What to Look For in a Wedding Gown

wedding dress

A bride’s wedding dress is the centerpiece of her big day. It’s a symbol of her love for her fiancé and the start of a new chapter in her life. While a wedding gown might seem simple at a glance, it actually has multiple layers and is intricately designed to complement the bride’s figure. Whether you’re shopping for a full-length ball gown or a sleek sheath, here are a few things to keep in mind as you pick the perfect dress.

Bridal gowns are typically made from a white, soft, flowing fabric like silk or lace. They can be embellished with appliques, embroidery, beading and other details. These embellishments are beautiful, but they’re also expensive and can add up quickly.

The cost of a bridal gown can vary based on the fabric, size and style. Some details are also more labor intensive than others and can drive up the price of your dress. For example, intricate lacing, embroidered lace and beading require more time to construct than simple sequins and appliqués. If you want to save money, consider a simpler design.

Choosing the right fabric for your wedding dress is crucial. Some fabrics produce a more structured silhouette, while others are lightweight and move with you as you walk and dance. If you’re unsure of what fabric will be most flattering for you, try on some dresses in different styles and fabrics to see what you like best.

In addition to selecting the right fabric, you’ll also need to decide if you’re going for a short or long train length. A short train might just graze the floor while a long gown can have a detachable train, which allows you to easily shorten the train and make it easier to walk around during your reception.

Another thing to consider is your neckline. Choose from a variety of neckline styles, from a classic halter to a modern scoop or sweetheart shape. There are also a variety of sleeve styles available, from barely-there cap sleeves to maxi puff sleeves.

Finally, don’t forget to budget for alterations! Nearly all gowns need some tweaking to ensure a picture-perfect fit. This could include taking in the sides, hemming the skirt, adding ties or buttons for a bustle, shortening straps and even inserting bra cups.

Once you’ve found a designer dress that meets your vision, make an appointment to have it altered to your specifications. This will help to avoid rush fees, which can be up to 30% of the price of the dress. To save money, you can also shop for nontraditional wedding dresses from brands like Mac Duggal and Roksanda, which offer sleek evening wear that feels just as bridal as a traditional gown. Lastly, don’t be afraid to shop at department stores or online bridal retailers to find more affordable options.

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