Choosing The Bridal Gown
Bridal gowns come in a wide variety of styles,
materials, colors, lengths and prices. You should order your
gown at least four to six months before your wedding if your
gown has to be ordered and then fitted.
Options: Different gown styles
can help create a shorter, taller, heavier, or thinner look.
Here are some tips:
- A short, heavy figure: To look taller and slimmer,
avoid knit fabrics. Use the princess or A-line style.
Chiffon is the best fabric choice because it produces
a floating effect and camouflages weight.
- A short, thin figure: A shirtwaist or natural waist
style with bouffant skirt will produce a taller, more
rounded figure. Chiffon, velvet, lace and Schiffli net
are probably the best fabric choices.
- A tall, heavy figure: Princess or A-line are the best
styles for slimming the figure; satin, chiffon and lace
fabrics are recommended.
- A tall, thin figure: Tiers or flounces will help reduce
the impression of height. A shirtwaist or natural waist
style with a full skirt are ideal choices. Satin and lace
are the best fabrics.
The guidelines below will help you select the most appropriate
gown for your wedding:
||Street-length gown or suitCorsage or small
bouquetNo veil or train
| Semi-formal wedding:
||Floor-length gownChapel trainFinger-tip veilSmall bouquet
| Formal daytime wedding:
||Floor-length gownChapel or sweep trainFingertip veil
or hatGlovesMedium-sized bouquet
|Formal evening wedding:
||Same as formal daytime except longer veil
| Very formal wedding:
||Floor-length gownCathedral trainFull-length veilElaborate
headpiece Long sleeves or long arm-covering glovesCascading
Things To Consider: In selecting
your bridal gown, keep in mind the time of year and formality
of your wedding. It is a good idea to look at bridal magazines
to compare the various styles and colors. If you see a gown
you like, call boutiques in your area to see if they carry
that line. Always try on the gown before ordering it.
When ordering a gown, make sure you order the
correct size. If you are between sizes, order the larger one.
You can always have your gown tailored down to fit, but it
is not always possible to have it enlarged or to lose enough
weight to fit into it! Don't forget to ask when your gown
will arrive, and be sure to get this in writing. The gown
should arrive at least six weeks before the wedding so you
can have it tailored and select the appropriate accessories
to complement it.
Beware: Some bridal boutiques
have the practice of ordering gowns a size larger than needed.
This requires more alterations which may mean extra charges.
Ask for all alteration pricing in advance. Tailoring is a
great source of income for boutiques. Also, gowns often fail
to arrive on time, creating unnecessary stress for you. Have
the store manager state, in writing, when the gown will arrive.
And be sure to check the reputation of the boutique before
Tips To Save Money: Consider
renting a gown or buying one secondhand. Renting a gown usually
costs about forty to sixty percent of its retail price. Consider
this practical option if you are not planning to preserve
the gown. The disadvantage of renting, however, is that your
options are more limited. Also, a rented gown usually does
not fit as well as a custom tailored gown.
Ask about discontinued styles and gowns. Watch
for clearances and sales, or buy your gown "off the rack."
Restore or refurbish a family heirloom gown.
If you have a friend, sister, or other family member who is
planning a wedding, consider purchasing a gown that you could
both wear. Change the veil and headpiece to personalize it.
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