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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Becoming the Bride: Choosing

As a bride, you will face so many choices. Each one piggybacks on the next…does this linen go with this arrangement…in this room. I'm not about to tackle all of that even though now I think I could. There are far too many experts out there to give you tips and pointers. I can, however, give you some learned tips about one of the most important elements (if not the most important): the dress.
After securing a date and a venue, one of my immediate tasks was to find the gown. Being short, I knew whatever I found would have to be drastically cut off and most likely taken in elsewhere. I know what makes me look short and fat and what makes me look lean, whether or not I am either of those. Everyone has a part of their body they don't particularly care for, or at least wants to cover up. For me, it's my arms and shoulders. I have broad shoulders and feel like strapless dresses don't always flatter me the way I would like them to. So I knew I wanted something different, not strapless unless it just rocked my world, and ultimately very classy and flattering. I had heard from so many people to go into the adventure of looking for a gown with an open mind because so many ended up with a completely different style than they first wanted. I did do this, but I ended up with exactly what I had in mind, but better. So here are my tips:

-Go into your dress search with a completely open mind, but an idea. Listen to your assistant: she has so many brides come through and knows how this works. Your job is to wow her. Know your body, what looks good on you, and how you want to look that day. If you have a ball gown style in mind, by all means, try on different styles of that. Just don't overlook the mermaid style shining in the corner. Extra tip: make sure the back of the gown is rockin' because that is the side of you most people will see for the majority of your wedding.

-Don't settle in the first store. My experience at The White Room in Lebanon, TN was perfect. That was where I found the dress. I loved it, the beauty looked good on me, even the assistant was impressed. It was clearly the front runner over the softest, puffiest dress I had ever worn and loved as well. That style just didn't fit my wedding. I knew in my mind dress #4 was it. However, I still had another appointment and wanted to keep my options open. The second store didn't thrill, but there was a contender there. I pulled the two photos up side by side and there was no comparison. When you know, you just know. Like the groom, there can only be one (unless of course you have a reception dress, then there can be two. This does not apply to the groom situation however).

-Surround yourself with knowledge. Take no more than four people you trust to tell you the truth about what looks good on you. You can tell from their faces when you walk out of the dressing room if the dress is a winner or not. Definitely include your mother, perhaps a grandmother, best friend, and maybe even your future mother-in-law. The first time I went, I took my mom, grandmother, aunt and flower girl. The second time I tried the dress on, I took my parents and my mother-in-law so that she could have the experience as well. I highly recommend trying it on again so that you know the thrill is real before you buy.

-While your groom can't see you in your dress or really weigh in on it, he can weigh in on whether or not he would like you in a veil. I had not intended on wearing a veil at all. I tried one on and felt silly. I did want to take his opinion on the matter seriously though. Perhaps in his mind he is prepared to see me walk down the aisle really looking like the typical bride…he might be disappointed that I didn't have the full effect that a veil gives. So I asked him what he thought. He said he didn't care and really didn't think it was my style. So, I opted to not wear a veil and instead do pretty pins in my hair.

-Have your shoes on your first fitting. The ladies at the store will tell you this of course, but definitely don't put it off. I finally got mine a few weeks ago and love them. I do suggest getting something fun and different to be a little unexpected. Let your "something blue" be here or have purple shoes if your wedding color is purple. Since my wedding is ivory with touches of gold, my shoes are gold-silver glitter heels to match my bridesmaids' fun sparkly flats. No one will really see your feet until you start dancing or throw the garter, and then it's a little pop of awesome. It also makes for a fun picture with your girls.

-Let your dad be the first man to see you in the gown. Your dad was, after all, the first man you loved and has to give you away. He deserves to see you in your bridal glory long before the groom. I took my dad to see the dress, even though it had huge clamps on the back to keep it on me. He got slightly emotional, so just be prepared for that.

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