Selecting Your Bridal Gown
by Debbie Christensen, publisher of The Wedding Guide
& former owner of Torrance Bridal Salon
Buying your Wedding Gown should be absolutely the most fun of all your
wedding planning. Here are some tips for making it a memorable and pleasant
experience to look back on.
• Go to a store where you feel comfortable. If you don't feel like you
are being treated well, or are unhappy with the selection, go elsewhere.
Don't try on any dresses if you wouldn't buy one there. This is your time to
feel like a Queen!
• Don't go shopping if you aren't feeling well. If you are bloated,
sunburned, or in any way feel ugly or uncomfortable, you won't feel as
beautiful as you should.
• Take someone with you, but not a small army, and never any children.
They get bored instantly, and will make you crazy, since they really
shouldn't touch anything in the store.
• Minimize or don’t wear any make-up, it will get on the gowns you try
on. Also, remove jewelry since the satins and silks used for Bridal dresses
are very delicate, and will snag or damage easily. Once you purchase your
gown, remember these things for fittings as well.
• Bridal Gown sizes run small. Don't think about the size, but the fit.
Order the size you are now, don't expect to lose a lot of weight. If you do
lose weight, you can always have the gown taken in.
• Expect to have alterations done. Your dress should fit perfectly and
very few women are a perfect size, and 5'9" tall. Buying separates can
minimize this problem. Remember, you can’t have alterations done until you
have the shoes, slip (if you are wearing a full skirt) and bra you will be
wearing with your dress.
• Try on different styles. Be open to possibilities. You may discover
that the perfect gown is different from what you had imagined.
• Try to be realistic. You may have been dreaming of your gown since you
were a little girl. Your dress should be fantastic and make you feel
beautiful, but don't have unrealistic expectations.
• Start early! Most gowns take several weeks to arrive, and some
manufacturers can take months. Also consider buying a gown off-the-rack.
These are usually discounted and can be altered to fit.
• When figuring your dress in your budget, don't forget accessories and
• Buy your gown first, then match it when purchasing your headpiece, veil
• Accentuate your best features and camoflauge flaws. Choose a dress that
you are comfortable in, because you will be wearing it for a several hours.
Keep that in mind with your shoes too - break them in beforehand. It is
hard to have fun when your feet hurt!
• You don't have to buy the first dress you find that you like. Visit
several shops and be sure before you place your order since your deposit is
non-refundable. Most shops require half down as a deposit.
• Have fun trying on several dresses before making your choice, but don't
look forever. You can’t move on to other decisions such as bridemaids’ and
flowergirl dresses until you select your gown. Besides, if you look too
long, you will start to get confused by too many choices.
• Your gown sets the mood for your wedding, whether it will be formal,
semi formal, traditional, etc. Your gown should reflect the style and
formality you intend to have for your wedding.
• Once you are sure you have found the perfect gown, buy it! Bargain
hunting is usually frustrating and futile. Avoid buying from the internet,
since you can't see what you are getting, and have no retail location where
you can try the dress on or come back to with any problems.
• Custom designed gowns or redesigning a once-worn dress
are other options to consider.
• Most important of all, just relax and have fun shopping!
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