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Saying Yes to the Dress: What's Most Important in A Bridal Gown?

By HERWriter Guide
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A wedding is supposed to be one of the biggest days of a person’s life — right up there with special milestones like graduations, big promotions and even finding out about a pregnancy.

But it’s important to remember that it really is just one day and after that, it’s the marriage that counts.

Some people go all out, spending tens of thousands (or more!) on a wedding, whereas others head to a registry office and out to dinner after. Neither is an indicator of who will have a happier marriage.

One commonality women have, no matter what kind of day they choose, is wanting to look great. Let’s look at a few ways that a wedding gown can make us look our best, and remain a classic look for years to come.

1) Timelessness

I’ve seen the most stunning wedding dresses from decades past. For me, the 40s, 50s and 60s saw beautiful, classic dresses. Many dresses nowadays are also timeless beauties that cannot be defined by the decade they were worn.

Other decades like the 70s and 80s can be spotted at first glance. Floppy hats and maxi-style dresses (with gaudy bridesmaid’s dresses to match!) often defined the 70s, while enormous poufy dresses with huge head pieces and padded shoulders can be easily found in 80s photo albums.

If you don’t want the decade you got married in to be stamped all over your dress, go for tailored, timeless gowns that don’t follow current trends. You never know — your own daughter may opt to wear it too, decades later!

2) Cost

If you have money to burn, then go ahead and spend what you wish. But the reality is that many brides are on a budget and the dress — while very important — shouldn’t be a large chunk of that budget. Truth be told, a wedding dress is usually worn just once and doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to look beautiful.

Look for sales, buy one secondhand, or even borrow one! A wedding dress needs to look beautiful on the bride who wears it, and a designer gown doesn’t always guarantee that.

Forget labels if you can’t afford them. It’s how you look and feel that’s important. Going into debt over a dress you’ll wear once isn’t worth it.

3) Keep Your Body Type in Mind

Don’t over or underwhelm your body by wearing the wrong style of dress. Brides.com offers great advice for choosing a dress based on your body type.

They advise petite brides to veer from huge gowns to something more fitting, and minimalist is best.

For the larger bride, an empire waist and sleeves look great, scoop necklines are very flattering to a large chest and proper draping can show off your curves in all the right places.

Even if you love a certain dress, if it doesn’t look good on you, don’t get it. Don’t buy it, thinking you’ll stuff your bra so the top fits or that you’ll lose enough weight by your big day to get into it. Accept and appreciate your body type as is, and follow suit when choosing your dress.

4) Color Yourself Beautiful

Wedding dresses can be any color but they are traditionally white. However, there are many shades of white, from a bright white to ivory to cream to even a warm champagne.

Colorcombos.com has advice about choosing the best color for a bridal gown. They recommend a wedding gown color that flatters eye and hair color, as well as skin tone. The website also recommend keeping the season in mind — plenty of white and gem colors during the winter, brighter colors in summer, and soft warm colors for spring and autumn.

Pale redheads can look divine in champagne, and dark-colored skin can look spectacular in white. Softer ivories and creams can really flatter brown eyes and mid to darker skin tones. For more on choosing colors, read my article in fashion and skin tones here.

Whatever kind of gown you pick for your wedding day, focus on how it makes you look and feel, not that it’s on trend, designer or is something your mother wants you to wear.

Keep it classic and timeless, and flatter your figure and coloring. When you match the dress to who you are, you won’t go wrong and you’re wedding photos are something you’ll look back on with pleasure and pride.


Brides.com. Wedding Dresses. “HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT WEDDING DRESS FOR YOUR BODY TYPE”. Web. Retrieved February 28th, 2015. http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/2013/01/wedding-dresses-for-different-body-types#slide=1

Colorcombos.com. “Which wedding dress colors are right for you?” Web. Retrieved February 28th, 2015. http://www.colorcombos.com/which-wedding-dress-colors-are-right-for-you-article.html

Reviewed March 3, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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