Arguably one of the most difficult and the most enjoyable parts of planning your wedding is choosing your wedding dress. Make sure you start well ahead of time as some dresses need to be made to order, which can take up to 6 months depending on how busy the designer is.
Firstly think about the theme or tone of your wedding, and where it is taking place. If you are having a large, grandiose wedding in an elegant setting, then you may want to ensure you stand out by having a suitably stunning gown to wear. On the other hand if you are having a quiet, informal reception then you may want to tone things down a bit so that you don’t look over the top.
Also you need to sit down and think very realistically about your figure. There is no perfect figure for a wedding dress, as they come in so many different shapes and designs, which is good news as you should be able to find one that suits your individual look and personality perfectly. When is comes to colour, white is not the only option so think about colours you normally wear and look good in.
Very bright colours look stunning when matched against contrasting shades, but this can be overpowering or even gaudy if not judged absolutely perfectly so take care. Also bright colours look best when kept simple, so keep the detail and design minimal and let the colours speak for themselves.
Beading and embroidery can be a wonderful way of individualizing a dress, but keep in mind that hand stitched fabrics can cost a premium, and you will need to allow plenty of time for the designer to complete the outfit if you are customizing your own design. Beading can also be helpful for drawing the eye to your best assets, whether it is a slim waist of shapely bust.
In terms of body shape there are a few general rules you can follow when out looking for a dress, which will help you narrow down your search. Don’t succumb to flattery! Be realistic about every dress you try on, and don’t even think about trying on dresses that are outside of your budget – this can save you a lot of heartache. If you are buying an off the rack dress don’t purchase it too soon before the wedding as your shape may change. Buy no more than a month before the wedding and make sure it fits perfectly, and then just maintain your weight as normal. Don’t buy a size smaller and hope it fits in time! Also remember to try each dress on with both high-heeled and flat shoes, so that you get an idea of what footwear you will need for the big day.
Tall and Slim
Tall, slim woman do tend to have quite bony shoulders and collar bones, so you may want to think about a long, fitted dress that flatters your slim height, but with a high collar and cap sleeves to flesh out your top half. Beading and embroidery can be used to jazz up this high neckline and compensate for the lack of skin showing.
Short and Slim
A knee length fitted dress will flatter shorter, slimmer figures and low, fitted bodices look great on petite torsos. Try not to go too long and full with the skirt as you could end up looking swamped.
Short with a fuller figure
Empire line dresses look fantastic on curvy figures as the material just flows down from the seam at the bust line, hiding any lumps and bumps. You can get away with a floor length gown in this style without looking even shorter. Sleeves can be an option if you don’t like your upper arms, but keep them long and not too tight to give you room to move.
Tall with a fuller figure
Make a dramatic impact in a gloriously long and flowing empire line dress, cut low and fitted on the bodice area to show off your bust and shoulders. Long flowing sleeves are also an option if you do not like your upper arms, and again keep them long and loose.
If you are very top heavy avoid very low cut, short bodices and natural waistlines which will draw attention to this area. Also avoid any beading or detail in the bust area and keep it nice and simple.
Stay away from any designs with bustles or tiers and anything that fits tightly across the hips. Dresses that fit at the top and flare down to the hem will skim over hips, but stay away from empire style if you also have a very large bust, as it can make you look solid all the way down by obliterating your waistline.
Straps can narrow your shoulders, as well as a long V-neckline. Stay away from low cut bodices as they will make you wider across the shoulders and also avoid puffed sleeves that will draw attention to this area.
Heavy arms or legs
Hide heavy legs with a long, floor length dress, and if you have thick ankles avoid very flat, or very slim narrow shoes that can make the ankle look even heavier. Sleeves are good for hiding thick arms, but keep them three quarter length and not too tight.