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How to Choose a Wedding Dress

Updated on February 25, 2010

Choosing a wedding dress can be one of the most exciting experiences of the wedding-planning process for any bride. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the dress that will make you look the most gorgeous on your big day.

Decide how formal you want your dress to be.

Wedding dresses range from simple unadorned dresses to elaborate affairs with 10-foot long trains and more material than can fit in a dressing room. The formality of your ceremony will likely determine how formal a dress you want. If you are being married outside, you will likely want a simpler dress, while a ceremony held in a large hall with extensive décor will call for a more formal dress. Also, consider any activities you will be doing in your dress that will dictate your needs. For instance, if you intend to do a lot of dancing, a simpler dress will allow you to move with more ease. If you are riding off on horseback after your ceremony, you may not want to choose a dress with a 10-foot train.

Decide on the most flattering shape for your body.

Different shapes of dresses flatter different body types, and you should take some time to consider what looks best on you. Emperor-cut dresses, which fit tightest just below the bust, flatter full-figured women and those with fuller busts. Also, A-line dresses and deep necklines create a very flattering look for full-figured women. More petite women look best in dresses that have narrower skirts, as very full skirts can make them look bottom-heavy. Petite women should also consider A-line dresses and avoid sheath dresses, which can make a woman look a bit shorter than she is.  Consult the staff at a bridal shop for help in selecting the right look for you.

Consider the accessories you want to wear.

If you are dreaming of a large, complicated necklace or birdcage veil, choose a dress that will match these accessories best. Generally speaking, the more complex your accessories, the simpler your dress should be and vice versa. Dresses with simple lines and minimal adornment are jazzed up with more eye-catching accessories, while dresses with lots of embroidery, jewels, or complicated fabric patterns will shine with more modest accessories.

Balance comfort with style.

Let’s face it—no wedding dress will ever be as comfortable as your pajama pants. However, you don’t want to spend your entire reception struggling to breathe, either. Find a dress that you can move comfortably in that makes you feel great. You will thank yourself when you are on the dance floor or twisting to avoid that piece of cake your groom is trying to put in your face!

Image Credit: Jentymom, Flickr

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