By Brittney Bonds
Since childhood, women often fantasize about weddings and the beautiful dresses that brides wear. We like to play dress-up and pretend it is our wedding day. Our earliest fantasies involve ourselves, a prince and a dress. The dress is what captures our attention.
We have seen beautiful weddings on TV and glorious pictures of brides in their gowns. Perhaps we were flower girls in someone’s wedding. Regardless of our differences as adult women, we have all fantasized about our dream dress from childhood.
Choosing the wedding dress makes all the other decisions pale in comparison. Once the gown is chosen, the tone of the wedding is set. If you chose a heavily beaded gown with a cathedral length train, then you should plan a formal wedding. If your heart is set on a knee-length dress that shows off your figure, then you should plan a more informal wedding.
Many of the “old rules” do not apply anymore. A formal wedding does not have to occur after 6 PM, and most grooms choose not to wear tails on their tuxedos. The formality of the wedding dress should be reflected in the degree of formality of the wedding. Since you already have a style of dress in mind, begin shopping for the dress before planning any other aspects of the wedding.
A good guide to trying on dresses is to try on 5 dresses and then choose 2 to try on again. Then try on up to 5 more dresses. After the second round of dresses, pick two or less from that group to try on again. Now you have tried on 10 gowns and have narrowed it down to no more than 4 dresses. Try on all four dresses again and linger in them.
Walk around the store in them. Is the dress comfortable? Is the material of one scratchy? Is the dress well lined? Are there any defects?
Have another person come with you to the bridal stores, usually your Maid of Honor or your Mother. Have that person bring a notebook and pencil to record details about each of the final choices. Note such things as material of the dress, length of the train, design of beadwork, shape of sleeves, shape of the neckline, and color. If you don’t know the type of material or exact color, etc., ask the saleslady. These notes will help you to remember the unique details about each dress.
Another guide for purchasing your dress is to visit only 1 or 2 bridal stores per day. It is also advisable to give yourself one day in-between shopping expeditions. This way, you can reflect on the dresses you tried on yesterday, without being bombarded with different dresses to confuse you.
A bride planning a wedding in 2000 has more leeway than her predecessors. Every detail can be set by the bride to create a wedding that is uniquely her own. Tradition is accommodated, but modern touches overrule the antiquated etiquette. While others can advise you, do not allow them to make final decisions or dominate the planning. If you are able to accomplish this monumental task that all brides face, choosing a dress should be a piece of cake!