Monday, October 13, 2008

Wedding Gowns

After accepting the marriage proposal, selecting your “perfect gown" is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding. Secretly everyone anticipates the first look at your gown, it will be one of the remembered highlights of your wedding. Thirteen years have past since I wore a satin gown with an illusion high neck line that had hand sewn pearls at the top. In traditional ball gown style, it had a fitted bodice with elaborate beading. It had renaissance sleeves and a ball gown skirt. It was the first dress that I tried on, and after trying on many more, it was the one I went back to. The eleven hundred dollars that I spent was well worth it, I knew that I would feel like a princess on my wedding day.

You might know exactly what you want or have a general idea. No matter the place where you find yourself in the process, there are several things you should consider before purchasing your gown. You should know that you should be ordering your dress 8 to 10 months in advance. Depending on the manufacturer in might take 6 to 10 weeks for your dress to arrive. You want to give yourself cushion for alterations, time to return the dress if it is damaged, shipping and processing delays.

Your gown should reflect your personality, taste and style. Every part of your wedding works in harmony, and your wedding gown is no exception. Whether planning an elaborate church wedding or a simple intimate affair stay in harmony with the rest of the elements of your wedding. Here are the different styles of wedding dresses:

Badgley Mischka

The A-line dress features a shape that is fitted around the bodice and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase A. The dress flows from the bust to the hem with an unbroken line. There are some classic, traditional styles that never loose there appeal, the A-Line dress is one of these styles. This style would be appropriate for any style wedding.

The versatile shape can accommodate many different elements. Modifications to necklines, waistlines, or fabrics can accentuate your best features and hide those you don't care too much about.

So you can choose a more elaborate design with a fuller skirt for a formal wedding and a simple elegant design for a garden wedding.
408 by Piccione Bridal

The A-line is also the most flattering for most body types. For the full-figured woman, the A-line style lengthens the whole body without drawing attention to your waistline. Choosing a V-necks or scoop necks flatter look best on full-figured women. If you are a pear shape (bottom heavy) an A-line would also be very flattering and helpful in bringing balance.

For its elongating effects it would also be appropriated for petite brides. However, the petite bride should avoid fuller skirts which will make you look ‘bottom heavy’. You want to keep your wedding dress proportionate to your body.

Added embellishments can also affect the look of the A-line dress. Lace overlays or bead work can make a simple A-line dress appear more formal, while a ribbon or bow can make a stylish statement.


The empire style gown is a high waistline (right under the bust) from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. This style also suits various degrees of formality.

Various options in necklines and sleeve styles can change the style of the dress to reflect the style of your wedding. The skirt style is also an important style element on the empire cut. Depending on the silhouette you want, you can allow it to flow freely or contour to your body.

I love the flow of lighter fabrics like chiffon or organza on the empire design. It brings movement and flow from the waistline. I love the romantic movement that lighter fabrics bring. These lighter fabrics are usually layered over a base fabric like satin.

The empire dress fits most body types. Brides with a smaller bust will benefit from this style since it draws attention to the neckline and creates definition. Inversely, because of its traditionally square neckline it can conceal a large bust by minimizing the size of your breasts. Brides with a long torsos, short legs or pear-shapes can benefit from this style.


The column or sheath dress has a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem. This style to hug the body and show any and all of your curves. The column/sheath style lends itself to all types of weddings, especially causal occasions on the beach, or intimate evening events at home or at a banquet hall.

The sheath/column style is fairly simple. You can change the appearance with different elements, various necklines, sleeves, and lengths. For a beach or garden wedding you might opt for a strapless sheath dress.

Usually the column barely grazes the floor. However, for an intimate afternoon garden or home wedding you can try a knee length skirt. For a more traditional church wedding add a bustle and train. The length of your dress can add character and formality to your gown.

Different fabrics can change the statement the column dress makes. Soft flowing fabrics can be appropriate for a slip dress. Heavier fabrics like brocade or damask, which maintain their shape are appropriate for more formal gowns.

This style is best worn by lean figures, both short and tall. This is not a very forgiving style and does little to hide problem areas, like bottom heavy shapes. Petite brides will benefit from the elongating effects of this style

Comfort can also play apart in your dress selection, this style might minimize your ability to move, sitting and dancing comfortably might be an issue. Pleats or gathering on the back will alleviate these issues.

Ball Gowns

The ball gown style is perfect for brides dreaming of a Cinderella moment in time for their wedding. This style pairs a fitted bodice with a full skirt that can either be one piece or separates. This is most appropriate for traditional weddings where you want to maintain a certain level of formality.

Lara Helene Bridal Atelier
Style: Mariah

You can select various necklines and sleeves for this dress. Once again creating various combinations will result in various looks.

Reem Acra
Style: Wealth

As mentioned before fabrics make a difference in the overall effects, you could have satin or a chiffon overlay for a romantic and traditional look. A bodice with elaborate beading or lace work paired with a simple satin skirt will draw attention to the upper body. Light layers on the skirt will help to create a floating effect. The ball gown may require a petticoat or crinoline to support its structure. Layering fabric, such as organza, taffeta, or tulle, can also create this same effect.

This style can suit most body types, however the ball gown is ideal for slender or pear-shaped figures since the full skirt helps to accentuate the waist and hide the lower body. This may not work well for petite brides, the fullness of the skirt can overwhelm the bride who may not have the height needed to balance the size of the skirt. If your heart is set on the ball gown look, you can try an A-line dress with a slightly fuller skirt and you can get the desired look.


This style is fitted through the bodice, hips, and thighs, swelling out into a skirt-shaped "bell" around the knees.

Rhyme Couture
Style: Lydia

Val Stefani Haute Couture Style: D7864

You can have a variety of necklines and sleeve lengths with this style. You can go strapless or carry long sleeves, it is all up to you. The design of this dress stands on its own, so the variations are endless.

The skirt part of this dress is its primary influence. The skirt can flare out above the knee, at the knee, or below the knee for slightly different silhouettes. You can also modify the shape and hem of the skirt to change the look of the dress.

Fabric plays a part on how formal this dress will look. Light-weight silks and satin are perfect for a slip style dress. Heavier fabrics will be great for more formal styles. The mermaid style fits can be worn casual beach wedding, or a formal evening affair.

The mermaid cut is not for everyone. It is one of the designs that takes a lot of confidence to pull off. This design is best for slender figures, both short and tall. This is definitely an unforgiving style as it accentuates every curve. This style does not work well for brides with full figures. However, confidence is the key to this dress and if you feel that your curves are all in the right place and you want to flaunt them, it is your day, wear it with confidence. If you lack confidence your perfect figure will not carry this dress and evoke the elegant, sexy look this style calls for.

Choose your undergarments well when selecting this style, embarrassing underwear lines are the last thing that you want on your big day. Not to mention it might take away from the elegance of your overall look.

There you have it five basic styles, thousands of combinations, millions of dresses to choose from. The right dress is waiting for you, the right style, the right fabric, and the right price. You will know it when you try it on, at the risk of sounding dramatic, it will speak to you.

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