I would assume that most people don't read bridal magazines on a regular basis. Maybe a year before the wedding? Well, I've been reading bridal magazines forever, mainly because I am obsessed with wedding gowns, so I love them! Also, being a designer and knowing the process of fitting a gown helps ;).
Throughout time, there are some tips and tricks that I have learned for brides-to-be, so here are some things to know before choosing the dress!
Shoes are important for three reasons:
1. Strut that Confident Stuff
Have you noticed that we ladies walk differently when wearing high heels? Back in the theater days, we had to start rehearsing with our shoes on, before we even got to dress rehearsals. Shoes are very important for character immersion! You want that same experience when buying the dress.
2. Feel Comfortable while Feeling Chic
Then, there is the whole idea of breaking them in. Unless you are sporting tennis shoes for the wedding -hey, I love the idea!- shoes will likely need to be broken in. You will be wearing them for 10 hours +... when was the last time you lasted 10 hours on new shoes and had a fun time? Let me say, likely NEVER! You can break them in around the house months before the actual wedding - and you’ll be happy you did.
3. Ensure the Shoe Fits.. with the Dress
And lastly, you have to keep in mind that any dress you buy will most likely need to be hemmed. The day of the fitting, it’s absolutely critical for the perfect fit to ensure you are wearing the right shoes. The dress is meant to grace the floor precisely or you run the risk of tripping. Wearing the right shoes will guarantee that the hem falls appropriately.
I learned this from the fabulous book, Vera Wang on Weddings (it’s absolutely gorgeous.. and helpful, too!) The understructure of the gown is key for perfect fittings, so what goes under the structure is just as important. There are some fantastic Spanx for every need, but the right undies are codependent on the right dress. Are you thinking... Carla, you are confusing me? Let me explain.
Most gowns have a built-in bra that includes straps and boning at the cup to keep everything in place. If you need a little extra support, then bringing the right bra will help when trying out dresses. I happen to think that the best option is to get one of those empire-waist to mid-thigh Spanx in nude (it comes with an opening for using the bathroom BTW), and then also have a good supporting bra with you. If the dress supports the ladies, don't use the bra, but still, get those smooth lines under the gown with body shapers.
While trying out dresses, sit down in it, dance a little, squat, kneel... you know all of this is necessary on the day of the wedding, right? I know, we all want to look picture perfect and those skin-tight dresses just make us look so slim! But truth is, if the dress is too tight, you might have a hard time enjoying your day because the dress has you as stiff as Barbie. This is not the time to be vain and buy a size down. The right size makes one look better and more in shape than buying a size down. Trust me on this one!
Also, you will be wearing the dress anywhere from 5-12 hours. After makeup, you get dressed and pictures are taken. Then there is the ride to the chapel or venue, then the ceremony, then more pictures, then the cocktail party, then the reception which includes, dinner, drinking, and dancing! That is A LOT of time!
My best friend and my cousin both changed dresses early in the evening because they couldn't stand the heavy gown anymore. They both loved their gowns and wanted to wear it longer- but the reality was more than they could bear it. That is why I love the idea of using a second skirt for the reception that is made with the same love and fabrics as the main skirt, extending the life of the gown for the entire evening!
Some gowns can weight a lot- and truthfully, you need to eat appropriately and have the strength to carry it. I remember years ago when Miss Puerto Rico won Miss Universe, the dress was made of chains and weighed a lot. The contestant probably didn't eat much leading up to the competition and fainted during the press conference.
I also remember reading an article for the first real bride to be on the cover of Vogue, the dress was Dior and weight over 50 pounds. It was a dream-, but the designer told the bride to eat up or she was not going to have the strength to carry it. Can you believe it? Moral of the story is, the right dress and structure will make you look amazing, so choose carefully and be healthy.
Shape, flow, weight... all of these factors make a difference for the final silhouette. Don't be afraid to try fabrics that were not what you expected. You might actually find that they work best with your body. Also, try dresses that you were not expecting, either! You’d be surprised how well you look in that trumpet or mermaid silhouette!
That is it, ladies! My list of secrets you need to know before saying 'I Do' to the dress. Just so you know.. We also offer customization of almost any type and will be happy to chat further with our brides-to-be! Good luck and happy shopping!
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The key to good fit is to look for the widest measurement of your body and match the measurement to the size using the size chart below. For your top, the widest measurement is almost always the breasts. For the bottoms, the widest measurement is the hip. See the image below for more information on these measurements.
*Measured in inches.
The best way to measure is with a sewing measuring tape. These are flexible, inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. Wear a form-fitting tank top and leggings when you measure your body. We also suggest asking for help. The tape measurer should be as parallel to the floor as possible all the way around the body, which is hard to do all by ourselves. A friend is also super useful to measure the dress hem length for any customization. I want to reiterate that it is extremely important that you have the right height shoes on when measuring for length. We can talk about this further during our Touch Base call if you make a purchase.
Wear the bra that you will be wearing with the dress. We remind you that our dresses have build-in bra cups so we suggest something with a little padding in order to maintain the measurement true to size. Measure across the fullest part of the bust.
Bend to one side. Wherever the crease forms, that is your natural waist. Pull the tape across the narrowest part and measure.
Stand straight and look forward. Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips (or rear) and measure.