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Bridal Gowns

Wedding Attire

Like A Princess
      by Loreen Berlin
edited by Carolyn Ambrose

You’ve envisioned your wedding day since you were a child—You want to look like a princess, have exotic flowers, delicious cake and the perfect gown. And it wouldn’t hurt to have the perfect groom as well.


If you know what you want but don’t know where to start, try attending a bridal show. The ability to view many different shop’s products in one place is a real time saver. Talking to the shop owners or sales representatives will give you an idea of what’s available. Ask questions and pick up catalogues available from designers.

Many shops will special order gowns that are not on the rack. When special ordering, most shops suggest that you put in your order six months in advance to ensure delivery on time and to avoid any ordering mishaps.

When making the final ensemble decisions, consider the colors, season, and time of day. Brides and bridesmaids need to feel comfortable with texture as well as temperature in order to be calm and cool; the same goes for the groom and groomsmen.

For example, if you are planning a January evening wedding the temperature and weather suggest that a gown with long sleeves and or a wrap would be appropriate. The same goes for a summer wedding; sleeveless or strapless will be welcome in the balmy heat. While the women will have many choices men may be limited to the full formal tuxedo ensemble. Grooms may be able to eliminate the jacket and dress up the shirt and slacks with a nice vest and tie for warm weather.

There are more styles and colors to choose from than ever before, giving the bride and groom a wider range of choices. The tuxedo and bridal boutiques will be able to help you find complimentary styles and colors to match with the bridesmaids’ gowns and wedding colors. Ask for help, this is what they do for a living.

Call ahead to find out which stores require appointments. It is essential for some stores to make appointments so that they can give you the attention that you deserve. Make sure that it fits! Most tuxedo and gown shops will have alterations and steaming available. Ask how long they will need to complete your alterations. Use that as a guide to give yourself some time to try on the tuxedos and gowns, at least one to two weeks before the wedding day. This gives your wedding professional time to adjust to any mishaps that may have occurred with your tuxedo or gown alterations.

Who To Shop With: Don’t bring your entire wedding party or family along while you are shopping. Too many people will likely have too many opinions, and little children will not have the attention span to last through this process. It is best when you are going shopping for your bridal gown to take along your sister, mother or best friend. Go with your fiancÈe to choose tuxedos. Take your bridesmaid with you to choose the bridesmaids gowns and accessories.

Custom Designers: You know what you want but can’t find it? Custom designs are not just for the rich and famous anymore. Try some of the local custom designers. You can either tell them what you want or look at some of their current designs. It may or may not cost much more than you would have spent on a manufactured gown.

Final Touches: Accessorizing is second nature to women, but when it is time to prepare for your wedding their is much more to cover than just the jewelry. Most bridal boutiques and tuxedo shops will carry a variety of veils, gloves, shoes, purses, tiaras, cuff links, lacy underthings, and bridesmaids dresses.

When purchasing the shoes don’t forget to check to see if the color matches your gown. White is not always white. If you buy your shoes at a different location make sure to check the color with your gown before you commit. Take the time to dye if necessary. And double-check your colors when the dye is complete.

If you take the gown home many weeks or months prior to the wedding day you may want to bring the gown back for a good steaming. Call in advance to ask if an appointment is needed.

Preliminary Questions to Ask:

[ ] Is an appointment needed to try on gowns?

[ ] Is an appointment needed for steaming your gown?

[ ] How long will you need to complete the alterations?

Whether you know exactly what you want or still need some help deciding you won’t go wrong when you take your time and consider your options. Making decisions early about your wedding attire will give you the peace of mind to move on to other items on your wedding planning schedule, and that is one less thing to worry about!

Local Merchants: You may view the directory of local companies to introduce yourself and to set up an appointment to meet with one of their consultants who can guide you through the selection process.

Bridal Events: If you’re in a quandary as to how to get started, you may want to attend one of the ever popular Bridal Shows or Expos. Meet with wedding experts face-to-face, regarding all aspects of weddings: honeymoons, cakes, bridal gift registry and much more available for everything you’ll need and want to know for your wedding, not to mention an exciting bridal fashion show with complete wedding wear, down to the youngest in your wedding party.

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