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Your Wedding Gown Style Guide


It's the frock that brings all eyes on you, as you delicately saunter down the aisle to meet the love of your life. When it comes to choosing a wedding gown, keep in mind that there are many features that could influence your final choice. Between selecting the material and settling on a color, why don’t you take the time to consider the following factors that go into choosing a wedding gown?

Wedding Gown Types

Choosing a wedding gown is one of the most important decisions a bride-to-be will make. If there is any tip that you take away regarding wedding gown selection, then let it be to pick a dress that accommodates your body type. For instance, ball gowns offer a full skirt that complements full figured, pear shaped, and thin frames. If you are petite or possess an hourglass figure, this wedding gown selection is also a winner.

Other choices to consider include:

• Empire Waist: For petite sizes, inverted pear shapes, and women without a defined waistline.
• A-Line/Princess: Beware of this dress if you do not possess a defined waistline. All other body types are accommodated.
• Sheath: Good for thin figures, petite frames, and sometimes an hourglass shape. Not recommended for women who are thick, short waisted, full figured, or pear shapes.
• Mermaid: Accommodates flattering figures, but not recommended for petite sizes, and thick or short-waisted women.


Wedding gown necklines can set the scene for exquisite pieces of jewelry and tantalizing cleavage. However, remember that selecting the proper shape will create the most flattering ensemble for your special day. Accommodating most figures, the scoop, square, and Queen Anne styles come highly recommended. Brides with a smaller chest may opt for the jewel, bateau, Sabrina, and spaghetti straps. Possess a medium-sized chest? Consider a V-neck neckline. Full-figured women often benefit from a sweetheart or strapless selection.


What kind of waistline will your perfect wedding gown possess? There are four main types to consider, including the natural (works well with petite figures), drop (great for an hourglass figure and large breasts), basque (delivers a slenderizing effect), and empire waist (accommodates large hips).


While some brides prefer a seductive, sleeveless wedding gown, others use this part of the dress to add overall charm, like choosing long sleeves with puffy shoulders (Juliet) or a cap sleeve that slightly covers the shoulders. Other wedding gown sleeve choices include the fitted point, ¾ sleeve, bell, and poet.


A sweeping train is often a must for any fairytale wedding gown. From 8 inches (sweep) to 3 or more yards trailing the waist (royal), trains provide an elegant touch to a traditional wedding. Other selections include the court, chapel, and cathedral train.


All photos by Tec Petaja

Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 12:55 am
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