Congrats, you’re engaged! You’ve got the man of your dreams, a shiny new sparkler on your ring finger… and if you’re anything like most brides-to-be, you are probably pinning countless wedding dresses in search of the perfect gown.
And truly – who wouldn’t be caught up in the moment? For many women, their dream wedding dress has been engrained in their memory since they were a little girl. And now you get to make that vision a reality!
As a bridal fashion stylist, I absolutely love this moment. I revel in the energy of a new bride – and adore helping her find the perfect gown.
Of course, on the journey there are always a few surprises… Maybe that tulle-skirted ball gown you always envisioned wearing overwhelms your petite frame. Perhaps that slinky silk sheath isn’t highlighting your curves correctly. More often than not, I’ve noticed there’s a shift from dress inspiration to reality, and that too is totally ok.
Here are a few of my expert tips in helping you navigate your way to feeling fabulous in your dream wedding gown… no matter what dress you ultimately “say yes” to.
- Consider silhouettes that best suit your body type
All gowns are not created equal – and of course, what looks good on a model may not be the best fit for your body type. Scroll below to see my list of silhouettes suited for every figure… And be sure to bring a few that match your frame into the dressing room. Even if these gowns wouldn’t be your first choice, you might be pleasantly surprised!
- Think about both season AND venue
It’s a no-brainer to skip the silk taffeta on a hot beach, or err away from airy chiffon on the coldest day of the year, but have you considered your venue AND the season of your wedding day? A ballroom bride may have a bit more wiggle room in fabrication options, as she’ll be protected from the elements for most of the event. Similarly, a bride who dreams of an outdoor wedding may want to tone down her look considerably. Grass, wind and uneven ground are no match for super high heels, cathedral veils or constrictive gowns!
- Try the “mantle test”
If a styling client is teetering on a gown, and hasn’t quite bit the bullet, I always ask her one question: If you wore this dress, and had your wedding portrait on your mantle 10, 20 or even 50 years from now, would you still think the gown is beautiful? A dress is meant to highlight your inherent beauty – and the best wedding gowns are those that classically complement your style. If you can wholeheartedly say you would still love that wedding portrait, you’ve found your dream gown. But if you’re still left waffling, then perhaps the dress is just too trendy to be “the one”.
- Explore options like SculpSure, which help finesse your look once you’ve snagged your dream gown
The best accessory to the perfect wedding dress? Confidence! Once you’ve found your gown, chances are you will have a few months before your first fitting. Make the most of that time – and get your body feeling fabulous – with SculpSure’s non-invasive fat reduction treatment.
In just 25 minutes, the SculpSure body contouring treatment can reduce stubborn body fat in 1-3 areas, such as flanks, abs and love handles… and one procedure can destroy up to 24%1 of treated fat cells without surgery. Better yet, you can keep your SculpSure treatment totally under wraps… The no-pain process is completely seamless – you can leave the doctor and go right back to your day, without any downtime. (Major bonus)! SculpSure is the perfect solution for fine tuning your wedding look to perfection, and gaining the confidence to make you feel positively radiant on your big day (and beyond)!
Your body: Less definition between your bust, waist and hips
You look great in: Classic shifts and fitted sheath gowns, as well as body-hugging styles with notable design details.
Your body: Smaller at top, fuller at hips and behind
You look great in: Fitted strapless and open neck tops that enhance the upper body and draw the eyes up.. Empire waists also help mark the smallest part of your figure.
Your body: Curvaceous with a full bust, defined waist and fuller hips
You look great in: Wrap dresses and classic sheaths with fitted waists enhance your curves. Look for adjustable waist styles, so you can customize the fit to accentuate your curves.
Your body: Your narrowest point is above the natural waist, at the ribs
You look great in: Empire waists that draw the eye up, and draw attention away from the middle, while allowing a looser fit. Neck details also bring the focus up and provide a balanced look.
Your body: Bust is fuller than the hips and rear
You look great in: Plunging V-neck and supportive halter styles that draw the eye downward for a slimming effect, while possibly wrapping at the bust and waist to help balance out your fuller half. Supportive bra-friendly dresses are a bonus.
Your body: Generally 5’4” or under, you also have a smaller frame than taller women
You look great in: Clothes tailored to petite proportions (i.e. petite sizing), and jumpsuit silhouettes, which can also provide an elongated look with a halter top, and billowy straight legs.