Congratulations on your engagement! This means you’ve completed the first step to planning your wedding: finding the groom. Now you must find the perfect dress to make you sparkle on your special day. Selecting your wedding gown can be a stressful process with the average bride trying on more than 20 dresses before finding the right one. Here are a few tips that can make this phase of your wedding plans a lot easier!
1. Do Your Research!
Large bridal shops have over 10,000 gowns so having an idea of what kind of gown you’re looking for can help narrow down the search. Have you always had a particular designer or silhouette in mind? What color are you looking for? Is your wedding during the day or the night?
2. Pick a Silhouette
Wedding gowns come in a variety of silhouettes ranging from a full ball gown for a more formal wedding to short day dresses for a casual trendy wedding. Also, know what looks good on you. You will want your dress to flatter your figure, not emphasize the flaws. Here are a few common silhouettes for a wedding gown:
• Ball Gowns are traditional, elegant, and flatter most figures, but can be overwhelming on a petite bride making her look short or stumpy. They are generally characterized by an off the shoulder bodice and full, flowing gown.
• A-lines are perhaps the most popular silhouette as they go with most venues, come in both day and night gowns, and flatter every figure. They feature a flare from the waist without emphasizing the bust or bottom, and works well with petite brides by making them look longer.
• Empire Waist Gowns are cut to emphasize your bust and draw attention away from any flaws with the waist or lower down. The skirt begins from right below the bust and is generally made out a flowy light material. They can be altered for various lengths and are also perfect for a bride trying to conceal a pregnancy.
• Mermaid Gowns are perfect for a bride who has no problems with her figure and wants to show it all. As the name suggests, they fit to shape until about ¾ ways down the body or at the knee where they flare out. This shape is not recommended for women who have a few extra pounds at the waist or women with narrow hips.
3. Know Your Budget
Wedding gowns come in a wide range of prices. Kleinfeld’s houses gowns that range from $1100 to $30,000. There are other bridal shops than carry gowns below and above this range. Hence, knowing your budget can save you a lot of time and sorrow when the perfect gown isn’t the perfect price. Try coming up with a narrow budget. If you’ve saved up $7000 for your wedding gown, try on dresses between $6000 and $7500. You might get a discount when your ready to go but it’s not going bring a $12000 gown to $9000!
4. Start looking ASAP
You might want your gown custom made or need alterations. These custom orders take time so let the store know about changes ahead of time (usually between 2-4 months). I always believe in planning for a wedding a week before yours. That way, if there are any last minutes changes that need to be done, they can happen.
5. Have your accessories with you
When you have chosen your wedding gown, take a picture of yourself in the gown to take with you when you shop for shoes and other accessories. Also, try on the gown with all the accessories so you know that the dress is the perfect length with your heels, and that your veil matches etc.
Finally, remember that your wedding is about you. So envision it happening before you pick your wedding gown. Most brides claim that when they tried on the wedding gown they bought, they just knew it was the right one. Good Luck!