Finding a wedding dress at short notice can be an overwhelming thought! Many modern couples are deciding to get married very shortly after they get engaged, so sometimes a time-frame of just a few months or even weeks is becoming more common. There might be a particular reason for this, such as an illness in the family, booking the only available dates at a favourite venue, other plans that mean you need to get married right away and so on. Or perhaps you just can’t see a reason to wait! Whatever your reason for a swept-off-your-feet wedding, one of the first things you’ll be wanting to do is find a wedding dress. This might seem like a herculean task, and many traditional bridal shops will tell you it’s impossible, but don’t despair – it is absolutely possible if you know what to do!
|When to Choose Ball Gown?|
|What it is The number one distinguishing trait of a ball gown is its very full (aka huge) skirt. The silhouette also has a fitted bodice and is cinched at the natural waist.
Best for Brides with boyish figures. The fullness of the dress will make you look curvier.
Avoid if You’re a petite bride. You’ll get swallowed up by a dress this voluminous.
|When to Choose Mermaid?|
|What it is This shape is defined by a slim, tapered, curve-hugging skirt that follows the line of the hips and thighs and flares out below the knee.
Best for Brides with hourglass figures who want to show off their curves.
Avoid if You know you don’t want something tight; this style is constricting.
Traditional bridalwear stores tend to suggest that you give yourself between 6 months and a year to find your perfect wedding gown – this is so adjustments and fittings can be booked, or the right size shipped in etc. While browsing these stores can give you a firm idea of what kind of dress you’re after, many simply won’t be able to provide you with a gown at short notice, so looking elsewhere is your first step to finding a late-notice wedding dress.
Your options include non-wedding clothing stores, vintage wedding dresses and wedding dress factory outlets:
The high street is sometimes a great place to start, and larger department stores often stock wedding gowns at affordable prices. But these tend to be rather limited, generic and might not cater for smaller or larger dress-sizes.
If you can find a vintage dress that fits, then fantastic! Many vintage dresses are often in very slim sizes, however, so may narrow down your options. Perhaps you have a family heirloom of a gown that could be adjusted to fit you?
|When to Choose Column?|
|What it is This formfitting style follows the body’s natural line and doesn’t flare out. It’s also referred to as a sheath.
Best for Petite women, since this slim shape adds length. This silhouette also looks great on brides with sleek figures.
Avoid if You’re pear-shaped (when you’re small on top but more rounded on the bottom). This silhouette will make you look unbalanced.
|When to Choose Drop Waist?|
|What it is This silhouette is exactly as you would imagine—it drops and flares out slightly below the waistline around your hip area.
Best for Brides who want to flaunt their trim middles and shape, since it hugs your waist and hips.
Avoid if You have a boxy figure—it might make you look like you have less curves.
|When to Choose A-Line?|
|What it is As its name implies, this cut is narrow at the top and extends out along the body in the shape of—you guessed it—an “A.”
Best for All body types. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular skirt silhouettes—it’s super-flattering on almost everyone.
Avoid if You’re looking for something really sexy.
Finally, wedding dress factory outlets are great places to find affordable designer wedding dresses in a huge range of styles. These outlets buy end-of-line, one-off and ex-display/catwalk bridalwear and are able to sell on to the customer at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes you can save up to £1500 on a top designer dress! They may also work with new or specialised designers who offer their gowns at reduced cost. This option gives you the greatest choice, with larger outlets stocking up to 700 dresses in a variety of styles and sizes.
Wherever you find your dress, you will most likely need to have it altered in some way. Even ‘off-the-peg’ dresses may not fit perfectly. But hiring a bridalwear seamstress is fairly cheap and easy to do, and you can get the work done with a quick turnaround if you start looking for your wedding gown as soon as you being planning your wedding.
Other top tips for anyone looking for a wedding dress at short notice include:
– Set aside a whole day for shopping and plan to visit just a few bridalwear stores rather than panicking and rushing round as many shops as possible.
– Don’t rush! Take your time to research what type of gown you are after and be open to trying on lots of different styles.
– Take the advice of the staff and whoever you’ve brought along with you.
– If possible, do some research on the gowns available before you come into the store.
|When to Choose Trumpet?|
|What it is A straight-lined skirt subtly flares from the knee toward the hem in a trumpet shape.
Best for Curvy brides who are looking for a formfitting dress that’s slightly easier to move in.
Avoid if You’re not comfortable with clearly showing off your shape or if you have an apple or boxy body type.
|If You’re Apple-Shaped?|
|Look for: A dress that cinches in at the smallest point on the waistline, then flares out into a gradual A shape. Opt for a bodice with a lot of texture to it―think ruche or lace detailing―that will camouflage and fit snugly, creating a corsetlike effect. The most slenderizing neckline for you is one with a deep V, which will draw eyes toward the vertical, not the horizontal.
Keep in mind: Avoid trumpet dress styles, which emphasize the area where your body is widest and flare out at the legs and the knees, where you are most slender.
|If You’re Plus-Sized?|
|Look for: An Empire dress with a skirt that begins just under the bust and flows into a gradual floor-length A-line. Make sure the Empire seam does not start on the chest and that there is no pleating of the fabric, which is reminiscent of maternity wear. The dress should play up your shape; if it’s too loose, it will add pounds.
Keep in mind: Find fabrics like satin that provide structure, rather than anything too flowy. If you love the romantic look of airier fabrics, choose a gown with a stiffer base, then add an embroidered tulle overlay.
– Don’t stress! Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for first time round, bridalwear stock changes frequently, and new wedding dresses will come in regularly. Chances are, in a week or two, there will be a whole new range for you to choose from.