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Wedding Gown Styles and Considerations

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One of the most important things that will help you find your perfect dress is knowing what you want. Of course, included in knowing what you want is knowing what would look best on your body shape. Here are the four basic dress silhouettes and what body types look best with them

Ball Gown (a fitted bodice and a very full skirt)

  • Full figure
  • Pear shape
  • Thin

Empire (a slim skirt with a waist right below the bust)

  • Petite
  • Thin
  • Pear shape

Princess (a dress with vertical seams and a flared skirt)

  • Hourglass
  • Full figure
  • Petite

Sheath (a very slim, form-fitting dress)

  • Thin
  • Petite
  • Hourglass

Once you have figured out what silhouette you want (based on what would look best), you will want to decide on other parts of the dress as well. Not only will you want to make a list of styles you do like, you will also need to make a list of styles you don’t like. For example- likes: empire waist, flared sleeves, sheer overlay; dislikes: big skirts, lots of beading, long trains. Your lists can be as long or as short as you want, but remember, the longer the like list, the harder to find the perfect dress and the shorter the dislikes list, the harder to narrow down the search.

As soon as you have your “do’s and don’ts” list, look at resources online, or bridal magazines to find dresses that match your criteria. The more research you do before you go shopping, the better. Try to only focus on two or three of your likes when picking out dresses so that the people at the bridal salon have something to work with (instead of set criteria that are unwavering).

When you finally do go shopping, make sure you bring your sample pictures and a trusted friend with you. The best thing to do is call around to a couple stores and make appointments (if necessary) and make sure you look at lots of different dresses before making a final decision. The salespeople at the bridal salon may suggest different styles that may look good on you. Unless these styles are in your “dislikes” list, try them on- you never know what you may fall in love with.

Just as with most purchases, brides usually do not buy the first dress they try on. Most brides try on between 5 and 25 dresses before finding the one they really love. If you are not completely satisfied with the way a dress looks on you, keep looking- it is not worth the disappointment of not thinking you look fabulous on your wedding day.