Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you’re finally ready to become a Mrs., it is time to hit the bridal salon to pick out outfits (yes, you can have more than one) for your wedding day.
Since being engaged, you have probably been asked a dozen questions about bridal dresses – where you plan to buy yours, who’s designing it, whether it will have sleeves, what kind of cut you like, and so many others. After hearing these queries, chances are, you’re beginning to think that getting married is a stressful milestone.
But here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be.
Aside from hiring event planners to help deal with the grueling details of the event, planning ahead can also make your pre-wedding preparations a lot less stressful.
Want to know a secret? Here are three tips that could help you find the perfect dress for your big day.
1. Decide on a Price Point
Shopping wedding gowns without a price range in mind is like driving without a gas gauge – you won’t know when you’re running empty until you come into a screeching halt.
Even if you have a lot of money to spend, having a price point for your wedding gown can be beneficial for many reasons. For one, it helps narrow down your options. It also ensures that you would still have sufficient funds for other aspects of the gathering.
The rule of thumb is to set a starting point at 10 percent of the overall wedding budget on the bridal dress. Of course, if fashion is higher on your priorities list than flowers or music, you can decide to increase your wedding gown budget and scale back on other aspects of the event.
2. Look Around As Early As Possible
Time is of the essence when it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress. In fact, it might take between four to 10 months to make custom-tailored bridal dresses. This includes the time needed for multiple fittings and alterations as necessary.
With this in mind, you must make sure that you look around for different bridal shops and one-stop wedding boutiques as soon as you confirm the date of the wedding. If possible, make it as early as nine to 12 months, or six months if you’re in a rush.
If you don’t have that kind of time, some designers can do rush services. But if this is the case, you should be ready to pay additional fees on top of what the gowns normally cost.
3. Learn More About Bridal Dresses
Before you roam around bridal shops near you, you must first decide on the kind of gown you want. Look at Pinterest boards and websites of some of the popular wedding fashion gurus. These should give you an idea of the trending dress designs and help you see which ones fit your body type and personality.
You should also dig deeper into the different aspects of the dress, including:
This describes the overall shape of the dress. It is one of the most crucial elements to consider when choosing a wedding gown because it sets the mood for your entire look.
For example, if you’re aiming for that princess bride look, a dress with a fitted bodice and a full bell-shaped skirt akin to a ball gown is a perfect choice. On the other hand, you can achieve a softer, more feminine look with an empire silhouette. Meanwhile, form-fitting styles are best for achieving a sophisticated-yet-alluring look for the modern bride.
Like the silhouette, the neckline is also a vital aspect of a wedding gown because it is the first thing that people notice. It also draws everyone’s eyes towards the face of the bride. Consider your face as the portrait, and your gown’s neckline as the frame.
Examples of necklines that provide coverage and sit high on the neck are:
- The bateau
- The Jewel
- The Mandarin
Meanwhile, those that leave the neckline bare include:
- The portrait
- The sweetheart
- The One-Shoulder
When you choose the right neckline, you’re able to show off an accessory and add character to the gown. It can also highlight any unique features a bride has, including a daring décolletage (the upper part of a woman’s torso), strong shoulders, or a graceful neck.
A dress’s waistline is the horizontal seam that connects the bodice and the skirt together. Like the neckline and sleeves, changing up the waistline can create a signature style of a gown. It is also crucial in achieving balance and defining the shape of the dress.
There are two basic types of waistline: high and dropped. High-waisted gowns offer an empire-like look that has a slimming effect, while dropped waists can create the illusion of a longer torso and are favored by people who love the fashion style of the flapper era.
Adding sleeves to a wedding dress can enhance its entire appearance by making the bodice look more interesting while ensuring balance for the skirt. The addition of this feature is often linked to the season, although it can also depend on how much skin you’re willing to show.
Take the Marchesa wedding dress collection, for example. This popular line of bridal gowns includes dresses that show off some skin, but it also has ones that cover up the shoulders down to the forearms with long sleeves embellished with ruffles and floral embroidery that reflect the breezy cheerfulness of spring.
● Fabric and Finish
A dress can feel and look different just by changing up the fabric used to make it. The material produces a distinctive effect on a wedding gown, altering how a bride would look in it even if the design is the same.
You see, some types of fabric cling to the body while others are crisp and tend to stand away. Among all the materials used in making bridal dresses, silk is probably the most sought-after of all. It exudes a sense of refinement and is quite elastic and resilient.
Below are some of the silk-blends that most wedding gown designers use on their works of art:
- Satin. This densely-woven silk is popular for its super-lustrous glos
- Duchesse satin. This is a blend of rayon and silk. It is much lighter than pure silk satin and is considerably more affordable.
- Charmeuse. This lightweight silk satin has a more subdued luster.
- Shantung. This textured silk has significantly less sheen and is characterized by a rough, nubby quality.
Aside from these, dressmakers also use textured fabrics, such as tulle, chiffon, and organza. These are gauzier materials used for the extra layers of the gown’s skirt. They are preferred for this particular part of the dress because of their lightweight and transparent quality.
Think About How You Want to Be Seen
When it comes to deciding on a wedding dress, it pays to do your homework first before making a decision. Aside from considering the tips listed in this article, you should also take cues from the wedding venue, as well as the season and time of day when you plan to tie the knot. This way, you can rule out silhouettes, fabrics, and dress styles that won’t work for those three factors.
You should also remember to take into account your skin tone and overall personality. It’s your big day, after all. It would be best if people – especially your groom – see you for you.