to a slimmer skirt . Good for a thicker waist.
A-Line or Princess:
An A-line or Princess shape features vertical seams flowing from the shoulders down to a flared skirt (creating an “A” shape). Good for a short waist or a full figure. Works well for the petite bride.
Fit and Flare or Mermaid:
These silhouettes closely follow the lines of the body. At the knees or just above the knees the skirt gently flares out. Works well for a variety of figures.