Look, far be it for us to rigidly define how to orchestrate the happiest day that every woman has dreamed of at least once since girlhood. Every bride deserves to feel incomparably beautiful, confident, happy and even just the right touch of sexy on this most unforgettable day of her life.
Be that as it may, there are certain calls when choosing a bridal gown that should, now and forever, be filed strictly under “W” for “What? No, absolutely not, don’t do that”. In the name of sparing impressionable brides-to-be everywhere a cringe worthy “What was I thinking, and why did nobody stop me?” moment of excruciating hindsight later, we’d like to offer this handy spotter’s guide for bad bridal gown choices.
- Don’t Ignore your Wedding’s Setting
Your chosen motif shouldn’t derail the picture-perfect gown that makes your heart flutter. Fun-and-sexy can be a wonderful thing, sure, but it’s also guaranteed to make for an awkward pairing with a traditional ceremony and reception of formal finery that likely calls more for a timeless A-line or ball gown cut with a square neckline. At the very least, let a cover up preserve some apropos modesty until the sanctity of the ceremony gives way to frivolity at the reception.
- Don’t Be a Sore Thumb
If you know your guests will arrive respecting a black-tie air to your ceremony, just follow their lead. Floor-length gowns either gorgeously accessorized with tasteful-but-elegant jewelry or ornate beading will fit in just fine. It’s OK to defy tradition, though; there’s more than one way to honor a more classic theme than with a traditional A-line dress, and you can bet your officiant and/or stylist have been around enough to have a few inventive bones in their bodies to offer some setting-appropriate ideas.
- Regarding Long Trains and Beach Weddings…
No. If you dream of it, wake up and apologize to your wedding planner and stylist. Sand. Delicate, dainty fabric. We don’t need to draw you a picture.
- Don’t Pile Up the Accessories
There’s accessorizing, then there’s just not knowing when to stop. A colorful sash, some striking earrings or some simple and luminous pearls add just the right personality. Past a certain point, your jewelry, embellishments and add-ons just start to overpower the dress itself. Less is certainly more. Many a beautiful bride has been perfectly content letting her engagement ring say it all.
- Finally…. Respect your Shape
Every designer has his or her “rules” when it comes to pairing a silhouette with a shape. There’s also an old saying about rules: one must know them implicitly to know when to break them.
At some point, your stylist may look carefully at your figure and dare to suggest a shape you feel certain at first glance won’t begin to flatter your signature beauty. Try it on, anyway. Sometimes, a single designer’s unique take on a general silhouette defies all a bride knows about her body and the perfect flattering fit. The next thing you know, a full-figured bride who swears she’s never been able to pull off a strapless gown finds she’s an utter vision with just the right support.
At the same time, give the proper supporting undergarments their due. There’s a veritable arsenal of body-shaping items from Spanx to long-line corsets and superb bras that can redefine your body as you know it, and all while deftly matching your skin tone. Whatever you choose, do keep it close by during your fittings. Some undergarments can so dramatically reshape a woman’s figure as to entirely alter a bridal gown’s fit – shall we say, for better or for worse – and could make the difference between an ill fit and a sumptuously slinky dress with a silhouette to never, ever forget.
When it comes to your perfect fit, at the end of the day, only you and your stylist know for sure.