It is true that almost every girl grows up imagining how she would look on her wedding day. The handsome beau will arrive on a white horse and whisk her away to his beautiful palace where she will be taken away by a bevy of maids who will dress her up in this gorgeous wedding gown and then she will be veiled and taken to her prince charming. There, surrounded by all her nearest and dearest, they will take their vows and promise to be together “until death do us part”! He will then lift her veil and kiss her and take her as his bride.
The institution of marriage is alive and well even to this age. To most of us the marriage ceremony is sanctimonious. It seals our love and validates our relationship with our significant other. It tells us that we will be cared for and nurtured and gives us a sense of belonging. Having a marriage ceremony and being donned in wedding attire validates it all. It tells the world that you cared enough to take the extra steps to plan your wedding, that you wanted to include your family and friends in this celebration, and that you believe in the institution of marriage. After all, the ceremony is (hopefully) captured by the photos taken, which will last a lifetime, and the dress you wear is definitely center front and most important of all.
Finding the perfect bridal gown then becomes quite an adventure. What should I wear? Will my beau like it? How will he look at me when he first sees me in the dress?? Will my family and guests consider me pretty? Will my choices be the right ones? So many questions weigh on our minds.
Having worked with so many brides during the 28 years’ span of my designing career I can safely say that most brides have not a clue as to what to do. Contrary to the days when parents were totally involved in the process, today’s brides are pretty much on their own. This can be truly daunting. Added to that fact that most of us nowadays live in Jeans and T-shirts, and casual attire, and have not a clue as to what sort of bridal gown we should wear, or what silhouette will be most suitable and appropriate for our figure and the venue.
My advice is to take a deep breath. Remember this should be fun!
Once you have your venue and know what kind of wedding you are planning on, i.e. formal or informal? Chapel or Cathedral? Destination? By the beach or the mountains? Summer or winter? Day time or evening? What are the religious requirements, if any? What is the budget you will be allocating to your wedding gown? Once you are clear on all these answers, then the ideal scenario is to visit a bridal salon(s) near you and work closely with a bridal consultant that you feel comfortable with. Be open to trying on different silhouettes and even though you may have a specific idea in mind, you will be surprised that something you never thought of ends up looking amazing on your body. When shopping for your bridal gown, don’t bring an entourage! Three is a good number so take with you only the person(s) whose opinion you know is honest and one you value the most.
Above all, be mindful to choose a dress that will enhance your figure, that is “forgiving” in that it downplays the areas you feel uncomfortable with while enhancing ones that you feel are your most favored assets. For instance a ball gown is great for the slim and pear shapes. The A-line silhouette is good for most body types. The sheath dress is wonderful for the tall and thin as well as for the slim and petite. And the mermaid is great for brides with curves they want to show off. Your wedding gown should never overpower your person and personality.
Just like finding your ideal mate, you just knew he/she was the one when you met. In the same way, you will just know when you try on the bridal dress, that it is THE one!
Listen to your heart!