There's a wedding dress out there for every size and shape woman – it's just a question of finding it! MyDreamWedding.ie presents our ten commandments of dress shopping, and offers some tips on finding the right dress for you.
Think of your comfort
Don’t be nervous.
There are dresses to suit shapes and sizes and the assistants in the shops are well in helping you find the right shape. Some shapes look great on curvier girls, while others look good on thinner women. It’s a question of finding the right shape for your figure.
Remember that most shops recommend ordering your dress a minimum six to eight months before your wedding day. You will need at least a month between the time your dress arrives to your collection date for alterations and fittings
Try on every shape.
Most brides are surprised at the shapes they like once they try on every different type. Try do this early in your shopping time, so you can narrow down search to a particular shape.
Bring some pictures with you.
If you know what you like when you arrive at the shop, the assistant will be better placed to help you as efficiently as possible. However, don’t pick your dress out of a magazine without trying it on first – you’d be surprised how different a dress can look on you.
Even if you fall in love with the first dress you try on, make sure you visit some other shops to get a fell for what is out there. When you’ve picked your dress, though, needless to say, stop looking!
Consider the season and location.
If you’re getting married abroad, a big dress with lots of underskirts mightn’t be the most practical in a hot climate. Similarly, a droughty backless number mightn’t be suitable for an Irish winter.
Think of your comfort!
You will be wearing your dress for a long period of time, so make sure you can sit, stand, dance and move freely in your dress. And eat!
Get another opinion.
It’s vital to get a second opinion on your dress, whether it’s your bridesmaids, your mum or a close friend or relative.
Consider other colours.
A bridal gown needn’t be white. Consider a subtle pink shade or even a sunny lemon colour. More dramatic brides can go for red, either as part of the gown or as an overall colour for a real show-stopping Scarlet O’Hara look.
Get the right underwear.
The right underwear is essential for your dress. Go to an expert, either in a department store or in an independent lingerie shop to be measured and to get the right shape for your dress. Your dress shop assistant or designer will be able to advise you as to where to go. Get your underwear and your shoes before your fittings, so the dressmaker can make sure your alterations are correct.
The right shape
Look for detail, such as seams or patterns, to create the illusion of curves at the waist and bust. Look for details on your top half.
Avoid fussy or big patterns as these can swamp you. Go for a simple shape. Look for a vertical detail or a slim style. Avoid big puffy skirts.
Look for boning to emphasise your waist. Go for a fuller ar A-line skirt, consider a corset-style dress. If you’re conscious of your arms, look for something with sheer sleeves. Make sure you invest in good underwear.
Go for something that flows over your tummy. Look for detail on your top half, such as an unusual neckline or necklace. Try support underwear like Spanx. Consider a fuller skirt to balance out your figure.
Look for slimline dresses or sheath shapes. GO for simple dresses, nothing that emphasises a flat chest. Avoid anything over fussy. Emphasise your shoulders and arms.