How do I go about choosing a wedding dress? | For the Bride


How do I go about choosing a wedding dress?

When choosing a wedding dress, bear in mind your own likes and dislikes. Trust your own sense of style. Don’t choose a dress just because your friends or a persuasive salesperson likes it. You know what looks good on you. If the dress isn’t what you want – keep looking! Think about the timing of your wedding and the location. A formal ceremony at an exclusive venue will perhaps call for a different dress than what you might choose for a springtime garden wedding.

White and ivory are the two most popular color choices, but they are not the only ones. Consider pale pink or blue – or even royal purple! – if that’s more your style. Likewise, there is no one right fabric or type of accessory. The important thing is how you look and feel on your wedding day.

Fabric & Comfort
Remember that you will be spending hours in your wedding dress. Think about the activities you will be participating in. Is the dress comfortable to walk around in? Kneel in? Dance in? How does the fabric feel against your skin? Does the material wrinkle easily? Is the gown well lined?

Ideas: Search through bridal magazines to get an idea of the current styles and popular designers. Remember to keep an open-mind - you don’t want to wear what everyone else wears to their weddinq!

Size & Body Shape
Order a dress that fits you right now rather than one in the size you may hope to be on your wedding day. It is much easier (and less expensive!) to take a gown in rather than to try and let one out.
Keep your body shape in mind. The oh-so-elegant sheath will complement a tall, athletic build while a more full-figured bride will look better in an A-line style.

Shopping Around
Take no more than one or two trusted people on your quest for the ultimate gown. You don’t want more than that because you’re risking getting a number of conflicting opinions. What you do want is to have at least one person along that will be believable when they tell you that you’ve never looked lovelier.

Cost and Quality
Prices will vary dramatically. Keep meticulous notes and be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Ask not only about the price of the dress, but also about all alteration fees.

  • Be aware of quality. You may find an inexpensive copy of a designer gown, but the workmanship may be poor. Look closely at the quality of any dress you are considering.
  • Be sure to budget for all the accessories you will need including: shoes, undergarments, headpiece and jewelry.
  • Do not begin your fittings until you have found your shoes and undergarments! The shape of your bra and the height of your heels can make a big difference during the alteration process.
  • Start shopping as soon as possible. You don’t want to buy an over-priced dress because you’re feeling rushed.
  • Simplicity is in. Go for cleaner lines and less expensive embellishment.
  • Add your own trimming or hire a seamstress to dress-up a simple “off-the-rack” dress.
  • Borrow a dress from a friend or relative. The same goes for accessories!
  • Buy a beautiful bridesmaid’s dress in ivory or white. Even a designer creation will be considerably less than a bridal gown.
  • If you’re going informal, consider a fabulous suit or street length dress.
  • Go with an evening gown. You can usually get twice the dress for half the money!
  • Ask about less expensive fabrics.
  • Have a talented seamstress recreate that designer look you want at a fraction of the cost.
  • Think vintage! You can find antique wedding gowns and cocktail dresses that will look like one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Look for sample sales. You can get great deals and you won’t have to special-order.
  • Check the newspapers and chat boards for gently-used (or never-worn!) bridal gowns.
  • Make your own veil or headpiece with kits and materials from a craft store.
  • If you’ll be going with a full-length gown, then you can wear shoes you already own or buy inexpensive ones. Your guests will see very little of them.
  • Ask about a “group rate” if you’ll be ordering your gown and your bridesmaid’s dresses from the same shop.
  • Don’t buy a special “going away” outfit. Either wear something you already own or leave in your gown!
  • Look for beautiful wedding dresses in KZN, Western Cape and Gauteng
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