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About the Book. Sign up for Updates. Other Books in "The Wedding Collection". The Wedding Chapel. The Wedding Shop. Is online shopping the only retail therapy you know? If you can try the dress on in person that's great. If not, check the return policy — especially if you're ordering a few to try on and consider — to make sure you're entitled to a full refund if it doesn't look as dreamy in person. Nothing is worse than getting to a bridal salon and finding they only stock samples to size 10 unfortunately, that's the case for many, even though they sell sizes up to 26 , and you have nothing to actually try on.
Call ahead to make sure your shop has plus-size samples for the style and designer you want to try on, or if not, whether they can get some in before your appointment. It is possible to try on too many wedding dresses and feel overwhelmed with options. Perhaps you're more the type who wants to look classic and timeless on your wedding day — think lace.
Or maybe you're a fashionista who loves being up-to-the-minute — if so, try on some of the hot bridal runway trends for , including capes, detached sleeves, and short hems. Even though you may not have a star's unlimited wedding budget, you can still draw inspiration and help create a vision of what styles you want to replicate in your dress. That could mean Serena William's trendy cape or the classic lace silhouette of Pippa Middleton's gown.
It's easy, especially for people-pleasing brides, to bend in the moment to what gown your mom, sister, or maid of honor loves on you. But it's crucial that you go with what you love and what feels like your dream dress, regardless of other people's expectations. That might mean subtle eggshell or ivory, romantic blush, or even a bold red. It may not be right for you, but a survey showed 14 percent of brides would wear a colored wedding dress.
Don't be afraid to be unique! If you want to incorporate a family pass down into your wedding day look, like a relative's veil or an heirloom piece of jewelry, bring it to all your shopping appointments to find the perfect matching gown. When I work with a bride and sense that she is unsure, I encourage her to sleep on it," says Hall. Make sure that they capture all angles of each dress you're considering, from the back and sides to shots of you sitting down in the gown from the top up.
The gown that makes you feel the most beautiful is the gown you should choose. Even if a gown checks off all of your criteria, keying in on feelings can help you decide between dresses and lead to that magical moment when you've finally found "The One. If you're torn between two gowns or are still on the fence about your dream wedding dress, snap a pic and share it in our Brides to Brides Facebook group.
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Nothing can help you make a definite dress decision quite like unbiased feedback from real, fellow brides. Reflect on your favorite top or dress you already own that makes you feel your most confident or beautiful. What is it you like about it so much?
Is it the fit, the fabric, the neckline, the silhouette? Whatever it may be, envision the best components of your current wardrobe and your everyday style as you look at wedding dress styles, and translate those elements onto your dream dress. A salesperson should never put the heat on you to make a decision on the spot if you're unsure. A wedding gown is a very emotional purchase and a lifetime memory being created, so if you need more time to decide, take it — guilt-free.
Even if you're ordering online, have a seamstress takes your measurements — this is not the time for DIY, since putting the measuring tape even an inch up or down from the industry standard can throw off your results. Most gowns can be altered down one or two sizes and, depending on the seam allowance, up one size, so it's better to order too big and take it in than be stuck with a zipper that won't close.
No wedding gown is going to be as comfortable as your pajamas, but you don't want to be pulling it up or constricted by it all night, so bust out some moves in the dressing room. If you're planning a church wedding where you may need to kneel or sit during the ceremony, practice doing that in the gown. If you're planning to drop it like it's hot on the dance floor, try it out to make sure you can move how you want. If you go dress shopping with messy locks and no makeup, you're obviously not going to feel your most beautiful as you try on wedding frocks.
To get the full effect, try to mimic your ideal wedding beauty look as closely as possible.
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You don't have to go all out, but dab on some makeup and wear your hair up or down, depending on how you plan to sport it on the big day. If you decide you no longer want the dress after you order it, you'll most likely lose all of the money you put down, whether that's a deposit or the full amount.
If you're not an emotional person, or if you see the dress more as a way to express your personal style, you may not be brought to tears in the dressing room — but that doesn't mean you haven't found your gown. Not all brides cry when they find "The One. It's far less expensive to buy off the rack and spend some money on a good tailor, and you'll still have it perfectly altered for your body.
If you've seen a bridal shop on TV say, Kleinfeld or Bridals by Lori , so have lots of other brides, which means you'll need to book far in advance — especially for a weekend appointment. The major benefits of these stores is that they have some of the most knowledgeable consultants and a wide variety of dresses from hundreds of designers. These offer an intimate setting, which is great for personal service but can mean fewer dresses to try on than massive stores. The upsides are that they know the area, so they can be helpful about what other local brides are wearing and will likely know your venue, so they can have a better sense of your wedding style.
Plus, you can usually try on dresses in your size, not a sample size, which is good news for brides who fall above or below a size 8 or 10, the usual sample sizes. Shopping at vintage boutiques is a win-win. If you're shopping with a consultant at a bridal boutique or salon, don't hold back when letting him or her know exactly what you're looking for.
Be as honest and open as possible. The more information you give about your likes and dislikes, the easier it will be for the consultant for pick out your dream gown. If your wedding is in the Caribbean in August, go for lightweight fabrics in breezy styles, whereas if you're getting hitched in the winter in Boston, it's all about snow-like sparkle and heavier, lush fabrics like satin or taffeta.
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Despite all the advice that's available about choosing the most appropriate silhouette, style, and fabric, you don't have to listen to us, your consultant, or your mother. If you want to wear a taffeta ballgown on the beach or a trendy pantsuit to City Hall , it's your wedding! You should love every aspect of your wedding dress, but keep in mind that the top of the gown will appear most in wedding photographs, especially while you're seated at dinner or dancing with your nearest and dearest.
Make sure the gown fits comfortably when you're sitting down and that the neckline won't require adjusting throughout the big day. If it's not done with precision, it can potentially ruin a gown. If the dress arrives and you're iffy on it, you don't need to scrap it. Gather your trusted style advisers and "try it on with totally different accessories , like a new belt, or add a bolero. If that doesn't help, a seamstress can really change the look by shortening it, changing the neckline, taking off sleeves, or adding sleeves," says Molly Guy, creative director at Stone Fox Bride.
Say you really can't fall back in love with the dress, but you can't afford to scrap it and start from scratch buying a second one. Re-sell it online, emphasizing that the dress is brand new and unworn. If the dress of your dreams has a long train or hem, decide whether you want to get a bustle sewn into the gown. This helps pick up your train during the reception, but keep in mind that it will alter how the back of the dress looks. Research the different bustle styles to see if one is right for your dress before you undergo fittings and alterations.
Of course you don't want the groom to see your pick, but what about friends? Make a rule before you start sending pics of the gown of how widely you'll share — just with the people at the appointment? Just with the bridal party? If you don't set the rule in advance, you could feel trapped later into showing everyone, and lose some of the magic of the reveal on the big day. Especially if you live with your groom, you don't want him to stumble upon your gown and ruin the surprise.
Ask a relative or very trusted friend perhaps someone you'd want to bring with you when you take the gown for tailoring appointments if they'll let you keep the dress at their place until the big day.