It is the bride who is the centre of attention at all weddings so it is important that she gets her choice of gown right for this and a number of other reasons.
This is a stressful time for any woman and it is essential she is comfortable both physically and psychologically and knowing that her appearance is good as well as feeling good in it, goes a long way toward providing that essential comfort.
The day is also usually long, so the gown must stand up to the pressures laid upon it. It should be as crease-free when she takes it off at the end of the evening as it was when she first put it on.
The decisions which need making are really quite straightforward even if choosing THE actual dress proves more of a dilemma.
First of all is it to be a traditional, long white gown or something a little different?
During the 1960s and 1970s, many brides chose to be married in a variety of very modern styles and colours.
Romantic, long white gowns have however, never really gone out of popularity and have crept back into the forefront of wedding fashion.
There are still brides however, who prefer to wear a high fashion, modern outfit, a suit perhaps in cream silk or brocade, with a flattering hat and matching accessories. Such styles are popular with brides who have been previously married.
If a long white gown is chosen, the style is the next consideration. It is important to choose a style that flatters the bride’s figure and one that won't leaving her feeling self conscious.
White is not a particularly flatting colour so the style and cut needs to be just right to give the bride the confidence she deserves on her big day.
Whether to hire the gown, buy off-the-peg or have it made-to-measure is another important consideration.
Buying off-the-peg is fine if you can find exactly what you want.
Fitting is no problem here as bridal shops are aware of the need for a perfect fit. They will keep the gown in stock until it is required and will make the necessary alterations for a bride just before delivery is taken.
Hiring can give access to haute couture at a bargain price and hiring agencies will buy in exclusive styles which will be made up in a range of sizes.
It is a popular way of acquiring a beautiful and expensive gown but it often isn’t a cheap alternative however as hire charges will involve insurance and cleaning. Hiring agencies will make sure the gown fits perfectly as long as it is booked sufficiently far in advance.
But unlike the other three options of course, there will be no dress to keep after the wedding, and provision will have to be made for someone, the bride’s mother perhaps or the chief bridesmaid, to return it to the hirer.
Having the outfit professionally made is another popular option. It allows the bride full scope for her flair and imagination, she can choose the fabrics she prefers and the style she most likes.
There are dressmakers who specialise in bridal wear and who will advertise locally and nationally. Sufficient time must be allowed however, such gowns cannot be made up over night.
As well as a gown, most brides also choose to wear some form of headdress.
This can take the form of a hat, floral garland or a tiara, all of which may be worn with or without a veil.
It is best to choose the headdress with the dress to ensure they complement each other and colours match. You might be surprised just how many shades of white or ivory there are!
Other accessories may include gloves, bouquet, horseshoe, bible or prayer book, or a small bag.
Shoes should match the outfit but again must be comfortable in view of the time the bride will spend standing. It’s a good idea therefore to wear them round the house, on and off, for a week or so before the wedding.
And as a final consideration when it comes to accessories may be the weather at the time of the wedding.
If a winter wedding is planned, a cape or shrug could be required if the ’something blue’ is not to be you!