How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress

Zeroing in on the perfect wedding dress can be a challenge. Below is are a few tips on ways we recommend on how selecting the perfect wedding dress.

Body First, Designer Second

When beginning to think about your perfect dress, detach yourself from any dreams about wearing a Vera Wang gown, or any designer for now. I have a golden rule when it comes to wedding gowns: Body first, designer second. Designers each have different body standards, and some don’t design to your body type, so of course, you cannot wear their dresses.

First and foremost, you'll want to make an objective evaluation of your body type, and find a silhouette that will complement it. Sheath dresses are flattering only to a thin, straight figure. A-line gowns elongate the body and keep hips and thighs out of sight. Similarly, the ball gown skirt leaves little to the imagination.

Whatever your best feature is, your dress needs to highlight it. But keep in mind: one must avoid even the appearance of vulgarity. You may show off your toned biceps and shoulders in a halter neck. If you have great legs, consider a shorter style dress - if not for the ceremony, then as a second dress for the reception. Bolero jackets cover up troublesome arms, while exposing every woman's most constant feature, her decolleté.

The mermaid silhouette has been taken to extremes in recent seasons. This style is best for women who are short on curvature. For a true mermaid effect, look for a gown that is incredibly form-fitting with princess seams from bust to knee, then which spectacularly juts out at the ‘fin’. Layered tulle tends to fall nicer than solid satin panels. The interest is in the dramatic shape, so look for a gown with a bodice of minimal embellishments.

Material Matters

Your wedding gown’s material is highly important as to how it will look - during and after the wedding.

While it’s true that some of the most beautiful dresses in the world are made from silk, this glamorous material is the most difficult of all to clean and preserve properly. The reason is simple: silk cannot be wet-cleaned, only dry cleaned.

An important tool that a wedding dress cleaning company has is water, as it allows for gently scrubbing by an expert hand. Since water destroys silk, the options for removing stains on a silk wedding dress are limited to drycleaning. Often, even the best wedding dress cleaning companies cannot get the stains out.

Take a red wine stain, for example. On most materials, there is a great chance of the stain coming out if cleaned by a competent preservationist. But on silk, all too-often, the red stain can only be reduced in brightness to a pinkish hue or otherwise diminished, but not gone.

Cotton, polyester or poly-blend wedding dresses are quite cleanable, and can be preserved for a lifetime. These materials are also great for destination weddings, which often include beach time, where water droplets are guaranteed to attach themselves to your wedding gown, even if you don’t do the “walk through the water” that your wedding photographer will demand.

Salon Protocol

When searching for the right bridal salon, look for one that carries a couple of the designers that you are familiar with, but which carries a few surpising lines as well. Look to retailers known for high fashion ready-to-wear and bridal.

Set aside a few days to make your selection at the salon. Bring your entourage with you, but also listen to the salon attendant’s opinion. After all, strangers can have the most objective estimation of us. Also, the attendant is likely to have seen many women with your body type and may instinctively know what works. With his or her suggestions in hand, it’s a matter of suiting those styles to your personality - which is precisely what your entourage is for.

Gem Search

Your final wedding dress should be a polished gem among mediocre hopefuls. It should make you feel beautiful, and it should complement everything about your body and your personality. It should look fantastic all-around, and immortalize you. There is no great equation that will help you find the perfect fashion for your wedding dress. Instead, it is a search for the best, which can never be easy.

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