Photo Courtesy: Michelle Yao
Any bride knows that on her wedding day all eyes will be on her dress. Who cares what the groom is wearing? It’s all about that ethereal angel floating down the aisle in a stunning gown; that’s the thing that gets talked about for years to come! As the bride, the pressure is on to choose a wedding dress that fits perfectly, flatters your body shape and will make you look like a princess immortalised in your wedding photos. So how do you begin to go about such a mammoth task? Here are my top tips for finding your perfect wedding dress:
Consider your figure
As with all clothing, different styles of wedding dress will suit different figures. Think about whether you are pear shaped, boxy, full-figured, petite etc and research what styles will suit you best. For example busty women will need a dress that either allows for supportive underwear or has built in support to keep everything in place. Big, voluptuous dresses might swamp petite women; likewise a voluptuous dress will add unnecessary pounds to a pear shaped woman.
Think about the location
The location of your wedding venue can influence the style of dress you choose. Some wedding dresses are more suitable than others in certain venues; for example a wedding gown with a medieval feel is perfect for a wedding in a castle but would look a little out of place at a beach wedding. A friend of mine recently got married in Johannesburg and needed a dress that she could transport easily on the plane, and it also needed to be suitable to wear in the heat of the South African summer as she had an outdoor ceremony and reception.
Take into account the season
If you’ve chosen a winter wedding then you’ll need to find a wedding dress and accessories suitable for cold weather; blue skin and goose-bumps in your wedding photos is not a good look! If you’ve planned a summer wedding then hopefully the weather will be on your side. Choose a dress that will be comfortable in case of extreme heat on the day and maybe pick up a matching pashmina just in case the great British summer lets you down.
Take inspiration from your wedding theme
If you’ve already chosen your wedding theme then it’s a good idea to fit your dress into that theme. For example a shabby chic or secret garden/vintage tea party themed wedding would suit a wedding dress that was heavy on lace and pearls. Whereas a medieval themed wedding in a castle, with a hog roast for dinner, would suit a wedding dress with a touch of velvet and hints of red and gold.
Stick to your budget
Decide on the maximum amount you’re able to spend on your wedding dress and stick to it. As perfect as you want it to be, you’re only going to wearing it once so there’s no point in starting married life with unnecessary debt or scrimping on other aspects of your wedding day for the sake of your dress. For brides on a tight budget, there’s a fantastic growing service of dressmakers in China; send them your measurements and select the dress you want from their catalogue and they’ll make it and ship it for a fraction of the price of a designer gown.
Do your research
Try lots of dresses on. It’s the only way you’ll know what suits you. Take your mum and best friend or your sister along with you; they know you well enough to be honest and constructive about the dresses you’re trying on. Take some risks and try on dresses that you might never have considered before – remember, they’ll look a lot different on you than they do on a model or on the hanger in a bridal shop.
Give yourself time
The earlier you can start the process of finding the dress, the better. Don’t leave it till the last minute and end up panic buying. Follow the advice above, take your time, take everything into consideration, and plan the shopping process accordingly. If you’re thinking of having a dress custom made, you’ll need to allow much more time for it to be made and altered than you would for an off-the-peg dress.