Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Four Steps to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress

On this day-possibly more than any other day in your life-you want to look perfect. You want the perfect hair. The perfect face. The perfect dress.

I know. I’ve been there.

They say the average bride tries on 20 dresses before making her choice. Me? I tried on 220. At least. Then I went back to square one. Seriously. That first little square picture I had plucked from the very first wedding magazine I read on my very first wedding information-gathering exploration.

But it was a process. A process many of us have to go through in order to get that perfect wedding dress. And so I'll share ...

Here are four tips to help you choose your perfect wedding dress.

1. Know Your Style
As we’ve discussed, knowing your wedding style will go a long way in helping you plan the perfect day. Same goes for your dress. If you are planning an elegant sit-down dinner, followed by a night of dancing and sipping champagne, you’ll be better off with a long, formal dress. On the other hand, if you are planning an afternoon lunch reception to follow your noon-time nuptials, a knee-length dress will better suit your style.

2. Choose Your Look
Do you want to be a sexy bride? An elegant bride? A blushing, youthful bride? Yes, technically you can be all three, but knowing the look you want will help you choose your dress.

I had narrowed my decision to two dresses. A soft-pink glimmering princess dress and an exotic, tight-waist bombshell dress. I couldn't choose and went back and forth between the two for days. Finally, the salesperson asked me a simple question, “Do you want to be sexy or do you want to look innocent?”

Simple enough. The choice was made.

3. Brainstorm Dresses
After your know your wedding day style and bridal look-start brainstorming. Search everywhere for wedding dresses. With the new color infusion wedding dresses are seeing these days, there is no longer a reason for brides to limit themselves to bridal salons. Seriously. Look everywhere. You might not find the dress you want on Craig’s List, but you might get an idea of where to look next.

Pull all of the pictures of the dresses you like and look for similarities. Are you choosing all ball gowns? Do all of the dresses have a hint of color? Are they slim, short or traditional?

4. Try Them On
After you have taken notice of the type of dress you are attracted to-get to the nearest shop and try them on. You may have loved those empire-line dresses but hate how they look on you. Try on several dresses with the same shape before you mark something off of your list. Try on anything the salesperson-or your mom, or your sister or your best friend-brings you. You never know what might change your mind.

Be sure to take a nice pair of heels with you to try on your dress so you can get a full picture of your wedding look.

After you have followed these four steps but before you have made your purchase, go back through steps one and two. Make sure the dress fits with your wedding style and look. This is an important step many brides overlook and although that might be a perfect dress-if it doesn’t go with your overall wedding plans-it isn’t the perfect dress for you.

Have you chosen your wedding dress? How did you do it? How many dresses did you try on before you found The One?

Photos courtesy of Notti Cabirian and Hopemeng

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