A wedding dress to most women is the most important item for their wedding, and sometimes a wedding gown is one of the biggest 'things' in a woman's life. There are almost as many wedding dresses out there as there are women so there are quite a few things to consider in your search for your perfect wedding gown.
Finding your wedding dress
Finding the right wedding dress can be hard and time consuming or it can be a breeze; the experience can really vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. A lot of women say that once they found that dress they knew it right away, so it is worth it to keep the search on. Deciding on your wedding dress is a very big check mark on you list of things to do so once you've got your dress, allow yourself a deep sigh or relief.
Find your style
When you choose a style of dress and its color it is good to think about whether or not a particular style is one that you will still like when you look back at your wedding photos 15 years further down the line of married life. It is easy to go with a trend or fad and sure enough if that is something you feel really comfortable with, the by all means go for it! Maybe take an idea of your favorite dress that you've had for five years or more, what is it that you truly love about that dress, is it the detailing, the lace trim or just the sheer, light material. These may be good characteristics to keep in mind when searching for your wedding dress as you may have this dress in your closet for years and years to come. Not that you normally wear the dress more than once but it does happen that people use their wedding dress at another event if the style is appropriate (especially if the wedding dress is not white or ivory). Wedding dresses also come in slightly different lengths, the long dresses that go down to your ankles are more of the traditional length and style and gives you a more formal look. However, you can also find dresses that cut just under the knee or above, which gives a more informal look for your wedding dress, but still elegant.
Designers of wedding gowns will offer a variety of choice and often you can find a particular designer who's style you feel works for you. Find out where this designer's dresses are sold and pay the store a visit. Designer wedding gowns can be rather pricey (but doesn't have to be – depending on what brand you are looking for) so again, keep your designer dress picture as reference and you may be able to find something very similar to the designer wedding dress but a little bit less pricey.
Wedding gowns are often seen as the one piece dress however there are wonderful two piece wedding dresses out there now as well which gives a slightly different look and can be very flattering. So look at different options when it comes to the style and cut of your wedding dress to choose the one that accentuates and compliments your body type the best.
Traditionally the color of wedding dresses is either white or ivory. However, we are seeing trends from time to time where bright colors are worn. A nice in between alternative is to go with a dress that has a slight tint of color in it such as a pinkish hue or soft beige, nougat, yellow or blue, well pretty much any other color. If you are going with a dress that is not white you may have just as much luck finding your wedding dress in a department store or designer boutique.
Wedding gowns can be made in material such as satin, silk or even cotton. Different fabrics give a different feel and flow to the dress. If you don't like the material but you love the style, ask if the dress comes in any other material, you never know. Or take a picture of the dress (from an ad or catalogue) and go to a tailor (see more below) who can custom make your dress.
Consider the comfort of the wedding dress when you try it on. It may look great but also remember that you will wear it for most a day and evening so you want to make sure no seems, zipper or buttons are pinching you. These things can also often be adjusted but still is something to keep in mind (you don't want to hurt all over on your wedding day!). By comfort I also refer to how the dress fits on you as far as how it flows around you. If it is a material that is a bit stiffer just be aware how that is going to affect your movements.
Wedding dress picture references
Whether you have a distinct idea of exactly what you want or you really have no clue it is always good to find references of that special wedding dress. So invest in a couple of wedding magazines so that you can find a good reference. Note that a lot of advertisers will have their same ads in multiple magazines so there is no need to buy out your local magazine shop. If you've found one particular dress you love, look up where that wedding dress designer is selling his or her products in your area. If you can't seem to find a retailer that can help you find that dress, the picture of the dress may help you find another similar gown that may be even better for you.
The Internet is also full of wedding gown sites, ads and dresses for sale that you can use as references. If you are considering buying a dress online it may be worth it to go to your local store and try on that same dress (if available) to make sure the size is close to your own.
Look for alternate sources
Not only wedding dress stores carry gowns fit for a wedding. Depending on what color and or style you are going for you may also be able to find designer gowns in department stores or designer boutiques.
Maybe you want to have a look at the dress your mother or other relative wore at their wedding (if they kept their wedding dress that is), sometimes you luck out and it is a beautiful dress that they would be honored for you to wear on your special wedding day. If updating needs to be done you can always take the dress to a tailor and have it modified to better fit your style of wedding dress.
So once you've begun your hunt for a dress there are a few things to keep in mind; don't get discouraged if you don't find the right gown in the first store. Since there are so many options as far as styles, materials etc, give yourself time to find the right wedding dress (more about these options below). So shop around before you make up your mind!
Wedding dress shopping
Bring a friend, your sister or your mother – someone who's taste you like and someone who knows you and your taste out with you wedding dress shopping. It is easy to get swept away by all the glitter and flowing material, but somewhere in all that beauty you want to find just the right dress that compliments you and who you are. Also, when you speak to a wedding dress sales representative, show them your pictures of dresses you like so they can point you in the right direction and if they are suggesting styles that are really not 'you', then let them know what you like and don't like so you can start narrowing it down. Sometimes you will find that some designers are just not your style so you can skip that whole rack and move on to something more suited to you.
Wedding gown seasons
There is somewhat of a season to wedding dresses but white obviously goes 12 months of the year, but is not limited to this, see the section about colors above if you missed it. A lot of stores will get their new wedding dress collections in for the summer time, as this is often the busiest time of the year for weddings, so ask around to see when new wedding dresses will be available for you to try on.
Wedding dress deals
If you are looking for a deal on a wedding dress, shop for one off the rack or one from a previous season. Really, unless you are looking for a particular trend for this season of gowns, this may be a great option as wedding dresses can be quite expensive.
Choosing your sales representative
Ordering your wedding dress
Some times a wedding dress sales representative will urge you to buy your dress as early as 10 months before your wedding, this can be due to a few different reasons; it depends on where the dress is being manufactured, order load – summers are, for example, a very busy 'wedding season' so there are a lot of orders going in at the same time so delivery times may increase during these times, or they simply want your deposit.
As it gets closer to your delivery date of your wedding dress and/or your wedding day, make a follow up call to your sales rep to make sure that they dress is still scheduled to come in as planned.
Fittings and alterations
A lot of times you will go in for a few fittings once your dress arrives. It is common that the dress is ordered in a size that is slightly to big for you just to give some more material to work with when it comes to the alterations, depending on what needs to be done to make the dress fit perfectly on you.
Before you order your dress, if you've only tried on a size that is too big on you, ask the sales rep what kind of alterations you will most likely need to get done. Alterations can get really expensive so it is good to have an idea of what you are looking at so that you are not taken by surprise.
When you go in for your fittings after the alterations have been made, bring the wedding shoes that you are going to wear so that you can measure and make sure the length is just right. You don't want to be tripping on your wedding dress! It is also a good idea to try on the dress with other accessories that you plan on wearing such as your veil, jewelry etc, just to make sure last minute adjustments are avoided.
Custom made wedding dresses
If you know what you want but can not seem to find it, your best bet may be to go to a tailor or seamstress who can custom make the dress for you. This was you can be sure to get exactly what you want. Ask to look at their work such as pictures or dresses that are waiting to be picked up, just to get a sense of their attention to detail and their style. If you are still not sure what you are looking for, bring whatever ideas you do have and your seamstress may be able to help you out with suggestions.
Vintage wedding dress
A well kept vintage wedding dress can be a true treasure to find if that is the style you have decided to go for. Sometimes you can find it in select vintage or second hand stores that focus more on festive wear. A vintage wedding dress may also be found in your family closets – ask your mom and aunts if anyone of them kept their dress that you particularly like, they may be open to seeing their wedding gown walk down the aisle one more time.
Before buying a vintage wedding dress make sure that it is in good condition or that defect that it has can be fixed within your budget and time frame. Check the fabric, seems, zipper and buttons to get an idea of what condition your vintage wedding gown is in. Also ask how you best keep your dress after the wedding to make it last.
Beach wedding dress
A wedding on a beach are a lot of peoples' dream! As far as wedding dresses go, this opens up a wide variety of options. You can not only go with a more traditional wedding gown as far as color and style but you can also get a wedding dress in a different material and color than what most wedding dresses are made in. Your options are endless! Browse department stores and designer stores for suitable dresses. If you are getting married on the beach and are looking for something very 'summery' and in a more sheer material, it may be a good idea to look for your wedding dress during the summer season before your wedding as the selection of summer dresses will be larger at this time.
Plus size wedding dresses
Plus size wedding gowns can be found in a lot of different wedding stores. If you are worried about finding a plus size dress for your wedding then call a few of the stores in advance just to make sure you are being efficient with your time. Wedding dresses comes in all kinds of sizes as normally you get the dress ordered slightly bigger than what you are, just to make sure you have room for adjustments and alterations. Plus size wedding dresses are not just a big, straight, white bag; they come in all kinds of styles. Try on different styles that appeal to you to find one with the right fit for you to complement your curves.