For many a modern bride, finding the perfect dress for her big day is the most stressful task of the wedding planning process. With the wide selection of dresses available today, it seems there is more pressure than ever on a bride to find the gown that flawlessly fits her body, her sense of style, and her wedding. But fear not, brides-to-be: some sage advice, a healthy dose of expert guidance and a little bit of personality can go a long way towards finding the perfect gown. If you’re hoping to find the ideal dress to complete your wedding dreams, get started by checking out the list of helpful tips below.
Many bridal consultants suggest that brides begin the search for their dress as much as six to nine months before the day of their wedding. While it may not take more than a day for you to find the dress of your dreams, it may take as much as four months for the manufacturer to complete its production. You also want to leave at least two months’ time to allow for fittings and alterations. However, if you’re the romantic type who just can’t wait that long to get married, you can ask your dress shop for a rush order, which will require an additional fee and may limit your choices a bit. And if you’re really lucky, you may find the right gown off-the-rack at a sample sale.
Find the Ideal Fit
You’ve probably already spent plenty of time figuring out what silhouettes and styles flatter your body while shopping for regular apparel – and let’s face it, all your training has been in preparation for this day. When you walk into the bridal store, don’t forget what styles work on you, even if you fall in love with the first gown you see in the shop window. And if you are still a little clueless about what flatters your shape, here are some good rules of thumb: pear shapes look great in A-line skirts, tall women are flattered by simple designs, a more supportive neckline pleases bustier brides, and fabrics with structure work well on plus-sized brides.
Before you arrive at the bridal shop, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the typical wedding dress vocabulary. Some questions to research – “Do I want a basque waistline?” “What’s the difference between ivory and white?” “And just what IS a chapel train?” The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to find the perfect silhouette and an ideal fit. Once you have found the dress, be sure to take advantage of two to three fitting appointments leading up to your wedding. The devil is in the details, so ensure that no seams are puckering, that you don’t feel restricted while sitting, and that your straps won’t fall during your first dance.
Consider Your Wedding Locale
Not only do you want your dress to perfectly fit your body, you also want it to fit your surroundings on the day of your wedding. Keep your ceremony and reception venues in mind while browsing dress styles. If you’ve decided to wed at a beach resort, keep it simple, flowing, and don’t be afraid to forgo the shoes altogether. Or, to perfectly set the tone for your nuptials at a French restaurant, you can pick a vintage, Parisian-inspired gown. And beautiful embellishments and details will make sure your dress stands up to the backdrop of a grand soirée at a historical estate.
Remember, this day is all about you, not the dress. Don’t lose your own personality and sense of style in the process of finding the perfect gown. Many dress consultants advise brides-to-be not to venture too far from their own style – after all, your guests (and your soon-to-be husband) want you to look like yourself as you walk down the aisle. So if you’re the type who tends to buck the norm, then don’t be afraid to wear your favorite color, rather than the traditional white. Or get creative and add special, personal touches onto the gown of your choosing to make it feel like your own. Accessorize with your best friend’s bracelet, your mother’s veil or a pair of shoes featuring a monogram of your brand new initials. These small details will complement your dress and will make your wedding day look both unique and memorable.
About the Author
As International Social Media Manager at Sandals Resorts (Unique Vacation, Ltd.) Tiffany Mullins leads a team that is changing the way the Sandals family of resorts communicates. Tiffany manages the Sandals and Beaches online community as well asthe direction of Sandals Wedding Blog, which brings brides and inspiration together to truly create “Your Wedding. Your Style.” Tiffany now resides on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. For more information on Sandals’ all inclusive resorts, please call 1-888-SANDALS or visit www.sandals.com.