Finding the perfect wedding
dress is not a short and easy process. There are several steps in the wedding dress shopping experience. From, preparation, the actual shopping experience and finding a wedding dress within a bride
’s budget.Do Your Research
Usually the day after the proposal you will get a bridal magazine: your new wedding bible. Unless you have the perfect picture of the dress you want from way back in your tiny tyke days, look through these magazines and get some ideas of what types of wedding dresses are out there. It really doesn’t matter if you feel like you might not fit into a style or it might be too expensive: rip every dress style you like out of the magazine.
If You're Pear-Shaped?
Look for: A skirt that gradually flares out in an A formation from the natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of the midsection and floating away from the hips and thighs. (Sturdier fabrics, such as duchesse satin and taffeta, are especially effective, since they won't cling.) A spaghetti-strap bodice or a V neckline will also showcase a more slender upper body.
Keep in mind: A classic A-line silhouette lends itself to formal weddings, but it can also be dressed down when made from a more casual fabric, like eyelet lace or raw-silk shantung.
Make notes and use different pen colors to circle the designs or pieces of the dress you like. Doing this will help you realize what you want out of a dress and helps you notice what styles you really like. This can also help you with the sort of accents that you want. Do you want a trumpet or ball gown, train or no train, strapless or cap sleeves?Also note which designers you love and hate. Check out their websites to look at their other creations. Make a note of which boutiques in your area carry the designers you like.
If You're Busty?
Look for: A dress with a scooped neckline. It will open up your face and display your décolletage without showing too much cleavage. If you love the look of strapless gowns, choose one that has a slight dip along the neckline, like a sweetheart, rather than a style that goes straight across (which will make your bust appear even larger and more shelflike).
Keep in mind: Fabric on the bodice that has a sheen to it (such as organza, satin, or silk) will add volume and call attention to your chest. Material that is ruched will have the same effect.
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.
–>Get the Expert OpinionHave a meeting with your Maid of Honor and discuss ideas for your wedding dress. Ask for her opinion and advice. It’s really important to pick a wedding dress that will fit the theme of your wedding. If you and your fianc decide to have an outside winter wedding in Chicago, a summer slip dress does not look flattering with frostbite.Set a LimitCheck your budget. Make sure you figure out how much money you have earmarked for your dress before you try on any dresses. Usually the bride or the bride’s parents pay for the dress. But if you know that you are allocating more of your budget for the other parts of the wedding, try to stick to your budget and research other avenues that will fit your finances. Check out discount wedding websites and second-hand stores. A family heirloom can always, with the right seamstress, be revamped to reflect your own style.Start ShoppingWhen you are sick of looking at magazines and you are anxious to start experimenting with some styles, make an appointment with a boutique of your choice. Grab your camera, notebook, Maid of Honor and your mom, and have something light to eat before you head over to your appointment. It’s important to eat something before this modeling session because you will be carrying heavy gowns on our body and you need your strength. There is also the possibility of swooning when you find the dress.If your Maid of Honor is not available, go with someone you will feel relaxed with and whose opinions you trust. You need someone who will honestly, but delicately, point out if a dress really looks great on you – or if it’s a train wreck. In the end though, if you feel absolutely beautiful in a dress, go with your gut.