Tips for choosing wedding gown

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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress

You've been dreaming of this day ever since you first picked up your Barbie and Ken dolls, and now that it's here, you have endless possibilities! Okay, so you can't go down the aisle wearing the things you wore when you were a little girl dreaming of your wedding. But, what you can do is look at yourself now and what you want to look like on your wedding day. That way, you can pick that perfect dress that's hanging there just waiting for you to find it.

Choosing the Date

Before you start looking at the type of dress you want, it is a good idea to wait until you have a confirmed date for the wedding before you put down a deposit or pay for a gown. There's nothing to be gained by purchasing a dress before you know the season and location of the wedding. A gown perfect for that April garden wedding won't work at all for a December service in a chapel. Window shopping is fine, but keep the glass between you and the gowns until you know when and where the wedding will be!

Buy a Wedding Dress that Fits You Now

In formal weddings, brides generally wear long white/cream-colored wedding dresses and a veil, perhaps a train and, of course, gloves.

You may be planning to lose weight for the wedding, but it is never a good idea to buy a smaller gown with the expectation of losing weight before the wedding. He asked you to marry him, so there's obviously nothing wrong with the figure you have! But, if you feel you must do something about your weight, look into using a personal trainer and avoid crash dieting. The trainer can help you set realistic goals for your body - not only for the big day, but for your whole life. Above all, don't think that you must get from a size 16 down to a size 4. He fell in love with the you that is, not some idealized version of you.

Exploring Gown Sizes and Cuts

When choosing the perfect gown, there are many things that you must take into account. These include your complexion, the wedding colors you choose, and the degree of formality of the event. The gown Princess Diana wore for her wedding would be totally out of place in a Summer Garden wedding!

Now it's time to take a look at yourself, and decide what type of gown is best for you. Remember, the models you see in magazines and online are usually far outside the norm of "real" women. Not to mention that those photos may be touched up - they are intended to sell the gowns after all and probably won't look the same on you as they did on the model. But, the perfect gown for you is there - and you will find it!

Here is a look at the different body types and the types of gowns that fit them best.

  • Top Heavy - The last thing you need to do is to draw attention to the bodice. A full, billowing skirt will create balance in your look. You've had enough of people staring at your chest already, there's no need to have it on the day of your wedding! The idea here is to draw the eye away from the bodice and get people to see the whole you.
  • Short - A gown with an empire waistline and high neckline with lots of trim on the upper body will cause people to see you as much taller than you really are. If you are having a full or formal ceremony, pick a gown with short sleeves and wear long gloves.
  • Pear-Shaped - This is the body type that wants to accentuate the bodice. Look for a gown with textured fabric and ornamentation and go with a simple skirt. This will draw the viewer's eye up and away from your waist.
  • Tall - Tiers and flounces and bodices with low, ornamented necklines will balance out your height.
  • Full-Figured (Rubenesque) - Look for a princess style gown, and avoid contrasting colors. U or V-shaped necklines with an A-line skirt will look best on you.
  • Thin- Princess style or full skirted gowns are great options for you. Or a bloused bodice and gathered skirt will give you a "fuller" look.

Once you have picked the type of dress that is right for your body type, you can move on to looking at your complexion. Remember, we're working on an overall "picture." Dark complexions and dark hair mean bright white gowns, while blondes, porcelain-skinned brunettes and redheads need creamy and silk whites. For a bit of color in the dress, look for undertones of pink and coral. Those are always flattering.

Choosing the Right Gown for the Level of Formality

Of course, the formality of your wedding also plays a role in the gown you choose.

  • Formal to Ultra-formal - Silk chiffon or satin is a "must." A full skirt and a long train is also best for the formal setting.
  • Semi-formal - Look for a full-length gown (perhaps in taffeta) with bare shoulders. Your train should sweep the floor, but not trail.
  • Informal - This is the most wide open category as far as outifts are concerned. Anything from a business suit to a ballerina type gown will work. Have fun with your choice!

Since the average wedding dress runs in the area of $1000, the purchase will be a significant part of your budget. So, make sure it's the right gown for you and your Big Day!

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