Quest for the holy gown

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I once attended a wedding where the bride wore a strapless gown with stunning detailed beading, and a ribbon corset running up the back. The thing with strapless anything, as all women know, is that there is the constant fear of exposing yourself. When you are expected to appear in a church full of people including your grandparents and future in-laws this fear is slightly elevated.


The natural inclination is to make sure the dress is as tight as possible. At this particular wedding, however, the person in charge of doing up the corset fulfilled their task a little too enthusiastically so that halfway through the church ceremony the bride was forced to sit down to prevent keeling over from lack of oxygen. Sitting down through your own wedding ceremony does not trump the list of most undesirable wedding moments, but passing out might.

What you wear often dictates how you feel; wearing a hoodie and sneakers can make you feel more confident than wearing a ball gown, especially if that said ball gown is two sizes too large for you. I’m definitely not suggesting you wear a hoodie and sneakers to your wedding. What I am saying is that by choosing a dress that is comfortable in all aspects you will ensure that you look and feel like a goddess on your wedding day. You can have the most stunning gown ever known to man; if it doesn’t fit you right, or feel comfortable when it’s on it will have the ability to fill you with all the confidence of a black bag. I’ve come up with a few considerations that might prevent this.

Firstly, there are several options to consider when procuring the right dress:

Buy: This option gives you the luxury of foresight. You will know exactly what your dress will look like, and what you are paying for. It also gives you time; if you find the right dress early on that’s one big challenge down. Apart from a few alterations you won’t have much to worry about. The only downside is that you might struggle to find exactly what you have in mind, and when you do, it might cost you an arm and a leg.

Rent: If you’re not looking to spend a fortune on your dress then this might be the answer for you.  You might be lucky and find a dress you love, that is available for the date you need it. On the other hand you might find a dress you love only to discover that it will not be available.

Make: The obvious perk to having your dress custom made is that it will be made for you; it will be the exact right size, and exactly the style you want. The downside is that this is a costly and time-consuming process. Using a legitimate, experienced dress-maker can be rather pricey, but they know what they are doing and you will be able to rest easy knowing that your dress will be made on time, and that it will be everything you hoped for. If you decide on this route I would suggest getting reference to what you want and meeting with your dress-maker months in advance to avoid running out of time.

Borrow: When looking at your mother’s seventies wedding photos you might think that borrowing a dress is absolutely out of the question. I wouldn’t entirely discount this option. If you’re going for a vintage style dress, you might find that a few alterations to your grandmother’s gown will result in your dream dress. You don’t get more vintage than actual vintage, not to mention this option will be layered in sentimental value and won’t cost you much at all.

If you’re clueless as to what you can do with the dress once the wedding is over, there are a few charity organisations that will be willing to take it off your hands. This might provide someone less fortunate with the opportunity to find the dress of their dreams.

When it comes to the style of the dress itself, it’s all a matter of preference. From sleek shiny gowns to dresses that light up and struggle to fit through regular doorways, when it comes to the style of a wedding dress, the final choice largely comes down to personal taste. You might have found this when looking through wedding magazines with friends; you can land on a page that makes you sigh and go “aaah!” while simultaneously making your friend wrinkle her nose in an “ugh!!” of disgust.

This is bound to happen. Agreeing on a style of dress can be an impossible task; in fact it can lead to full-on body slams in the boutique. Just remember that choosing a dress is not a democratic process. It’s a country of which you are the dictator. Sure, listen to your advisors to prevent a tyrannical mistake, but at the end of the day your word is law.

Let three main things govern the dress you choose:
Body type; some dresses can make a healthy girl look skeletal while rendering an otherwise curvy girl into an overstuffed sausage. These are not looks you should strive towards. There’s an abundance of advice on how to dress for your body shape; heed it.

Theme; although you don’t want your wedding to seem like a dress-up, a subtle theme can lend a magical feel to the day, and by incorporating the theme ever so slightly into your dress code you’ll achieve a beautiful coherency. Likewise gorgeous themes like the current Gatsby trend can be carried through the entire wedding with great success. Just be subtle, and certain on what you are going for, lest the wedding becomes such a medley of themes that it resembles a time warp.

Practicality; I know as a bride your imagination tends to run away with you but remember that you have to spend the entire day in your dress; you have to walk in this dress, sit in this dress, and depending on whether or not you have a reception gown planned you have to dance in this dress. Makes sure that your wedding day memories are not dominated by how many times you tripped over your hem.

No matter what style of dress you like, no matter how extreme or simple, the most important consideration is comfort. The dress should fit the bride, not the other way around. Your dress should be an extension of who you are enabling you to be the most beautiful bride you can be. You want to have a dress that makes you feel absolutely gorgeous and confident, the type of dress that you don’t want to take off when the day is done, not one that you wish to set fire to the minute you can wrench it from your body .

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