Coleen’s Journey – Saying “Yes” to the dress! (Part 3)

I said YES…to the dress!  A wedding dress can take anywhere from 5-6 months to come in (not including alterations) and with my wedding coming up in less than 6 months, I knew what I had to do next!  As much as I dreaded dress shopping, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected.

I had a few ideas of the dress I envisioned myself in.  So, I went on Pinterest and found a few I liked and added them to my wedding board.  This way, when consultants asked what I was envisioning, I could just hold up my phone and I wouldn’t have to try and explain the hundreds of ideas swirling around in my head.  The main aspect to my original vision was long sleeves. I’ve always loved the idea of wearing long sleeves on my wedding day. Partly because I am self-conscious about my arms (ridiculous, I know) and partly because I think long sleeve dresses are elegant.

Once I had a few dresses pinned and ready to show, (I may have done this on the car ride to the dress shop #procrastinationatitsfinest) we made an appointment at a bridal store that was close to home and that I had heard about through some friends.  My mom and dad were the only ones I wanted to come with me on this first go around. Remember how I said I’m very indecisive? I wasn’t sure what I really wanted so I didn’t want to make my friends endure a long day of trial and error. I might not know what I want, but I definitely know what I don’t want.  I knew I could go to this appointment with my parents and send back any dress I wasn’t “feeling” and they would totally understand!  I wanted to get a feel for what I liked before I asked some friends to come along.

The first appointment went just as I expected.  I tried on a few dresses I thought I would like and ultimately, I wasn’t impressed.  It was a great first appointment though to feel out a few styles and now I felt like I was ready for my second attempt!  After we left the first appointment, there was a bridal store down the road that luckily allowed walk-ins! I went into my second appointment with a little more confidence.  I told my consultant my “vision” for long sleeves and I tried on a few options both with and without the sleeves. But yet again, nothing I really loved.

I went ahead and called a third and final place and I also randomly called a few friends to join me.  And I’m glad I did because, like they say, the third times the charm! The one thing that I loved about this shop that the other two shops were lacking was the organization.  The dresses were organized by style which helped me see all the long sleeve dresses they had available. I was also able to look in their “lace” section as well, which was the second best option in my vision.  I tried on exactly what I had thought I would love and had always pictured wearing.  As you can guess, I didn’t love it. It just didn’t feel right for my venue, body style, and time of year (I realized long sleeves in July would be pretty toasty).  If you try on a dress that isn’t feeling quite right, go with your gut and keep searching!

I ended up branching out and realizing that a trumpet style gown WITHOUT sleeves was more my style!  I ended up saying YES to a lace, ivory, spaghetti strap gown with a nude underlay. Completely different than what I had planned!  The moral of my long drawn out dress saga is to keep an open mind!  I know you probably hear this all the time and roll your eyes (just like I did), but it’s the truth!  I can’t wait to tell you more about my wedding planning journey next week!

Need some help choosing your style.  Check out this previous blog post:  https://bridestlouis.com/mermaid-trumpet-or-fit-flare-whats-the-difference/

Need some help selecting the right dress for your body:  https://bridestlouis.com/selecting-the-best-wedding-dress-for-your-body-style/

And one more helpful article about purchasing a wedding dress – the basics:  https://bridestlouis.com/everything-need-know-buying-wedding-dress/

Mermaid, Trumpet or Fit & Flare – Wedding Gown Styles and Silhouettes

Over the next few posts we will introduce you to some basic information about wedding gown styles and silhouettes.

We will start with details about the Trumpet, Mermaid, and Fit and Flare.  For the brides who is just starting to look at wedding gowns, they can appear very much alike.

A trumpet wedding dress fits similar to a mermaid gown. It hugs the body in all the right places and gradually flares outward. The key difference between mermaid and trumpet wedding gowns is where the flare begins, which in the case of the trumpet style is mid-thigh.

A mermaid dress is a style of evening gown that fits closely to the body through the torso and hips, then “fishtails” out in a flare to the floor. (This is why it’s also known as a fishtail dress.)  Thanks to the dramatic cut, a mermaid style dress can highlight a curvy figure or even add curves where there are none, making it one of the best dress styles for hourglass figures. For a high-fashion, sexy silhouette, this is an ideal choice, and can make more impact for a bride who wants a wow-factor dress. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the tight fit can restrict movement and dancing, so if you’re thinking about a mermaid gown, it’s important to try on your chosen style and practice walking and sitting in it.

Choosing a Wedding Gown by BrideStLouis

Fit and Flare Style Wedding Dress is one of the most flattering “silhouettes” for all body types. This type of dress hugs the body and flares off just below the hips, accentuating the waist, or just above the knees beautifully showing off your curvaceous body. Fit and flare is the term that encompasses several styles including mermaid gowns and trumpet styles. Ideal for the pear and hourglass shape, this glamorous style is perfect for highlighting your best features. Despite the common misconception, petite brides can also wear a fit-and-flare dress, as long as they get the dress altered to fit their proportions perfectly. Sometimes all you have to do is raise the skirt’s starting point just a bit higher in order to create length in the torso and legs. For maximum elongation, the dress should be fitted through your hips and flare out just above the knee and not below.

Strapless wedding dresses are considered a classic. Bare shoulders can look beautifully paired with a dramatic flair of the skirt. A sweetheart neckline accentuates décolletage, and is perfect for the bride who wants to either enhance or create the illusion of curves. It also lengthens the neck and adds balance to the overall silhouette. To put a modern twist on your bridal gown, look for plunging styles, lace-embellished bodices, and delicate floral appliqués.

Wedding dresses in lace are super feminine and utterly romantic. They are as timeless and elegant as they are versatile. Lace fits perfectly in the elegant and romantic wedding theme, as much as in the free-spirited summer beach ceremony.   A fully hand beaded gown is super glamorous and a fabulous way to celebrate your wedding, Hollywood star style.

Choosing a wedding dress is probably the most exciting moment of planning a wedding for any bride. But it can also be very stressful and you can feel that you are expected to know all these different styles of gowns and know which one you want– not to mention all the different varieties of necklines, hemlines and backs.

At the Run for the Dress in July you will be able to try on various styles and silhouettes to find your perfect dress.  There will be bridal shop attendants there to assist you, dressing rooms, and support staff including alterations staff to advise on any modifications or adjustments that might be necessary.  Almost all wedding dresses need to be altered to fit properly so keep that in mind as you select your dress.

READ THIS FIRST – BEFORE you buy your Wedding Dress

 

All women want to look their very best on their wedding day – beautiful, confident and radiant!  Here are some tips to ensure that you make a GREAT choice when it comes to your choice of bridal gown.

  1. Start NOW to find your dress. If you plan to order a designer gown it can take up to six months to arrive after it is ordered.  Plus – every gown will need some alterations to fit perfectly.
  2. Don’t let anyone persuade you into purchasing a particular dress – not your mother, your fashionista friend, or an opinionated maid of honor. Choose the dress YOU LOVE and the dress that makes you feel beautiful.
  3. We all love to get a great deal. But this is one time you don’t want to make a decision purely on price.  Find dresses that are within your budget and choose from those selections.
  4. Believe me when I tell you, make sure your dress is comfortable! Can you sit, dance, and relax in your dress?  Good undergarments and a dress that fits right is so essential.  At 8 o’clock when it’s time to party you will be glad that you followed this tip.
  5. Locate a reliable, reputable and well-respected shop instead of shopping online. Good service and advice is worth a lot more than saving a few dollars.  I went to a wedding last year where the bride wore a “pink” dress– it was a bright, hot pink!  She ordered it online, and it arrived just a few days before the wedding.  The online photos showed this dress as a “very, light delicate baby pink. NOT! It was a hot pink and the bride had no choice but to wear it
  6. Don’t buy your dress based on your street clothes size. Bridal gowns don’t run true to your typical dress size.  Don’t buy a smaller gown because you are planning to lose weight before your wedding day.  Remember, it’s easier to have a dress taken in if you lose the weight than trying to find an extra inch to let out.
  7. Need help finding a good Bridal Shop. Here is a link to all the great Bridal Shops in our area. I’ve been to many of them and they will treat you right.    https://bridestlouis.com/listings/bridal-fashions

5 Tips for Getting Into Your Wedding Dress.

I love the fun and excitement of getting ready that occurs in the girl’s getting ready room.  There are lots of special moments that unfold that beg to be captured by your photographer.  Perhaps it is your sister’s special hug or gift, or your best friend’s “something old” that she has given you – all these moments are so very special.

Here is what I hate – bags, shoes, underwear, empty food containers, water bottles and a complete mess all around the room!  Your photographer will do their best to capture the events, but honestly, let’s have your girls pick up as they go – and a firm reminder from you, goes a long way.  The benefit is that your photos will not have the distractions of the messy environment, and those photos will emphasis the event and the emotion.  Remember you will be looking at these photos years from now!

And now for putting on the dress.

Tip #1:  Always go potty BEFORE you put on your dress.

Tip #2:  Be sure your photographer is there to capture the moment.  Don’t put on the dress before he/she arrives.

Tip #3:  Putting on your wedding dress can be an incredibly beautiful, fun and captivating moment.  Most photographers recommend that you pick one person to assist you, sometimes your mother or your maid of honor.  Having less people will make the moment more relaxed, let you enjoy it, and allow your photographer to capture more of you and your dress, rather than a sea of people.

Tip #4:  To keep your hair and makeup fresh, if you are putting the dress on over your head, raise your arms up and out to protect your hair and makeup.

Tip #5:  Put on your own jewelry.  A sea of people – adjusting your dress, adding your bracelet, one adding a necklace – just way to much going on at one time.  I see people looking like they are dressing a Barbie Doll, and the bride just trying to accommodate everyone!  It’s crazy.   Put on most of your own jewelry, but if you have one piece that’s important to you (or hard to get on) have ONE person help you with this.  Shoes do require help – who can see their feet in those big fluffy or tight dresses.

And one last, little thing.  Why do all girls hold onto their boobs?  Really?  Once the dress is on, let go!    Do you want all your photos to show you holding up your boobs?

How are You Going to Purchase Your Wedding Dress?

 

Today let’s talk about how you are going to purchase your wedding dress.    Why are dresses so much pricier when they’re meant for walking down the aisle?    Buying a wedding dress is not like buying a pair of boots or that new phone.  It’s an emotional purchase – after all, all eyes will be on you – you’re the star of the day.

So now that you have your ring, have you started the process of finding “the dress”?  Have you visited any of our great local bridal shops and tried on dresses?  Do you love the experience of sipping champagne, having your best friends and family with you, as you are trying on dresses?   Shopping for a wedding dress can be equal parts amazing and totally stressful.  And, trying on several dresses for a few weekends can wear you out.  Designer dresses are expensive so do you feel that going that route is stretching your budget?  After all, it’s just one day and there are other expenses like setting up a household that might need your funds.

And then, are you considering an “online” purchase.  Places like online retailers, Ebay, Craig’s List all have dresses that start even below $100.  You need to be very careful when shopping online, to make sure you don’t get ripped off.  That’s not to say every online store/contact is a scam, but you do need to be careful.  Plus, almost all wedding dresses need to be altered to fit correctly, and you will need to line up a good experienced seamstress.   If you have ordered your dress and received it, was it to your satisfaction?

So, we really want to hear from you how it’s going in your search for your wedding dress even if you have already purchased it.  Tell us what you have done, has it worked for you, and give us some feedback as to the pros and cons in your situation.  Even if you have not yet purchased your gown, tell us your concerns.   We want to share with our readers your knowledge and experience.  All comments will be posted and all people who send us their comments will receive a FREE Ticket to the Harvest Bridal Show.  Help us help you.  Send all replies to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.

13 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Gown Shopping

Wedding Gown Shopping

Tips for stress free wedding gown shopping:

  1. Create a budget.   Most brides will spend about 10% of their wedding budget for their dress.
  2. Start shopping early.  It takes anywhere from six to twelve months from the time you place the order to when you bring your wedding gown home.  Bridal designers need four or five months to make it, and then you need to schedule fittings.
  3. Know what kind of dress you want. Love satin, hate lace…let your stylist know what you love and what you hate.
  4. What kind of wedding are you having? Destination wedding, outdoors, grand ballroom, barn/country….this decision will play some kind of role in selecting the right dress for the mood of your wedding.
  5. Most bridal shops prefer appointments, but most are happy to work with walk-ins too. Saturdays can be crazy busy, so why not try a weekday appointment for a more private and relaxing experience.
  6. Bring one or two people whose opinion means the most to you. The reality bridal shows show brides bringing a huge group of family and friends – and that just add drama and indecision to the process.
  7. Get ready for your appointment and bring items you want to wear down the aisle. Wear a strapless nude bra and a seamless thong or brief.
  8. Some dresses look better on you than on the rack. Let the stylist help choose a style which will flatter your body.  Keep an open mind.  Try different silhouettes to see which one makes you feel stunning.
  9. Forget about “sizes” in the wedding gown industry. Every designer’s size charts are different.  Taking in a gown is easy; letting it out is difficult.
  10. For most shops, a 50% deposit is required when you order.
  11. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to the dress on your first attempt. When you know, you just know.  If you feel exceptional in that dress, it’s your dress.
  12. Move around – sit – dance a bit. You want to be comfortable.
  13. Gowns are made to order, so minor details can be customized or switched. You can add a belt to add some sizzle, or add some colored tulle underneath to add contrast.  Straps can be added or you might want to order a small jacket or fur for those cooler months.