When a woman looks at herself in the mirror in a long white wedding dress, tiara and a veil, the strongest sense of accomplishment overtakes her. It’s not that she’s feeling triumphant about getting married; she’s just happy to have finally found the right dress!
Almost every dress, in its own way, looks beautiful. So along with every other decision a bride must make for her wedding day, finding the right dress is probably the hardest. The options are literally limitless and even designing a custom dress is not a solution to the problem of indecision. The trick lies in determining the most flattering style for each individual bride’s body type. This all starts with looking at the silhouette of the dress.
Wedding Dress: A-line Dress
The A-line dress stays true to its name: the silhouette of the dress resembles the letter A. This is the ideal dress for women with hips and thighs. Instead of masking them, this style of dress embraces the hips and accentuates the waist, drawing the eye to the top portion of the body and skimming over the bottom. A line dresses are light, generally don’t feature a lot of frills and are perfect for destination weddings.
Wedding Dress: Tea Length Dress
A tea length dress comes right below the knees and is perfect for the bride looking for a non-traditional but classy style of dress. Vintage dress stores often carry beautifully laced and beaded dresses in this length. However, women with shorter legs and large calves would be well advised to stay away from this dress that will make them look even shorter and stockier. This style of dress, in its simplicity, often encourages a bold selection of headpiece or brightly coloured shoes, which due to the length of the dress, are actually visible.
Wedding Dress: Ball Gown
The ball gown is the ideal dress for the princess bride. A ball gown has layer upon layer of sumptuous fabric, ruffles and pick-ups in the skirt. It is often worn with a wire hoop or tulle petticoats to extend the circumference of the skirt. This can suit almost every body type. But brides should note that tight corsets and heavy fabrics make this an uncomfortable dress to move around in for a day. There was a reason women in the 18th century fainted so much! Another downside of this dress is its price. Because of the amount of fabric and sheer amount of work that goes into making it, it is hard to find a ball gown wedding dress for anything under $800.
Wedding Dress: Empire Waist Wedding Dress
A dress with an empire waist sits right above the ribcage, masking any unwanted bulges in the stomach region. This type of dress also flatter women with a small bust, drawing attention to the neckline. The accents near the top work well to create definition. For a light, romantic, whimsical wedding style, this dress is perfect. A summer wedding, or a Grecian theme are well suited to this dress, and layers of silk, satin and lace complement its versatile style. Although elegant, an empire waist white dress can usually be worn again.
Wedding Dress: Mermaid Dress
This dress is all about hugging the curves and accentuating the assets. It is the sexiest style of dress and one that can incorporate many different styles at once. It can feature the exaggerated ruffles of the ball gown at the bottom and maintain the definition of an A line dress at the top. This dress is a sensual choice whether it features a Flamenco flare at the bottom, or a tight fitting fabric around the waist. It is wise to remember however, that the mermaid dress is not for everyone. Slender figures pull it off best.
The greatest disservice a bride can do to herself and her future husband is not being adventurous with trying on dresses. What looks good on the rack, may not sit well on the body and vice versa. A bride will never know what style suits her best until she tries it on.
How to Pick a Bridesmaid Dress
A maid of honor and bridesmaid dress is a very important part of any wedding. It reflects the wedding’s formality, colors and themes, and often also matches the bride’s personal tastes. However, what is the best bridesmaid dress for a wedding? What things should be taken into consideration to create the right “look” for a bridal party?
Match the Formality of the Wedding
First things first: the bridesmaid dress must match the formality of the wedding. For formal weddings, a floor-length dress is appropriate. But for casual weddings, a tea-length (calf) or cocktail-length (knee) dress is more suitable. And for semi-formal weddings, either would be fitting.
Another thing to consider when selecting length is the length of the bride’s wedding dress. It is customary for the bridesmaid dress to be shorter. If the bride has a train, floor-length or shorter will work for the bridesmaids. If the bride’s dress is floor-length, the bridesmaids should wear dresses that are tea- or cocktail-lengths, and so on.
How to Choose the Color of the Bridesmaid Dress
Usually one of the first decisions made for a wedding are the colors, and traditionally the bridesmaids dresses match one or both colors. For a wedding with two colors, think about how each color will look for a dress – and how that will look on the bridesmaids. It might be the bride and groom’s day, but the expensive photos will turn out so much better if the bridesmaids are wearing a lovely and flattering color. Additionally, consider if one of the colors for a dress might be more versatile for the bridesmaids after the wedding.
Another option is to select a neutral color for the bridesmaid dress – like black or chocolate brown – and use a sash, wrap, shoes or accessories to match the wedding’s colors. Neutral dresses will certainly be more versatile for bridesmaids after the wedding. In fact, the bridesmaids could even wear or choose their own brown or black bridesmaid dress.
Picking the Fabric – Consider the Season
When choosing the fabric for the bridesmaid dress, think about the season and the comfort of the bridesmaid. For summer weddings, particularly those that will be outdoors or inside a building without air conditioning, choose a lightweight fabric like chiffon.
Likewise, for winter weddings, a heavier fabric, such as one of the many varieties of bridal satin, would be more fitting. For spring or fall weddings, just about any fabric choice would be appropriate.
Selecting the Neckline and Shape of the Bridesmaid Dress
One of the last things to consider is the neckline and shape of the bridesmaid dress. Often, brides will choose a neckline and shape that are similar to her wedding dress to create some uniformity. If her wedding dress is a strapless sheath. Dhe’ll want to make sure the bridesmaid dresses have a simple neckline and straight shape.
Similarly, if the bride chooses a wedding dress with a full skirt. She might want to compliment that with bridesmaid dresses that are also full or perhaps have an A-line shape to them.
Another option is to leave a little bit of the detail up to the bridesmaids. One popular option is to go with separates and let the attendants choose their own tops to match a skirt selected by the bride. Or, the bride may select the designer, color and length and let the bridesmaids each choose their own dress style from among those specifications.
No matter what dress the bride ultimately chooses. Or what specifications she gives to the bridesmaids to select their own dresses. The bride should always remember that while it is her wedding. She is not the one wearing a bridesmaid dress. In the end. Flattering styles and colors will look much better overall than a particular trendy dress style or bright color.