Of all the special days in your life, your wedding day is the day you want to look beautiful and feel special. When chosen wisely your wedding dress will truly enhance your appearance and give you that special feeling on this most important of days – your wedding.
Most brides can’t wait to start trying on wedding dresses, but there are a few things you should think about before you hit the fitting rooms.
When is your wedding?
To have more option and choice the earlier you start looking at wedding gowns the better, but this must be balanced with the fact that trends and styles change. We suggest it is best not to go looking for your wedding dress more than a year before your wedding date as your preferences may change.
If you are having a couture gown made, allow for eight to ten months before your wedding date as wedding gown designers who specialise in one of a kind creations have a limited time frame for making and can be booked up many months in advance. Also, some imported wedding dresses can be ordered, but can take many months to arrive here. If you have a wedding dress designed for you it is wise to try on a few different styles to decide what style wedding dress suits you best. If your preference is to find one ready made, then typically starting six months in advance should provide you enough time to find your gown.
How formal is your wedding?
The style of your wedding dress should complement the style of your wedding, whether it be a formal wedding, informal wedding, traditional wedding or themed wedding. The style of gown you select should follow from the dcsions on the formality and time of day of your celebration. If you are having a formal wedding, a long gown is appropriate, the rule usually is; ‘the longer the gown and the train the more formal the wedding’. Full length wedding dresses are lovely for evening or formal weddings and are usually worn with a veil.
For an informal wedding or a day wedding, you can still wear a long gown, but more of a ‘slip dress’ than a gown, also a shorter length dress would work well and a garland of flowers or a soft fabric hat as headwear.
Long wedding trains are appropriate for large, formal weddings while shorter ones are more suitable for informal or day weddings. Wedding trains can made as detachable items to extend the useful life of the wedding dress.
At the end of the day, these are just guidelines, if you wish to wear something different, that’s perfectly understandable, after all, it’s your wedding!!
It is important also that the style of your wedding dress is flattering to your figure and enhances your best features.
Who should shop with you?
When starting to look for your wedding gown take someone with you whose opinion you respect and who will give you an honest opinion without pushing you to make a hasty decision. The rows and rows of ready-made or sample gowns can be overwhelming and when you are alone you can feel quite vulnerable and sway to opinions of sales-people who are keen to close a sale and not always looking out for your best interests. Many brides shop with their mothers or their sisters or both, a close friend(s) is a popular way to shop, but the most important is to have someone with you that you can trust to be honest and kind. You don’t want the expedition to end in tears!
Your Wedding Shoes
The style of your wedding shoe should complement your dress rather than draw attention away from it. Covering your wedding shoes with with a fabric matching that of your gown is a subtle touch. But very importantly make sure you wear shoes are of the correct height, something with a heel you are used to wearing and which you can walk in comfortably. Whatever shoes you buy, you should wear them around the house often to wear them in and ensure they will be comfortable for you to wear for your entire wedding day.
Traditional white or not?
The traditional white wedding dress is still very popular and beautifully complements dark hair and olive complexion. However, it is best to choose a fabric which complements your skin and hair colouring. As a guide, a soft white wedding dress is lovely with blonde hair and a fair or olive complexion, a cream colour wedding dress enhances red hair and a fair complexion, while an ivory wedding dress complements light brown or honey blonde hair with a peaches and cream complexion.
Accessories and Jewellery
Accessories are used to finish the look and pearls, sequins, beading, crystals, lace, and flowers are just some of the embellishments available to enhance your wedding dress. Jewellery should be discreet and chosen to complement your dress rather than draw attention away from it.
Buy, Make or Hire?
There are many options open to you when purchasing your wedding dress and your budget may determine the choice you make. Wedding dresses can change in style from year to year and you should consider the time of year, the climate and the comfort of you wedding dress.
When buying an off the shelf wedding dress from a bridal boutique you are able to try several different styles and colours to ensure that you make the right choice.
Alternatively you may have the wedding dress designed and made by an exclusive fashion designer who can design a wedding dress in the style, fabric and colour which is most flattering for you.
Making your own wedding dress is a far more challenging task but will provide you with a truly original wedding dress in your own individual style.
Another option is to hire your wedding dress. If you have a limited budget this is a very real alternative. Be sure to choose a reputable wedding supplier and a complete fitting together with all the wedding accessories before your wedding day.