The most beautiful brides are those who match their own style- whether quirky, modern, or traditional- to their dress. Regardless of what many bridal books tell you, there is no set style, cut, or even color that will transform a woman into a “perfect bride”. Worrying about perfect will only stress you out; instead, choose a dress that makes you feel like you at your best.
A wedding dress can help set the tone for the style and formality of the wedding itself. Generally, details like trains, flowing veils, and ballgown skirts tend to suggest a more formal tone, while asymmetrical hems, sheaths, and unusual colors may add to a quirky or less formal vibe.
With thousands of wedding dresses on the market every year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Simplify your choices by first considering the three major components of any dress: neckline, waistline, and skirt.
When choosing a neckline, think of how this part of the dress can compliment your sillouhuette. Boat , off-shoulder, and V-necks can show off shoulders and make your waist look comparatively smaller. Straight and scoop necklines can de-emphasize the chest, while sweetheart and square necklines can increase a small bust. Queen Anne and One-shoulder styles are unusual choices that help create a strong, visual statement.
For Waistlines, be sure to consider comfort as well as the fit on your curves. Natural waist cuts are very flattering for those with hour-glass figures, while empire waists look great if you are concerned with comfort and concealing a tummy without resorting to shapewear. Drop-waist styles often look great on petite figures, while the exotic basque waist creates a lovely corset effect.
The skirt is really where your dress fantasies can come into play. Although different shapes may look better on certain body types, skirts can be cut to skim instead of fit tightly, and thus can be made flattering on any shape. One note- thought trumpet and mermaid cuts look similar to one another, a trumpet skirt flares at the thighs or lower hips, while a mermaid flares out closer to the knees.
Here is another area where it’s good to forget everything you know about weddings. Yes, white is traditional, but the truth of the matter is that few women look their best in pure white. While some may recommend “ivory” or “off-white” as a solution, it can also be fun to go a few shades further. Two interesting options are rum pink, which can set off pale complexions beautifully, or gold, which can look fantastic on skin with a yellow undertone. Just as colored-stone engagement rings are becoming popular, so too are colorful wedding dresses that combine a white-neutral with a pop of contrasting color in the embroidery or details.
Just looking at the price-tag on a wedding gown can make you want to throw out the whole idea, elope to Vegas, and get married in your old cheerleading outfit. While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on a designer gown, consider a few possible alternatives that will help make extra room in the budget. Pre-owned wedding dress websites allow former brides to sell their dresses, and frequently include designer gowns that could easily cost three times as much brand new. Another option is to find a designer dress style and look for a reputable tailor (or very helpful friend) to copy the dress. This option is often the most cost-effective, and allows you a greater choice in color, fabric, and unique details.