How to Choose a Wedding Gown

Many brides have had visions of wearing a sumptuous wedding gown since they were little girls. Whatever their vision – from a fairy princess to a sleek starlet – choosing the perfect wedding gown can be hard work. We will show you the steps involved to making your dream gown a reality.

You Will Need:

  • your wedding style
  • your wedding date
  • your wedding budget

Step 1: Pick Your Style

Your wedding gown should mirror your ceremony and reception. So the first step in beginning your wedding gown odyssey is to decide how formal your wedding will be. Will it be a formal evening wedding in a elegant ballroom or an informal afternoon outdoor wedding in nature?

Step 2: Find Your Favorites

Once you have decided how formal your wedding will be, look at bridal magazines and cut out pictures of the gowns you like. Make a scrap book of your favorites. Check out the wedding gown sites online as well, such as or weddingchannel. com. Find bridal gown salons you want to visit. Call some recently married friends or family for recommendations.

It is a good idea to ask your wedding site coordinator if there are any restrictions on the amount of skin you can show at your wedding site. Some religious locations will not allow off-the-shoulder, strapless, or halter-style gowns.

If you want that bare look, consider ordering extra fabric to make a cover-up (jacket or shawl) to wear for the ceremony and then, afterwards, you can remove it at the reception.

Step 3: Understanding Gown Basics

Being able to communicate in fluent gown-speak will make working with salespeople far, far easier. The anatomy of a wedding gown boils down to six main categories: silhouette, neckline, sleeve, train, fabric, and color. The gown’s silhouette is by far the most important as it determines the overall shape of the gown. And as each silhouette flatters different body types, it’s vital to choose the right silhouette for your figure.

The A-line (or Princess) silhouette is the most popular silhouette – it flatters just about everyone. It can make shorter brides appear taller, and help hide larger hips because of the way the fabric flares over them, rather than hugging them. The A-line can also add feminine curves to a straight figure.

The Ball Gown silhouette offers a classic, elegant, Cinderella look – great on average-height to tall brides. It’s especially good at concealing large hips as it draws the eyes up from the lower body to the bodice.

The Mermaid silhouette, sometimes called the fit-and-flare, hugs the body to just past the hips where it flares out to a full hemline. If you want to show off your perfect figure, these gowns are great, as they leave little room for imagination.

The Empire Waist silhouette has a small bodice, and a high waist, which begins just under the bust line. The Empire make petite brides look taller and bustier, and de-emphasizes a thick waist.

TheSheath silhouette is an elegant, straight – fitted gown, often floor-length. It’s flattering to tall and thin brides, but also makes petite brides look taller.

Step 4: Try On Some Gowns

Visit some stores and see how the bridal confections you saw in the magazines look in real life. Take along a close friend or family member whose advice you respect. If you bring a group of friends, you may be overwhelmed with too much advice! Don’t try on too many dresses in one day. You might become what industry insiders call “gowned out” – every dress starts look the same. Also, take notes when you are trying on the gowns, so you’ll remember what you liked about each one.

Remember to wear undergarments, shoes, and a hair style similar to what you plan to wear on your wedding day. Skip the makeup, and the lipstick. Cosmetics may damage the gowns.

Here’s an insider’s tip: visit bridal salons on weekdays rather than weekends – when the stores are crazy-busy.

Step 5: Zero In On Your Favorites

Difficult as it may be, narrow down your choices. But – if a gown calls to you, and you just love it, don’t wait to buy it later! You’ll be disappointed when it’s gone. Buy it on the spot. And, do tell your salesperson that your wedding gown budget is less than what it actually is. It’s their job to persuade you to buy above your budget.

Step 6: Close The Deal

Ask the store about the dress’s manufacturer and how long it will take to get the dress after it’s ordered. Inquire about the store’s payment policies – can you put the deposit on a credit card, and is that money refundable? Get a written estimate for alterations and find out if the store offers free services like steaming, gown bags, and delivery. Make sure to get everything in writing. Paying with a credit card, not a debit card, can protect you in case something goes wrong with your purchase.