You probably have a particular wedding dress style in mind already, but remember that the dress you select should match the overall tone of your wedding. You don’t want to wear a short or tea-length dress for a formal wedding.
Another consideration is what will look right on your body type. Not everyone looks good in the same style of dress so you’ll want to pick a style that is flattering on you and that will help you look beautiful. When you try on dresses, make sure to bring along a trusted friend who will be honest with you. You may not like what they say, but they will help you find the perfect wedding dress.
Choosing Your Wedding Dress
When you’re browsing through wedding dresses, you’ll notice they come in a variety of styles. The shape of the dress is known as its silhouette, and this will probably be one of the deciding factors in whatever gown you select. Below is a list and brief description of some of the more common silhouettes for wedding dresses:
Ball Gown – These dresses have fitted waists, fitted bodices, and puffy skirts
A-line – The bodice is very slim but the rest of the dress widens from there. The shape of the dress resembles the letter “A.”
Empire – This silhouette has a high waist that is cropped below the bodice. From the waist, the skirt widens some but the dress remains more narrow than either the ball gown or the A-line.
Mermaid – Most of this dress fits very snugly against the body. At the knees, however, the skirt flairs out a little.
Sheath – Like the mermaid silhouette, this dress fits very close to the body all the way down and follows your natural lines.
Slip – This silhouette just falls over the body in a straight line without providing any shaping to the body.
As mentioned earlier, you need to select the right silhouette for your body type. For example, if you are short and thin you’d want a ball gown or an A-line dress to help you look taller. Fuller figured brides should choose an A-line or a basque style because these minimize the hips and draw attention away from the waist. Sheath and mermaid styles would be better for women who are very satisfied with their bodies and who want to accentuate their natural curves.
After you select a wedding dress style, you’ll also need to select a skirt length. As a general rule, the more formal your wedding is the longer your skirt needs to be. Usually, there are five options:
Floor length – bottom of the hem brushes against the floor
High-low – Part of the hem is higher than the rest. In the front, the hemline may reach the knee or ankle while in the back the hem is longer.
Knee-length – As the name suggests, the hem actually just covers the knees.
Tea-length – The hemline of this dress usually reaches the middle of your calf.
Short – A short hemline is usually defined as a skirt that stops just above the knees.
Besides your dress, you’ll also need a number of other accessories to help round out your wedding look. One of those accessories is your shoes. While you want beautiful shoes, you also need comfortable shoes because you’ll be wearing them for a long time on your wedding day. You also want to avoid high heels or shoes that might cause you to fall – that’s definitely not what you want to happen when you’re coming down the aisle.
Sling backs, slip-ons, and sandals with straps all make good choices for your wedding shoes. Additionally, many wedding dress boutiques also sell bridal sneakers or ballet slipper-type shoes which are very comfortable and won’t slip. Regardless of the type of shoes you purchase, you’ll want to make sure they match your dress’ color perfectly. You should also wear them around your home for a few days before your wedding to break them in so they’ll be more comfortable on the big day.
Bridal jewelry is another accessory. You don’t necessarily want to cover yourself in diamonds, but a few well-placed pieces can help complete your look very nicely. For example, you might want to wear a string of pearls or a pearl choker depending on the neck line of your dress. A diamond solitaire necklace paired with diamond stud earrings provides just a bit of flash without being overwhelming. You could also choose gem stone jewelry that matches the color of your bridal party’s dresses or your wedding colors.
If you don’t already own the jewelry you want to wear and can’t borrow a few pieces from your family, you can often rent pieces from bridal salons.
Hosiery is another necessity that you’ll need to take care when purchasing. After you choose your dress, you’ll probably find that you’ll need specific types of lingerie, including a strapless bra if you are wearing a strapless dress. Your hosiery can be of any design you want, but you’ll want it to look flattering with your dress and you should buy extras in case you get a run in them during the event. Of course, you’ll also want to wear a garter on your left thigh above your knee which can be removed during the reception. Pick a durable garter that won’t damage your hosiery; otherwise, the style and color is completely up to you.
Last, but not least, you may want to include a small purse to complement the rest of your ensemble. It probably won’t be very useful for caring much, but it can be the final touch to a gorgeous wedding dress – just be sure to pick something that looks good with the rest of your clothes.