When you walk into that shiny, blindingly white bridal shop, the experience can be overwhelming. Where can a bride even begin to find the one dress she's been dreaming about her entire life? The dress, in the end, should be the ultimate reflection of your own beauty, inside and out.
First, try to find the silhouette that best suits your body type and in which you are most comfortable.
The ball gown has a full skirt and is flattering on almost any body type. However, on very petite brides, this silhouette can be overwhelming. This style also works best at formal weddings.
An a-line gown is more fitted than a ball gown and flares out at the waist. This type of skirt is flattering on anyone, but works especially well for brides who want to camouflage wider hips.
Sheath gowns are fitted through the entire skirt. This silhouette works best for brides with balanced, slim figures.
The empire waist skirt begins just below the bra band. It is an excellent choice for brides who are expecting or wish to divert attention from the stomach area. This cut also works especially well for casual weddings.
The mermaid/trumpet gown is perfect for brides who want to show off their hourglass figures but still have the fullness of a skirt.
It's All in the Details
The detailing of the dress can be what reflects the overall style of the entire wedding.
The Romantic Bride
Romantic brides generally choose embellishments like floral appliques and lace. These types of detail especially work for daytime outdoor weddings.
The Glam Bride
Brides wanting to have the "glam" look on their big day typically choose dresses with ruching and jeweled embellishments to reflect an Old Hollywood style.
The Classic Bride
A classic bridal gown is typically sleek in design with minimal detailing. This type of styling is perfect for sportier brides who prefer a simpler look.
Of course, there are thousands of other possibilities to mix embellishments and silhouettes. The importance is finding a style that reflects your day and, not to mention, the real you.
When you close your eyes and think about your big day, what do you picture yourself wearing? Think about types of fabric, colors, silhouettes, necklines, lengths, and embellishments. Looking at all of the different choices in bridal salons can be confusing, but if you can mentally envision a gown, you can get a general idea of what you are looking for.
Before You Hit the Racks
Your best bet to discover your style is to look at wedding dresses online or in bridal magazines before you take a trip to the bridal shop. Save photos of styles you love (and also hate). If you know for sure that you love the look of a certain fabric, like lace, find some inspirations on designers' websites. If you discover that you absolutely hate the ball gown silhouette, make note of it. Be sure to bring some of these photos with you to the bridal salon. Many bridal salon consultants need to see your likes and dislikes to know what types of dresses to pull into the dressing room for you.
For many brides, looking for the dress is an enjoyable experience. For some, it can be frustrating. Just remember never to settle for a dress you don't absolutely love. Choose one that reflects who you are, the style of your day, is comfortable, flatters your body type, and, most importantly, makes you feel gorgeous.