Photo by Chad Hunt
Ah, the dress! Only the most important aspect of the wedding. (Or so we brides like to believe!) After the engagement rings slip onto our fingers, it is the first thought that comes to mind. To some of you, it may seem daunting to choose the most important article of clothing you will ever wear. To my other brides, you may have the perfect dress in your mind and nothing else will do. Or so you think...
As young girls, we plan our weddings, we pretend to be brides, we even throw pillow cases over our heads and march around our backyards saying, "I do." Everything has been leading up to this moment. When you go out dress shopping for the first time, you expect it to be a magical moment. You hope your maid-of-honor and mother are sitting with you, glass of champagne in hand, welling up because you look like a princess.
It may not be a scene out of a Kate Hudson film.
More likely than not, you will try on more than just that one "princess" dress. Once you get that out of your system, you can get down to business.
As I mentioned, you may have a "dream" dress in you mind. It may be a giant tulle number that is wider than the aisle. It may be a slinky body hugging dress. It may not even be white! (Oh the scandal!) However it appears in your imagination, just try to keep an open mind. It may or may not be the one.
Let me explain:
1. Keep in mind your theme or the feeling of your wedding. What I mean by this is, you don't want to look or feel out of place. Being the bride, you can take more liberties than anyone else. However, I will say it looks nice when everything flows together seamlessly. You wouldn't want to wear a modest dress at a black-tie wedding or something extravagant at your backyard BBQ wedding.
2. Think of the setting. If you have your heart set on having a beach wedding, you may not want to wear heels. With that in mind, imagine how that will affect the overall look of your dress. I'm personally not a fan of wearing flip flops with your dress (it's your wedding!!!) but flats may drastically change how the dress hangs on your body.
3. Consider your body type. Brides today are fortunate that there are so many designers making beautiful dresses in all styles and sizes. If you find your perfect dress that fits you perfectly, lucky you! Most of us will not be so lucky. I recommend having your dress tailored to fit your body. After all, this is your day! Whether you spent a fortune on your dress or found an amazing deal (yes please!) it is well worth the investment. The fit is unparalleled and you will feel your most beautiful. Often the prices are reasonable if you find a trusted tailor. With that said, you must consider how the dress looks on your body. Bring your trusted maids, family member, or friend to give your their honest opinion. After all, they will want you to look your best on your big day too!
In my experience, my dress came to me! I went to a few bridal shops here in New York with my girlfriends and mom but nothing jumped out at me. There were several occasions when someone said, "This is the one!" but my heart was never in it. Back in November, Husband and I took a trip out to LA. While there we passed by Claire Pettibone's bridal showroom on Robertson Blvd. I called and made an appointment. I went in the next day and my dress was waiting for me! It was the first one I tried on and I knew it was the one! I bought it that day and left knowing that it would arrive in New York on May 1st, almost one month to my wedding. That didn't leave me with much time for my fittings. Luckily, it fit perfectly and I didn't have to bother with any more fittings however the measurements taken at the store were very detailed before the making of my dress.
Good luck to all of you dress shopping for your own weddings and above all, have fun and make sure feel beautiful for your most special day!
Photos by Chad Hunt