Selecting Wedding Attire Part I-Bride and Groom
"After all there is something about a wedding-gown prettier than any other gown in the world." ~Douglas William Jerrold
One of the biggest decisions the bride will face as the wedding day approaches is her dress. Shopping for her wedding dress is a special event, but it can also be an overwhelming and a stress inducing experience. Of course, we can't forget the handsome groom. Gentlemen usually prefer to rent a suit or tuxedo but it is perfectly fine to opt for a custom made suit if it is within their budget.
Attire for a wedding will also depend on the theme of the wedding. Is it a daytime affair or an evening affair? Is it a formal or informal event? Is it being held indoor or outdoor? Once you have decided on what direction your wedding is taking, then you can decide on attire for your wedding day.
Buying A Wedding Dress Tips
When we think wedding attire our thoughts automatically wander to the bridal gown. It is true that the bridal gown is the centerpiece of all wedding attire and is probably one of the most exciting and emotional purchases that a woman will ever make. The experience can be confusing because there are so many things to take into consideration. Here are a few tips that are sure to help you in making informed and wise decisions:
-It is prudent to set a realistic budget for your wedding dress and accessories such as shoes, undergarments, headpiece and veil.
-Get total cost of dress, deposit and alterations in writing.
-Before heading out to the bridal salons, get ideas by attending bridal shows, searching online and keeping a binder or scrapbook of clippings of dresses and accessories from bridal magazines. Just keep in mind that the beautiful dress you clipped out of a magazine may not be ideal for your body type. There are a multitude of wedding gowns available in a variety of cuts and designs. It will surprise you how certain styles and necklines you would never think about trying on are actually perfect for your body type.
-It is a good idea to try on several dresses in different styles. it's not a good idea to buy the first dress you put on. It may be the dress you ultimately buy, but at least you will have satisfied your curiosity and you won't have any feelings of doubt. Also, it is always a good idea to take two to three people with you that will be objective.
-Unless you've purchased a ready-to-wear or sample dress you will need to order a custom made dress. The process will take time since there will be a couple of fittings involved. You will require approximately nine to twelve months so it is a good idea to look for your dress as soon as possible.
-When selecting a dress, it is a good idea to choose a design that draws the eye away from your problem areas. Certain accessories are also quite effective.
-The style of your dress should match the style of your ceremony and reception. For example, is your affair formal, informal or semi-formal? Is it going to be contemporary or traditional? Another consideration is whether or not your dress style works well with the reception venue.
-Ensure that you choose a fabric that is appropriate for the season. You don't want to wear light fabrics in the winter.
-Do your homework and educate yourself on the various dress styles, silhouettes, materials and colours. An informed bride will have the upper hand when visiting the bridal salon and it will make your shopping experience less daunting.
-Bring shoes that will be the approximate height of the shoes you are planning to wear at the wedding. They do not have to be the actual shoes yet.
-Wedding dresses come in various shades of white. Try various shades on and choose the one that complements your skin tone best. Also, some dresses in bridal salons may appear white but are actually a few shades off from their original color. This is because many brides have tried the dresses on prior. Be sure to ask how white the gown will actually be because it is possible that the true shade will not accentuate your skin tone.
-Don't order your dress more than one size larger or it will be difficult to alter.
-Make sure that your dream dress is comfortable. Gowns can be heavy and must be worn for many hours so you don't want a dress that pinches and pulls throughout the day. Also, you will be sitting, dancing, climbing stairs, getting in and out of cars, etc. so your dress needs to be manageable.
-If you are having a formal wedding, it is acceptable to order a dress with a longer train. If you do settle on a long train, you will want to bustle it up so ensure that the dress has hooks for bustling. If there are no hooks, they may have to be added. Also, it is a good idea to assign someone from your bridal party to help you bustle your train at the reception.
Cost Of A Wedding Dress
When budgeting for a wedding gown, many brides have no idea what their dream dress will cost. Flipping through bridal magazines can be an extremely confusing task. On one hand, you are bombarded with visions of some of the most beautiful gowns and on the other hand, there are no prices.
Prices will depend on a number of factors when purchasing a bridal gown. A factory manufactured gown will be less expensive than a designer, hand detailed gown and a designer, hand detailed gown will be less expensive than a custom made gown designed especially for the bride. Below is a breakdown of the minimum, approximate price for a gown in each category:
-Factory Manufactured-A machine made wedding gown can be made of synthetic fabrics, with a minimal amount of detailing and will have a starting cost of approximately $500.
-Designer Hand Detailed-A designer wedding dress is usually made of natural and silk fabrics. These bridal dresses are generally well made with fine, hand detailing. They are sold in many high end bridal salons and the gowns are ordered in and altered (for a charge), to your fit, (a bride may have to go in for a few fittings). The approximate cost for a designer bridal gown will run anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
-Custom Made-If your budget allows for it, you can have a seamstress create a fabulous and unique gown like no other. Virtually every part of the gown will be handmade, detailed, and sewn to fit exactly to your body. A gown such as this will cost approximately $6,000 plus.
Wedding Gown Styles And Fabrics
From necklines to waistlines, wedding gowns come in a variety of styles and fabrics. The following lists will help you to understand the different aspects of the bridal gown and give you some perspective as to what might work for you.
-Batiste-Lightweight, sheer, delicate fabric in a plain weave, similar to cotton, but thicker.
-Brocade-Heavy material with a pattern
-Chiffon-Lightweight, flowing sheer woven fabric with a soft drape
-Crepe- Lightweight fabric with a “wrinkled” surface
-Peau de Soie-Is a medium to heavy, drapable fabric with a satin weave and de-lustered finish
-Damask-Medium weight fabric with pattern formed by weaving
-Dupioni-Thick and heavy 100% silk
-Gazar-Sheer stiff fabric similar to organza, linen-like
-Organdy-Stiffer semi-sheer fabric
-Organza-Sheerfabric similar to tulle but heavier
-Polyester-Man-made fabric often blended with silks or made to mimic a certain type of fabric
-Rayon-Similar to polyester but more elastic
-Satin-Smooth and heavy fabric typically used for wedding gowns. Comes in Silk or Polyester
-Shantung-Rough textured fabric with lines and “nubby”
-Silk-The most popular fabric for wedding gowns. It is soft and has a beautiful lustre.
-Taffeta-Crisp, rustling fabric
-Tulle-Stiffnetting similar to organza but stiffer and coarser
Shapes and Styles
-2 Piece-Seperate skirt and top
-A-line-Fitted bodice with no waist, but gently flares at or near the natural waistline
-Ball Gown-Traditional full skirt and fitted bodice
-Mermaid-Very fitted at waist and hips then flares out at knees
-Sheath-Very fitted gown almost tube-like
Necklines of Wedding Dresses
-Off the Shoulder-The wedding dress sits just under the shoulder line
-Spaghetti Straps-Thin or very thin straps that go over the shoulders to back
-Bateau -"Boat” neckline slightly scooped from shoulder to shoulder
-Halter-Straps go around the back of neck
-Basque Waistline-dips below natural waist forming a “V” in the centre
-Dropped Waistline-dips below natural waistline and sits more on hips
-Empire-high waistline just under bust
-Princess Cut-Many gowns, especially A-lines, have no defined waist
-Natural Waistline-sits between the empire and dropped waistlines.
The tuxedo has always been a timeless classic. It is simple, elegant, classic and the ultimate choice in formal wear. Here are a few tips to follow when choosing a tuxedo:
-Black tuxedos are versatile because they can be used for various events, however, gray or white tuxedos are strictly used for wedding attire.
-Cummerbunds have become somewhat of a fashion "don't", but if you like them, no one is stopping you. You can choose a vest instead and forgo colours. It is best to stick with black or silver as it meshes well with a variety of coloured flowers. You can choose to use patterns if you wish. Use matching handkerchiefs.
-Long ties or bow ties in black, white or silver are acceptable. Although bow ties are traditional, long ties are elegant and sharp.
-The wing collar shirt is not terribly popular anymore, but collared shirts are stylish and may be used with either tie type. Two other shirts to consider are the pleated shirt or fine ribbed shirt.
-The sophisticated french cuffs are a must have. Cuff links would make a wonderful groomsmen gift.
A sophisticated suit is an elegant alternative to a tuxedo. A fine, custom made suit is modern, refined and virtually anybody can wear one. A suit is a practical choice because it can be used again and again after the wedding is over.
Although a good quality, custom made suit can be quite costly, it can last a very long time. A suit can also reflect your personal style.
Here are a few tips to consider:
-For a less formal affair, a well made, black pinstripe suit is classy, sleek and will complement any bridal gown design.
-Designer brand suits tend to differ in size from one another. Try to find a brand that is within your budget and has the style and fit that works best for you. As an example if you're a fan of Hugo Boss, their line of suits are geared to fit the taller, slender gentleman, whereas Prada's suits are more on the fitted side. If you are looking for a suit with a looser fit, you may find it in the Armani line of suits.
-Linen pants and a fine white shirt are casual and perfect for a beach wedding.
-It is important to ensure that your suit matches the ambiance and theme of the wedding.
Pros And Cons Of Renting Or Buying A Tuxedo
When thinking about your wedding attire, you will ask yourself whether you should buy or rent a tuxedo. If you have the type of lifestyle or social circles where you find yourself attending many formal or Black-Tie affairs, renting may not be the answer. The best way to decide is to ask yourself whether or not you see yourself attending a lot of Black-Tie events in the future. If you see yourself in this position, then purchasing an elegant, tailored tuxedo would be a wise choice. However, if your wedding is the only formal event you see yourself attending for a very long time, don't bother buying a tuxedo!
Pros of Renting
-Renting a tuxedo is a relatively simple process.
-Limited choices allows for easier decision making.
-Groom and groomsmen select tuxedos together.
-Practical because you don't have to buy a tuxedo.
-Convenience of ordering everything from tuxedo to accessories all under one roof.
-Groom and groomsmen's attire are easily coordinated.
Cons of Renting
-Unfortunately, cannot be tailored effectively to fit one's body type.
-Some tuxedos are of poor quality and not very stylish.
Pros of Buying
-If you plan on purchasing, you'll find a greater selection to choose from.
-Purchasing a tuxedo will allow for a tailored look
-Select retail stores may carry more contemporary styles and cuts
-Tuxedos are better quality
-Buying a tuxedo will pay off in the long run, especially if you attend several formal events.
Cons of Buying
-Purchasing the perfect tux could be a stressful and overwhelming shopping experience.
-Shopping for a tuxedo can be time consuming.
-The better the quality, the more expensive it becomes.
-Definitely not practical if you only plan on wearing it once or twice. It is simply not worth the expense.
-Although you may not get to see your bride's gown until the big day, it is a good idea that she come with you in your quest for a suit or tuxedo. She will be able to see several styles on you and she will be able to see which best complements her dress.
-It is highly unlikely, but if your groomsmen should happen to own their own tuxedo, you can choose a black tux with or without a vest and tie. This will allow them to wear their own. If you wish to be different you can choose another colour tie and vest.
-You should arrange for a formal fitting time for you and your groomsmen if you are all selecting the same tuxedo. Choosing a national chain will allow out of town groomsmen to visit one in their own area for a fitting. Some retail websites allow you to enter your sizes online for convenience and it's a great idea for out of town members of your party.
-Choose a formal wear shop close by for easy pick up and drop off.
Shoes, Belts and Suspenders
-It doesn't matter whether you are wearing a suit or tuxedo, it is important to wear new or relatively new shoes without scuffs, on your wedding day. If they are not brand new, make sure you clean and shine your shoes well.
-If wearing a suit, your belt and shoes should match in colour.
-You should never wear a belt with a tuxedo. You can wear suspenders if you have lost weight.
-Traditionally most grooms and groomsmen wear patent-leather shoes, but it is definitely not necessary. A brand new pair of shined, black leather shoes, will work just as well and may offer more comfortability. Remember that it is always better to wear your own shoes and not rent them as they are usually not very good quality.
Shopping for your bridal gown or tuxedo doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple and helpful tips, you can turn a potentially stressful experience into a positive, happy and memorable time during your wedding planning process. Remember to enjoy every moment because it goes by so quickly.