Tying the Knot

{tying the knot in style} Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

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By: Andrinique of Andrinique Special Events
These tips can help you simplify the process of picking out the perfect wedding dress

After assisting brides for several years with finding their perfect dress, I’ve learned that there are four factors that go into deciding on a wedding dress. Consider each before you start your search and you’ll save time and avoid frustration. 

Personal Style

Defining your personal style is the most important step in finding your dream dress and is often overlooked by brides. By establishing what your personal style is, you’ll be able to zone in on what you’re looking for. 

A good way to define your style is to first consider what you feel the most comfortable wearing in different situations. What’s your favorite outfit for a night on the town or a black tie affair? What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your closet? If you think about the features that these items have, they will give you an idea of what your style is. For example, do you love wearing tops that are ruffled or lacy? If you do, chances are that you have a romantic style. Do you prefer button down shirts and a scarf? If so, that might mean that you have a classic style. 

Also, being able to describe your style will help the consultant at the bridal salon. If you can tell her that you love bohemian style dresses, she’ll know exactly what to show you and not waste time with other looks.

Wedding Style

Before you start dress shopping you should know what type of wedding you’re having. While I’m a big believer in a bride wearing what she feels best in, the venue should be considered when selecting the most appropriate details. Just as a dress you’d wear to a beach wedding would be different than a gown that you’d wear to a black tie affair, you’ll need to consider what’s best for the location. For an outdoor wedding versus an indoor wedding, you’ll want to think about the length of train and veil, weight of the fabric, etc. In order to take all of these things into account, you should have the date (or at least season) and venue selected before you start to shop.

Body Type

It’s very important to find a dress that accentuates the things you like about your body and camouflages the things you don’t. The good news is that wedding dresses can be very flattering and hide a multitude of issues. Here are some general guidelines for figuring out what silhouettes might look good on your body type:

Petite: Slim A-line, natural waist Mermaid style, princess cut, sheath
Tall: Many shapes will look good and you can carry more in the way of volume and
Hourglass: Dresses that accentuate the waist are good. Ribbons, sashes and belts are
great for you. 
Pear shape: A-line and full skirts are the best for minimizing heavier bottoms. Also
accentuating a small waist is good. 
No curves: Sheath dresses look great on this body type as do mermaid style gowns. 
Full Bust: The key is to make sure the neckline you select is not cut too low. A beaded or
lace bodice can also help to minimize the bust. And using a sash at the waist can
draw attention away from the bust line. 
Heavy Arms: Using a caplet or illusion sleeves can be a good way to minimize heavy arms but adding fabric may actually draw attention instead. Sometimes the best option is
to add nothing at all.
Stomach: The best thing to flatter the middle is to choose a dress that defines curves. For example, an a-line skirt with a ruched bodice is very flattering. 


Obviously, your budget is a significant factor. The price of a wedding gown can start anywhere from $300 and go all the way up to $20,000 plus. My advice is to decide on a budget and stick to it! You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a nice gown, but the quality and detailing of dresses change as they become more expensive. Think about what features are most important to you and consider compromising on the rest, if necessary.

One last tip: It is important to know that when you try on a gown you need to identify what you like and dislike about that gown. Every gown you try on should be a progression, incorporating more and more of the qualities you like until you have found the perfect dress. When you identify a detail that you don’t like, you should eliminate dresses that incorporate that element. For example, if you decide that you don’t like the way a sweet heart neckline draws attention to your décolleté, then eliminate dresses with that neckline from those that you are trying on and consider alternatives. 

Good luck and have fun!

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{Images Via VeraWang.com}
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