Your wedding day is one of the most important of your life. Surely every bride wants to feel beautiful (if not a little sassy too!)? Thankfully there are lots of clever designers, experienced dress shops and trusted friend to help a girl make the best choice. Your experienced wedding photographers will also know how best to photograph you in the most flattering light, poses etc and should make you feel like the goddess you are!
So here are the nuggets of advice that we have picked up from our gorgeous brides:
Try different styles.
Whether you are a regular or reluctant clothes shopper; wedding dresses are unlike any other dress you will buy. Sound obvious? Yes and no. You probably know what style of top, jeans, dresses suit you normally, but how many wedding dresses have you experienced? They are beautiful, yet curious items!
Bridal magazines will have your heart melting. But please don't forget that dresses are often put on a very tall, size zero model. The dresses are often pinned, shaped and 'arranged' before each photograph and then photoshopped). Lenses and angles are chosen to elongate the model or they are stood on risers. Get excited, look at ideas, have a frock style in mind but please go with an open mind. Who wants to start their dress hunt feeling deflated when they put 'that' dress on from the magazine only to find it didn't look at all right (great if it does!!). Another reminder from our brides is that wedding dresses look very different on a hanger than they do on a 3D gorgeous girl! We are going to say it again - they are VERY different from anything else you have ever worn.
But please don't try so many that you get exhausted, lose the plot and then the will to find a dress...
Trends, taste and budget can all be a factor. From a photograph point of view, shiny fabrics reflect the light and tend to 'look a larger area' whilst sheer fabrics can go very transparent when flash is used (but a good photographer will take this into account). Fabric and designs with movement can give photos a really lovely fluid feel, whereas stiff fabrics tend to suit a more sculptured, fashion look.
Silhouette is everything!
Before your get caught up in the latest trend or the little applique and beading details, choose the dress that suits your shape first. The neckline, shape of skirt or that clever ruching over your tummy is essential to get right. Once you have your dress shape, then the details come into play!
Don't get so caught up in trends that you forget to see the whole you. In the perfect world, women would be confident and happy with their bodies. Alas they are often the worst critics. So, if there is a part of your body that you don't like, then don't buy a gown that highlights that area just because it is fashionable. The classic moan from brides is that they don't like their arms - and then they get talked into a strapless gown 'because everyone is wearing them' and spend all day feeling self conscious and apologising to everyone who pays them a compliment. You should feel amazing. If that strapless dress is the one, consider a shrug or scarf to 'disguise' them. Your wedding day is the one day to choose a dress that is so you it is incredible and makes you feel like a princess. This is the one day when being a slave to fashion isn't important. Be amazing you in the dress that is perfect for you. :-)
Your neckline is the most photographed area
Most people understand what shape of neckline flatters them. The fit is also extremely important for all shapes and sizes. Don't just view your dress whilst standing in front of the mirrors, sit down too and ask someone to look at you whilst standing in front. How flattering will it be when signing the register or at your wedding breakfast? If you are very slim, does your dress reveal too much of a gap? Curvier ladies need to ensure that they don't 'spill over the top'.
A little bit of detailing around it can also frame your head and shoulder shots.
So that dress looks divine when standing still - now it is time to give it a wiggle! Okay so you feel a bit silly, but will that strapless gown stay up as you walk, dance and meet and greet or are you going to spend the whole day pulling it up - this is neither flattering or comfortable. If you tie it up too tight. do you develop 'muffin boobies'?!! And if you are someone who wants fun and funky shots, do check how much you can move in your dress... you dream of shots playing and splashing by the edge of the sea, but your dress means fairy steps all day...
Wear THE bra...
... or at least a good fitting one. A fabulous bra not only makes you a nice shape, makes you feel good, but also doesn't leave you dying of embarrassment and apologising for that off-white, curled thing that should have been binned years ago, when the assistant has to lace you in!
Shoes that are the height that you will want to wear on the day. They probably won't be THE pair until you know what dress you are wearing, but you do need to be at the right height to appreciate what each dress looks like.
Don't be shocked at the size
Wedding dresses are often two or three sizes larger than your current dress size. It is a hideous fact... just before your wedding is not the time to be handed a dress much larger than you are used to. Don't panic.
This is your special day, so don't feel afraid to buy something that is special to you. Accessories can also distract from any areas that you don't like (though we think you should love all of you!!!). If you really hate your 'bingo wings' (probably the most frequently heard moans from brides), then consider sleeves, a shrug, bolero or even a veil..... especially if you have fallen for a sleeveless dress that would otherwise accentuate your arms.
Be open minded.
That dress that you have just dismissed may be 'the one' and if your trusted person or an experienced fitter is encouraging you to try it, they may just know! And on the subject of trusted people - one or two works really well. Take the gang and you run the risk of getting very mixed messages.
On the subject of veils - YES PLEASE - even a borrowed one just for the photographs. They are so much fun and make a wonderful photo prop all on their own. They are so romantic. <3
Our wedding dress resource can be found at: Bridal Wear