How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress
Choosing your perfect wedding dress can be a stressful business, you want to ensure you look and feel your absolute best, but, oh my goodness, what a choice! There are literally thousands of different dresses out there, all vying for your attention with their “pick me, pick me!” prettiness. This is how to choose your perfect wedding dress.
How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress – Whittling Down Your choices
Asking yourself a few basic questions can really help whittle down the style of dress that’s right for you. Questions such as,
- Do I like flirty and flouncy, or sleek and unfussy?
- Where am I getting married? Eg, church, stately home, woodland, etc…
- Which fabrics do I like? Shiny, matt, lace, texture, etc?
- Do I enjoy getting dressed up, or am I more of a ‘jeans and wellies’ girl?
- Is my style generally quirky, traditional, relaxed, or elegant?
- Do I prefer a wedding dress that’s ivory, white, or a colour?
- Which areas of my body do I want to enhance, and which areas would I like to conceal?
Answering these questions (and others like them), can really help you decide on the style of dress that will suit your personality, venue, and body shape, and will make choosing your perfect wedding dress a lot easier!
How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress – Wedding Dress Styles
There are lots of different gown styles to choose from, and you should always choose the dress by the way it makes you feel – it’s true, you will instinctively know when you have found ‘the one’! However, it can help to understand the different silhouettes and the body shapes they tend to be suited to. Here are some of the main styles you will come across:
This style is ideal for those who wish to accentuate their top half and flatter their hips/bottom. The skirt flows gently out from the waist, skimming the hips, and this helps to balance out your body shape. A Bardot, boat, or other wider neckline will also help to give the illusion of a wider top half and help with balancing. An A-Line shape can also provide shape to those with more athletic body shapes. This style of gown suits pretty much everyone!
A ball gown has a much fuller skirt than an A-Line so they’re great for making a dramatic statement. They balance out the body shape of bustier ladies and create curves for those with a more lithe body. Be careful if you’re petite, though, as this style can swamp you and make you look shorter.
An Empire line dress has the skirt coming from directly under the bust. As such, these dresses can be great for those with a bigger tummy, or pregnant brides, especially if they are made from a floaty fabric such as chiffon. Those who have a less defined waist or are petite will suit an Empire line dress as the eye is drawn upwards making the body seem taller.
These dresses are classic and elegant and are ideal for those with a slim/athletic build. They also add height as they draw the eye vertically so they are great for petite ladies. A column dress will show every curve so you could end up looking unbalanced if you are ‘pear-shaped’ or busty, and they also enhance every imperfection so may not suit those wishing to disguise certain areas.
These dress styles are very similar to each other and are defined by a figure-hugging top half and a skirt that flares out from between the lower thigh and just below the knee. A trumpet style tends to have a skirt that continues the straight lines from the top of the dress that flares out to form a trumpet shape, whereas a mermaid style tends to have a fuller skirt. A fit-and-flare dress is a less defined version of the trumpet, with just a subtle flare at the skirt. These styles create a slimming effect for hourglass figures and are good for petite ladies as you don’t get lost under masses of fabric. If you are unhappy with your bottom, or you are ‘pear-shaped’ you may not like this style as it draws attention to your lower half. You may also find that this style does not flatter you if you are a rounder shape.
This shorter dress style is increasingly popular, especially with older brides and those looking for a more ‘quirky’ bridal gown. The hemline tends to fall between the knee and mid-calf length, and usually features a full skirt which can help balance a curvier top half. This style highlights your ankles and lower leg so it will draw attention to these areas, and they are not ideal for very petite ladies as they can highlight how short you are, although wearing heels can help elongate your legs.
How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress – Design Features
Other design features also influence how a dress looks:
Ruffles, pleats, gathers, embellishments, and other ‘fussiness’ draw the eye, so will emphasise the areas where they are placed.
A structured bodice will help to smooth your silhouette and keep ‘wobbly bits’ under control.
Illusion necklines can minimise a larger bust without covering it up.
Horizontal features/lines draw the eye sideways which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on where they are placed. For instance, a sparkly belt can help create the illusion of a slimmer waist, but a seamline across the hips could make your bottom look bigger.
How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Dress – A Couple of Final Tips…
Finding out what you don’t like, is just as important as discovering the styles you love. Try to keep an open mind when you see the dresses on their hangers and be guided by the consultant – a good boutique owner will always put you first and genuinely want to help you find your perfect dress. A lot of dresses can take on a whole new life once they are on, and styles you never thought you’d wear, may turn out to be perfect! It is also best to limit the number of loved ones you take with you to one or two people who know you and your style very well to avoid lots of conflicting opinions.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you feel a million dollars when you have your dress on. If you don’t want to take it off, then you are making the right choice!
Good luck, and happy shopping!
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