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 ResearchUsually 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.
|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.
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.
|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.
|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.
–>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.