For the last installment of our tips for finding your perfect wedding dress, we’ve covered everything from when to start your search, to that special moment when you find “the one”!
R – Reviews – Reviews are a great way to learn more about a bridal shop you’re considering checking out. Do your research online to find salons in your area with great reviews, and pay attention to what brides are raving about to see if it matches what you’re looking for in a salon. Similarly, consider if there are any negative responses and clear up any doubts by e-mailing the manager or owner in advance before you make a trip to that salon. Any reputable shop will be able to address your concerns before you book your appointment! Also don’t forget to share the love with your salon after you visit if they provided the magical experience that you deserve. It will mean so much to the team that helped you find your special gown.
S – Silhouette – Wedding dresses come in all shapes and sizes! Consider which silhouettes are most flattering to your figure, but also remember what vibe you prefer and which styles fit best with your ideal look. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular silhouettes:
- A-Line: This style is flattering to all shapes, and features a skirt that forms the shape of an “A”, with a slimmer waist and elongated line.
- Ball Gown: This classic style will make you feel like a princess, with its full skirt and fitted bodice. It can help create the appearance of curves, but if you’re petite it can swallow you in too much material! If you are petite but really want the princess gown, look for a ballgown that has vertical features like horsehair and a V neck as they can help give the illusion of height without taking away your princess wedding dress dream!!
- Fit-and-Flare: With a skirt that flares out usually from right about the middle of the thigh area, this style accentuates curves but is easier to dance in than a Mermaid style.
- Mermaid: This is a form-fitting silhouette with a skirt that flares from below the knee – it’s perfect to show off your curves! Another similar style you’ll hear about is the Trumpet, in which the skirt flares out above the knee instead.
- Sheath: Simple and stylish, a sheath silhouette follows your body’s natural lines and has an elongating effect. It’s great for petite body types and is usually made of lighter fabrics like satin.
T – Timeline – This is probably one of the big components of buying a wedding dress that most brides are not aware of – and why would you. Who would think that it might take 6 to 9 months to get your gown made and delivered? It is NEVER too early to find and buy your wedding dress. Start early and say YES when you find the gown that makes you feel amazing!! Certainly having some of the details figured out like the venue may help with your overall vision for the day, but a venue is just a backdrop for your pictures and your gown will be beautiful regardless of your backdrop. Waiting too long can cause so many issues that can cause stress to the wedding planning process. Gown prices can increase, gowns can be pulled from production and no longer available, and there may just not even be enough time to get your gown in time without high rush fees. Our recommendation is to shop early, buy the dress that you love as soon as you find it and then stop looking. At a minimum, you should purchase your gown 9 to 12 months before your wedding to allow enough time for production, delivery, and alterations.
U – Undergarments – When you go to try on dresses, we suggest wearing a strapless bra or “sticky boobs” and full-coverage panties in a nude color. Why? You don’t know what style of dress you’ll end up with, and a strapless bra allows you to be flexible with whatever silhouette you choose. You’ll want full-coverage underwear so you’re not exposing yourself when slipping in and out of dresses (you’ll need assistance with most gowns), and sticking with a nude color ensures nothing will peak through if you try on a sheer dress! Keep in mind you can later decide what undergarments go best with your final dress pick – like maybe you’ll want to wear some Spanx if you opt for a sheath silhouette.
V – Veils – Veils are a favorite traditional accessory, but the style you pick needs to match the look and feel of your gown! While the length of the veil is your first consideration the edge of the veil can be finished with some amazing features to really take your look up a notch. Ribbon, sparkle, lace, beading, embroidery – there are so many ways to complete a veil to be so special. Also, keep in mind that your gown is not really something that you are likely to pass along to a future daughter or daughter in law to wear on her wedding day, but wearing mom’s veil can be so extra special. So spending a little more to get that perfect veil can be a perfect purchase. Consider these lengths when shopping for a veil:
- Blusher: This style falls over the face and is lifted to reveal the bride – usually comes in a shorter length.
- Bird Cage: With a vintage feel, the Bird Cage is a short veil that covers anywhere from just the eyes down to the jawline, usually in a net material.
- Shoulder Length: Hits your shoulders and is great for showing off your gown’s details without getting in the way.
- Elbow Length: The Elbow length provides more coverage and can be a more conservative option.
- Fingertip: This style is slightly longer and a perfect option to showcase a detailed back with a simple sheer panel.
- Waltz: This is a longer veil but doesn’t quite touch the floor, so it’s a great option if you want to keep the veil on during the reception and won’t risk getting it dirty!
- Chapel: This style extends past the length of the gown so it can create the look of a train.
- Cathedral: This regal look is the most dramatic of veils, extending past the train of your gown – you’ll be sure to make an entrance in this veil!
W – Weather – Weather can be a huge part of the planning process for your big day. You have to think about how cold or hot it’ll be during that time of year, and decide if you’re doing an outdoor or indoor wedding. While you should definitely go for dress styles you love, certain factors to consider are sleeve length – no matter how much you love an off-the-shoulder long sleeve, probably best to avoid that during an outdoor wedding in July – and even fabric types. Deciding on a destination beach wedding? Go for lighter fabrics that will help keep you cool.
X – Extra’s – When shopping at a bridal salon, be sure to find out what are the Xtra benefits of buying your gown at their store. Do they provide a discount on bridesmaids gowns, accessories, or any other services? When you buy a gown from a full service salon, you are truly entering into a relationship and knowing all the benefits of that relationship can help saying YES be the easiest thing you ever did.
Y – YES! – Saying YES to your dream dress is the moment every bride envisions when starting the search for a gown. Make sure to cherish this special moment (and breathe a sigh of relief)! While that TV show – you know the one – makes many brides feel like they have to shop and shop and then get all emotional when they find The One! What really happens is as unique as the brides that we work with. As you stand in front of the mirror in a gown, think about how you feel and then say YES to the gown that is exactly what you hoped.
Z – Zipper – Something that causes many brides anxiety when going shopping for a wedding dress is trying on the sample sizes. Sample sizes don’t fit most brides, so don’t be worried if the gown doesn’t zip, your stylist will make the gown look perfect from the front with clips, panels, and other tricks up our sleeve! If you are concerned about this issue, feel free to contact the store prior to your visit to ask the standard size of their sample gowns. And keep in mind that bridal sizing is very different than ready to wear.
That’s the end of our A to Z series, we hope these tips come in handy if you’re just starting to search for your perfect dress! Browse all of our wedding dresses online at Town & Country and make an appointment to visit our bridal boutique in St. Louis!