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Bridal Gown Tips for the Bride

When Choosing Your Gown

There are thousands of gown fashions to choose from. Brides can choose a gown with traditional embellishments like the bell-shape skirt with lace and a train, or a modern form-fitting gown made of satin and decorated with sequins. Whatever the bride may decide, she will eventually have to visit some type of wedding gown dealer.

Selecting Your Gown

When you visit the salon of your choice, make sure that you have a clear vision of your wedding's theme. Do not hesitate to let the salon know what you have planned for a budget. Bring magazine clippings of gowns you like, and see if they have those styles or something similar. Keep in mind that with most bridal salons, you get some consultation for free. Take advantage of the advice you receive. The consultant will be able to offer suggestions on fit and style based on your age and body type. A gown may look wonderful in a magazine (and most do), but it may not look good on you. Your consultant will help you find the right gown at the right price. You should visit a bridal salon even if you do not plan on purchasing your gown through one. The advice you receive will more than pay for your time.

The Costs

Don't purchase a gown that is out of your price range. Bridal gowns can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Take some time to think about your selection. It may help to sleep on the idea and make a commitment on a different day. Remember that bridal gowns come with many unforeseen expenses. Don't spend all of your allotted money on the gown itself. Save a little for alterations and accessories. Plan to spend approximately 5.5% of your total wedding budget on your gown and accessories.

Get Fitted For Your Gown

When you go to get fitted for your gown, make sure that you bring your mother or maid of honor with you. If neither of these people can be there, take a friend whose opinion you trust. If nothing else, this friend can provide some moral support if you are in doubt. You should plan on at least six months to decide on and fit your gown. It will take at least three months for your order to be placed and your gown to be made by the manufacturer. Then you can plan on three fittings. The first when your gown arrives. The second to correct any mistakes, and the third to verify that everything is perfect. You should expect your gown to be perfect. After all, you will only wear this gown once. If you do not have six months, relax. You can still get everything done in time. It will just cost a little more to rush your order.

Your final fitting should take place a few weeks before your wedding. The last thing you should worry about on your wedding day is whether or not your gown fits. So make sure your gown is ready early. Your salon should hold your gown until the week before your wedding. They are better equipped to store your gown than you will be, and proper storage is essential to prevent your gown from wrinkling.

It would be a good idea to bring your maid of honor to your fittings. She will be able to learn her responsibilities for the wedding day. Sometimes, small emergencies come up right before the wedding is about to begin. Your maid of honor should know your gown, and she should also know how to perform small alterations in a pinch. If your mother would handle this situation better than your maid of honor, you might want her at the fittings as well.

On Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day is going to be very hectic. Allow yourself at least two hours to get ready before your wedding is scheduled to begin. If you are planning to have photographs taken before your ceremony, start getting ready two hours before your session is scheduled to begin. These last few hours are stressful enough, don't add to the stress by running late. Take your time when getting ready, and enjoy the company of those around you. Bring an emergency kit. This kit should have sewing supplies, extra makeup, extra hose, and tissues. You should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes such as flats with you. During the wait before the wedding, you will not want to be running around in heels. Your feet may never forgive you.

Other Helpful Gown Tips
  • This is your special day. Make sure your gown makes you feel like a princess when you put it on. When you look good, you feel good.
  • Wedding gowns tend to run small. You will probably need a gown that is a size or two larger than your normal size.
  • When you go for your fittings, consider wearing a strapless bra. This will help you get a better feeling of how each gown would look during your wedding.
  • Take at least one day to decide on the gown that you would like to purchase. This will help ensure that you make a rational decision.
  • Use a credit card to pay for your gown. Most cards offer some kind of buyer protection services. So if something goes wrong, you may be able to recover some of your losses.
  • Expect to give an initial down deposit of up to 50 percent of the cost of the gown.
  • Be sure to get a written contract with specific information like gown size, color, style, etc.
  • Avoid cash-only brokers. They could turn out to be scam artists.


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