Choosing Your Wedding Dress

One of the most important days of any woman’s life is her wedding. This day marks the transition from the virginal springtime realm of girlhood to the fruitful adulthood of married life and motherhood. In many cultures this change is marked with ritualized rites, including the ceremonial death of the old self and the rebirth of the new self. Historically, brides have chosen to express these themes through their clothing.

The wedding dress is traditionally worn in white, symbolizing purity and virtue. In fact, the oldest surviving wedding dress is a white lace gown that dates back to 1840 and was worn by Queen Victoria at her wedding to Prince Albert. However, there have always been alternatives to the white dress, and brides have traditionally chosen dresses in shades of ivory and cream.

When choosing a wedding dress it is important to keep in mind your body type, personal style and the overall aesthetic of your big day. The first step in finding the perfect dress is to try on as many styles as possible. A good bridal consultant will help guide you to your dream dress while taking into account your budget, vision and body shape. Getting your hair and makeup done right is also an essential part of the process. This is the time to go beyond your comfort zone and take risks with your look.

Once you find a gown you love, 8-10 months before your wedding is the sweet spot for when it’s time to say yes and place your order. The salon will usually ask you for a deposit at this point. It’s also a good time to call a seamstress who specializes in wedding dresses and formal wear. They’ll be able to make all of the smaller tweaks to your dress that will make you feel fabulous on your wedding day.

Choosing the right neckline is another important consideration. A bateau, jewel, or one-shoulder neckline frames the chest and collarbone and can be very flattering. Portrait, sweetheart or V-necks reveal more of the neck and decolletage and exude romance and femininity. An illusion bodice is sheer fabric adorned with beading or delicate lace that creates an ethereal and enchanting effect.

In the 1950s and 60s, wedding dress fashion took on a more playful and flirty vibe. Full skirts were still in style but kept shorter, with off the shoulder or strapless designs. The dresses were also embellished with lace and beads to add texture and sparkle.

The color of a wedding dress can tell you a lot about the bride’s personality. Deeper tones evoke power, wealth and wisdom. Pale shades can suggest magic and whimsy. Silvery grey tones indicate stability and composure. Lighter tones such as nude or sand suggest a natural beauty and innocence.

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