The Right Fit for Your Wedding Gown

By Kathy Boyd-McLaughlin

It’s not everyday you go out and buy a white, formal gown, made of expensive silks and lace that weighs 30 pounds or more. It’s not everyday you wear this dress, but this dress is the only dress you’ll ever care about.

So why does every bride worry excessively over this one particular dress? Well, most likely because it is the dress she will be wearing that will be photographed over and over again. It is the dress she’ll be wearing when her new husband sees her for the first time as his wife. It is the dress she’s dreamt about ever since she was 3 years old.

Many thoughts go into choosing the right dress. You get an image of what you like and how you want to look and feel. When a bride finds the right dress, she just “knows” it is the right dress because she’ll get an emotional flood that takes over all her senses.

She’s happy and thrilled to have found the perfect dress. She’s nervous thinking of how she’s going to look when the final alterations are done. She’s eager to have the wedding day arrive so that she can wear the dress “for real.” And finally, she’s a little sad because now she is grown up and no longer a little girl. Moms usually cry hysterically, when they see their little girl in her wedding gown. When that happens, you just know it is the ONE.

Few things to remember about that dress:

* First, keep an open mind. That ugly thing hanging on the hanger just may be the dress of you dreams in hiding.
* Dresses take on a whole new shape when they are worn on the perfect body.
* Larger sized brides will look wonderful in A-line or Empress dresses but will look frightening in a mermaid style.
* Extremely thin and shorter brides will get lost in a big, ornate and pouffy ball gown style. But try them anyway. This will give you a feel for what you don’t want as well as what you do want.
* When you decide, and the dress has been fitted, do make sure it feels comfortable.
* Your hemline should stop just above your toes in the front.
* You should be able to walk in your gown without fear of tripping, getting a heel caught, or having to carry or hike up the skirts.
* Walk normal in your dress. The only time you should lift the skirts is when you are climbing or descending stairs or steps or getting in and out of a car. Oh, and kneeling. Don’t feel silly to “pretend to dance.” Do the twist and do the YMCA. Move girl, move!!
* Do make sure you bring the exact shoes and under garments you will be wearing on your wedding day to every fitting. Even a slight difference in a bra, can make or break the bodice after it’s been altered.
* Which brings me to another point: No matter what sleeve and neckline you choose, you should be able to lift your arms over your head without fear of ripping any seams, popping any buttons, or unraveling any lace.

Any seamstress, who tells you that the dress is supposed to be a little tight, is not a professional. After all, a bride needs to hug, kiss, shake hands and dance all day. She has other things to worry about without adding the stress of not being able to give a big hug to her father or a great big kiss to her mother. If your dress feels snug, tell them to let the seams out a little. If they say no, take the dress to another seamstress or tailor who will fit it properly.

You’ll wear this dress, on an average of 10 hours.
You should be comfortable in it as well as beautiful!