Wedding dresses: what every bride-to-be needs to know

Wedding Dresses: What Every Bride-to-Be Needs to Know

A bride-to-be has many decisions to make concerning her wedding. While the most important choice is her groom, the second most important choice has to be the right dress.

There’s a lot more than white fabric and yards of tulle involved. There is the style and the silhouette of the dress to consider, as well as the fashion theme of your bridal party.

Start with the style of your dress. It can be:

Classic and timeless

Chic and modern

Elegant and luxurious

Glamorous and dramatic

Classic and timeless dresses are those that are beautiful today, tomorrow and yesteryear. It’s just a beautiful gown, often with simple lines. It may be a strapless bodice with a ball gown skirt made of layers and layers of flowing organza. Or it may be a simple a-line gown with capped sleeves. For your headpiece, you may want a classic chapel that trails behind you, or something a little more dramatic like a sweep train that just brushes the floor as you glide up the aisle.

Chic and modern dresses are the ones that not everyone can pull off. But if you’re someone whose fashion sense has always blazed a trail, then chic and modern may be for you. These dresses are as gorgeous as any style, but they have a little something else that will make you stand out.

Maybe it’s a short, swingy dress, or a gown with a deep, ruffled V-neckline. Sometimes it’s the fabric that sets the dress apart – such as a beaded, crinkle chiffon for the bodice. Or maybe you pair a more traditional gown with a taffeta shrug with ruffles around the neckline.

Elegant and luxurious gowns, full of beading and sparkles, can take your breath away. The details are important to these dresses. That touch of beading at the neckline, waistline or all over the skirt of the gown is actually pearls, crystals, sequins, bugle beads and sometimes rhinestones used to create a pattern. Another hallmark trait is 3D floral appliqu?s, which add a touch of interest.

Glamorous and dramatic dresses usually have one feature that stands out. For example, a simple dress from the front may boast of an asymmetrical ruffle down the back. Or a dress may be hand-beaded to create a vintage look that will grab your eyes. Or a simple strapless bodice may be paired with a multi-tiered skirt – imagine a skirt made of 60 to 70 tulle tiers sweeping to the floor.

These are the style of dresses for you to consider. Next up are the different silhouettes available to today’s brides. These include:

A-line

Ball gown

Mermaid / trumpet

Sheath

Short

The silhouette of an A-line gown resembles a capital “A.” The bodice starts – and the skirts starts – at the smallest part of you – usually just under the bust. From there, the gown flares out gently. It’s not a wide, flowing skirt, but it’s not a pencil skirt either. It’s a comfortable style that is generally flattering to most brides.

Ball gowns are what you would think Cinderella would wear to her wedding. These big, flowing fairy tale skirts make you look like a princess. The skirt can be in the form of yards of tulle, tulle over a satin skirt or a voluptuous satin skirt.

Mermaid silhouettes are form-fitting dresses from the bust to about the knees. From there, the skirt flares out – giving the appearance of a mermaid’s fin. It’s similar to the trumpet silhouette, but not quite as exaggerated an appearance.

Sheath silhouettes usually consist of straight skirts and fitted bodices. They feature very simple lines, and they let one or two details make the statement – such as rosette trim at the neckline or a big bow on the back.

Short dresses feature flirtatious hems that falls anywhere from at the knees to mid-calf. Short dresses are every bit as elegant as their long counterparts. They are just as rich in details and can be the right choice for a less formal venue. And if you can’t decide between a short or long dress, consider a high-low hem where the dress falls to the ankles from the back, but just below the knees on the front.

Finally, you need to choose an overall theme for your bridal party. Choices include:

Casual

Contemporary

Romantic

You might want to start with the bride’s dress and let the wedding party match that style. After all, if the bride is wearing a short, kicky dress, you’ll probably want the bridesmaids in something equally contemporary. On the other hand, if the bride goes with an elegant and luxurious gown, you will probably want the ladies in something romantic.

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