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Helpful Wedding Articles and Tips

Summary of this article:

  • Don't follow the trends but find a wedding dress that suit your shape and make you feel wonderful.
  • Listen to your family, friends, and designer BUT the final decision should be yours.

Also, read Have the Perfect Hair and Make-up on your Perfect Day

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Tips for Stress-free Dress Shopping

Today's trends in bridal gowns place the focus on a bride's uniqueness and individuality more than the dress — and with the larger variety of gowns to choose from, today’s brides have the luxury of finding a gown that truly expresses their personal style. In order to find out what looks best on you it’s important to look at the elements of the gown:

  • Silhouettes: Overall, narrower, more sophisticated silhouettes are in vogue, as they help to make a body appear slimmer. A-line dresses remain popular, as they provide long graceful lines that are very slimming on most figures. The newest sheaths with detachable trains are cut with part of the train built into the silhouette, to gracefully trail behind the bride. Bias-cut wedding gowns have gained new interest. These styles are cut in such a way that they follow the curves of the body, softly flaring out at the hem. The ballgown style has undergone some transformations in recent years. Where as all ballgowns once had a basque waistline (a dropped waistline that dips down to a "V" in the front) with a gathered skirt, many of today's ballgowns have raised the waistline to just below the natural waist or even at the natural waist. Skirts are being pleated into deep folds or cut to flare out without any gathers in a circular shape— helping to provide an "hourglass" figure without the extra bulk. Depending on your shape consider the following...

    • Straight (Thick Waist)
      Do : Silhouettes: Empire waist, A-line, tiered skirts; Necklines: Any pretty, or decorative neckline will focus eyes away from the waist.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Princess line, or basque or dropped waist; Necklines: Avoid plain necklines such as bateau or unadorned short scoops.

    • Broad Shoulder/Big Busted
      Do : Silhouettes: Ball gown or A-line; Necklines: V-neck or plunging neckline.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Empire waist; Necklines: strapless or spaghetti straps.

    • Full Figured (Round)
      Do : Silhouettes: Ball gown or A-line; Necklines: V-neck or plunging neckline.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Empire waist or sheath; Necklines: strapless or spaghetti straps.

    • Hourglass (Figure 8)
      Do : Silhouettes: A-line or drop waist full; Necklines: sweetheart or V-neck.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Empire or ball gown; Necklines.

    • Bottom Heavy (Pear Shaped)
      Do : Silhouettes: A-line, basque waist or ball gown; Necklines: strapless or soft round or scooped.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Sheath; Necklines: V-neck.

    • Short Waist
      Do : Silhouettes: Princess or A-line; Necklines: Portrait or Halter.
      Don't : Silhouettes: Sheath

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  • Necklines: Square and curved square necklines and even v-necks have become popular — providing a fresh, open look without risking "overexposure." Off-shoulder dresses continue to provide a romantic neckline. Some of the more popular off-shoulder gowns feature necklines that come around to the tip of the shoulder.
  • Sleeves: Sleeveless gowns continue to be popular, providing the bride a light, summery look. Conversely, with evening gown styles, going sleeveless can help to make a bride appear more glamorous. Cap sleeves (small fitted sleeves) continue to be a popular alternative to the sleeveless styles. The newest look in long sleeves is narrow and smoothly fitted in. Sheer sleeves with little or no trim help to convey a modern look.

  • Waistline: Empire waists remain a strong trend in wedding gowns because they add height to a bride. They shift the focus upwards, which works well on petite brides. The newer style in dresses that have a "drop waist" (a waistline 3 - 5 inches below the natural waist) is to feature a straight-across waistline instead of the traditional basque waists that dip down to a point in the front. This new waistline look gives a gown a more contemporary feel.

  • Fabrics: Satins and silk shantungs remain popular. Sheer fabrics (chiffons, organzas, and satin-faced organzas) can give dresses a light breezy look. Tulle skirts remain popular for the way they bring an almost cloud-like appearance to a skirt. Velvet has started making inroads into today's wedding gowns, especially with a winter wedding. Cut velvet has also started to come into its own, as this unique fabric can add interesting surface patterns onto the gown's surface.

  • Surface treatments: Embroidery is replacing the traditional lace appliques on dresses, creating a lighter, "artful" design presentation. Scattered beads and pearls are a newer way to accent dresses. Lace styles are lighter than their predecessors, featuring smaller patterns and more intricate details. This new simplicity has given wedding gowns a fresh new look. Overall, trims are creating a bigger impact on a gown by, ironically, using less.

The ultimate test, however, is when you try the gown on—when the silhouette, sleeves, neckline, and other elements work in concert to highlight your unique personality. Look at the details, then look at the gown overall. Find the gown that enhances your beauty on your wedding day!

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