Mr.Right has finally popped the question and put a ring on your finger. Congratulations, you're engaged! Like most women, you probably have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl, picturing yourself walking down the aisle in a stunning wedding dress. Now that the dream is becoming a reality, it’s time to shop for the perfect gown. There are so many beautiful styles to choose from. How does one find the perfect wedding dress?
Picking the right wedding dress can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. Keep the following items in mind when shopping for a wedding dress.
The first thing to do is assess a budget: It is important to decide how much you can spend on the wedding dress before going shopping. Many wedding dresses cost more than a thousand dollars (not including alternations and accessories!), so as soon as you get engaged, research the costs and start putting away money for your dress! Unfortunately, not every blushing bride can afford a beautiful designer wedding dress, so the first step to buying a wedding gown is to plan a budget for the wedding that includes a maximum allowance for your dress. Most North-Americans spend between $1000 to $2500 on a wedding dress. However, there are other costs: alterations will run about $300-$500, the veil $200-$400, and the accessories (like shoes and gloves) about $100- $250. Know that 50% deposit for the dress is usually required to order the wedding dress, and the balance must be paid before your first fitting.
Before going shopping for the wedding dress, you need to Know the wedding date. Most wedding dresses are ordered and can take several months to arrive from the time of the order. Then, once the dress arrives there are fittings, final alterations and customizations. Custom designed dresses can take even longer. If the wedding is soon, either purchase a dress off the rack or find a wedding dress tailor who can do a "rush" job to fit the schedule.
Determine the perfect style: Figure out what style will look best on your body shape. Then research the styles available. There are many bridal magazines available, filled with pictures of wedding dresses. Start looking for a wedding dress designs that you find appealing. Find some Bridal Salons and ask your friends who recently got married for referrals on boutiques they liked and start comparison shopping. ALWAYS bring someone you trust to the boutique. Get an honest second opinion from someone who knows you. Since this is the most important dress you’ll ever wear, it has to look perfect. “Fine” and “Okay” are not acceptable answers. You want to look “Fabulous!”
At the first appointment, show the sales person pictures of the preferred wedding dresses. Make sure she chooses within the price range that fits the budget. Try each dress on, and remember that the salon usually carries bigger sizes, the sales person will pin the dress to your silhouette. The size of a bridal gown is ordered based on measurements of bust, waist, hips and height. It’s fine to slim down for the wedding, but the dress has to fit properly, so no more dieting after the final fitting. There are a few basic cuts: Both Princess and A-line dresses have side seams that run vertically from the underarm to the hem. A-line/Princess shapes accentuate the waist line and tend to be the most figure-friendly. The ball gown (the Cinderella look) is the most traditional wedding-dress silhouette. The bodice is fitted through the waist and has a full (puffy) skirt. Sheaths are form fitting and slim, very modern and sexy. But to pull this dress off , make sure you get measured very carefully. A quarter-inch miss here really shows. The mermaid shape is like the sheath with one exception: the skirt flares out below the knee. The empire silhouette fits like any other empire dress. It has a high waistline that stems from the bust, with a slender skirt, great to hide a bigger bust.
A popular style choice for many brides today is a two-piece wedding dress. The two-piece is very comfortable and trendy. A bustier is a must for underneath the top of a two-piece gown. Which represents the mood you want to portray:
ROMANTIC - This is strapless or long-sleeved with a heart-shaped neckline. Romantic wedding dresses are usually complemented by a long train.
TRADITIONAL - Like the A-line, a traditional wedding dress is also described as a full gown. Petite brides look best in this style because it elongates the figure. Traditional wedding gowns consist of lace, satin, beads and buttons. It's also the puffy wedding dress.
MODERN - Also defined as a sheath, it's made of crepe and charmuse fabrics. It's very fitting for a formal, evening wedding.
CLASSIC - Lots of satin, little beading. A Classic wedding dress is for the bride who doesn't like to be flashy. It's more conservative.
Many women like the look of a long train. Keep in mind, however, that it's tough to walk around all day with a heavy train dragging behind. So do a detachable or a bustle, so it won't get stepped on and will give you freedom of movement during the reception.
Picking a headpiece (veil, tiara) is like picking a new hairstyle; it must flatter your face, not overpower it. When choosing your headpiecel, remember that it must conform not only to the dress, it must also flatter and complement the shape of your face.
OVAL FACES: You can wear almost any style headpiece.
LONG FACES: A band or wreath is recommended, as it softens the shape of the face.
ROUND FACES: Again, bands or wreaths work. Tiaras also look elegant on women with round faces.
Jewelry should be subdued. Stud-earrings like diamonds or pearls are common. As for the necklace, wear pearls or a simple necklace with a delicate pendant, but avoid wearing one with a very adorned dress at the neck line. Keep your left hand bare, and wear the engagement ring on your right hand (move the ring on the wedding band after the ceremony). do a small bracelet on a wrist. Most brides also wear a blue garter belt or an antique broach.
Finding the perfect wedding gown should be fun, not a chore. Invite your favorite people along, have lunch and make a day of it. Don’t let this be a stressful time. Be pampered and have a blast!
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