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According to the Wedding Channel’s Charli Penn, there are five things a bride should know before shopping for her dream gown:
Determine Your Personal Style
Before you make an appointment with a gown salon, take your time and research popular gown styles so you can determine what you’re really looking for in a wedding dress. Which silhouette is right for your body type? Trumpet? Ball gown? A-line? Are you partial to a certain neckline? Sweetheart? Strapless? Halter? You don’t have to make a decision before hit the store, but be you should be familiar with what’s out there, what you want, and what you’re willing to spend.
Keep the Theme in Mind
Planning a formal wedding? Keeping it beach-casual? A gown that’s appropriate for a black-tie affair (floor-length, with intricate detailing) looks much different than a dress that’s perfect for fun in the sun (shorter, with lighter fabric and minimal embellishments). Plan to limit your selections to gowns that are appropriate for your wedding theme. Consider the season as well. Lighter fabrics, like silk tulle, organza, and charmeuse, and tea-length skirts are fine for spring, but winter weddings call for heavier fabrics and longer lengths. Once you’ve narrowed down your style, scour the web and magazines for pictures of your favorite gowns. Bring them along to your appointment so the sales associate has a better idea of what you’re looking for.
Think About Your Hair
Though we’re not recommending that you book a pricey salon appointment before your first dress fitting, it is a good idea to wear your hair in a style similar to the one you’re planning to have on your wedding day. Your hairstyle, along with your accessories, will complete your bridal look. If you try on a gown while your hair is down and love the way it looks, you might wind up unpleasantly surprised with how much the look has changed if you end up opting for an updo.
Go Au Naturel
The day you’re headed to the bridal salon, ditch your usual scent and makeup. As much as you may want to look (and smell) good that day, cosmetics can actually stain or damage gown samples. Messy deodorant is another gown-shopping no-no. Wear an invisible or clear type and opt for a gel instead of a powder. The same goes for your first official fitting. (The last thing you ever want to do is damage your dress before you’ve worn it, right?)
Go Lingerie Shopping
There is no one bra or pair of panties that will work with every gown, but if you have a pretty good idea of what you want to buy, bringing the right bra is a plus. Have your heart set on something satin? Choose a contouring bra and panty set to ensure your body has a sleek silhouette. Have a large chest? Wear a minimizer to make your bust appear smaller, or your best push-up bra to add curves. If you don’t want to wear a body slimmer, consider bringing a good pair of control top pantyhose instead — they can work miracles!
5 things to know before choosing a wedding dress