Wedding Dress Tips Every Bride Should Know

The wedding dress is one of the most significant purchases a bride will make in her lifetime, a symbol that formally transitions her from being a single woman to a wife. Whether it’s bought, custom-made, or passed down through the family, each bride will want her dress to be beautiful, unique, and just right for her special day. But what exactly goes into choosing this once-in-a-lifetime gown? What do brides need to know before they start shopping, and how can they avoid the pitfalls of a bad decision? Read on for the top wedding dress tips that every bride should know.

1. The dress should be a representation of the bride’s personality and style.

Whether it’s something ultra-glam or super casual, a bride’s dress should be a reflection of her personality and taste. “A bride needs to really understand her personal taste and what she wants her dress to be, and also look at her body type and how the dress will work for her,” says Moore.

She adds that brides with a curvier figure should consider dresses that accentuate those gorgeous curves and may need to find a shorter skirt length to suit them, while brides with a slimmer frame might do better in a long and dramatic gown like a ball gown to create the illusion of volume.

2. The neckline and sleeves are a key factor in how the dress fits, and should compliment the overall look of the wedding.

The neckline is the first thing that people will notice about a bride, and is designed to complement or flatter her face, shoulders, and collarbone. Some necklines, such as bateau, jewel, and one-shoulder, are designed to be more traditional and cover more of the chest and collarbone, while other designs, such as portrait, sweetheart, and off-the-shoulder, offer more cleavage exposure.

Sleeves are another important aspect of the dress, and can range from barely-there cap sleeves to statement-making puff sleeves. The sleeves are typically designed to accent or complement the neckline, and may be adorned with crystals, beading, embroidery, or other embellishments.

3. A dress’s lining is just as important as the fabric used to create it.

The lining of a wedding dress is an extra layer of nude or white fabric sewn to the inside of the gown to help keep it looking fresh and protect the wearer from the lace, beads, or other embellishments on the outer dress. It’s also sometimes used to help control the flow of the skirt, or to hide a less-than-flattering hemline.

4. Be sure to call the bridal shop or boutique ahead of time to learn about their dress inventory and whether they have what you’re looking for.

Unlike other retail stores, bridal shops typically only display dresses that are currently available for purchase. Bridal salons also tend to require an appointment, so that a consultant can help you select and try on dresses. Calling ahead will help avoid a wasted trip to a location that doesn’t have the dress you’re hoping for, and also ensures the bridal consultant can devote adequate time to each bride. If you’re considering an online wedding dress purchase, be sure to check out the store’s return policy before committing.

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