Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life. You are publicly committing yourself to another person. While your dress isn’t the most important thing going on in your life at this point, it is certainly something you need to think about. Your photographer will be capturing this moment in an album full of pictures that you will undoubtedly want to frame in your house & post on social media. Making sure your dress fits you & your wedding can be a stressful decision. Here are some tips from a previous bride-to-be & seamstress.
KNOW YOUR LOCATION
Location, location, location. Inside or outside? Church or country club? Botanical garden or the beach? This is something you will want to decide first before saying “Yes” to any dress. The longer, fuller dresses are better suited for indoor weddings. Not only will you save yourself the trouble of having to have it cleaned or repaired, but there is less chance of you sweating (or freezing) to death. I am still picking hay out of my tulle skirt a year later.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET
If I’ve learned one thing from watching way too much TLC, it’s the importance of knowing how much money you have to work with. Who is going to pay for this event? You & your fiancée? The parents? A combination? There are a variety of tools available online to help you create a basic budget. Your dress should be one of the things you splurge on. Things like favors & décor can take a cut or two. Once you know what you can spend, you have somewhere to start! You do not want to go through the heartbreak of ogling over & trying on your dream dress only to find you can’t afford it. Also, keep in mind alterations will more than likely be needed, which can be pricey if you don’t know agod seamstress 😉
KNOW YOUR BODY
Every bride comes with her own body & her own style. Fitting the two together is like a puzzle. That is the job of a bridal shop attendant or seamstress. You give them your size, budget, & preferences, & they try to fit them all together.Here are some tips for petite & tall brides:
Petite- You can elongate your figure by choosing high-waisted or princess waistlines. A-line, mermaid, & sheaths gown offer the perfect silhouette by following the natural lines of your body & flaring out for a nice finish. For necklines, look for V-neck, U-shaped, or scoop neck. These draw the eye down, making your upper body seem a little longer. Designs that draw attention to your neck & shoulders will give you some height. Avoid gathered, ruffled, or tiered gowns as these will swallow you up! Aim for minimal detail & shorter trains. For fabric, look for light-weight fabrics such as crepe, lace, gauze, or light-weighy satin.
Tall- Most styles will look good on you, from A-line to ball gown. To accentuate (or give the illusion of) your curves, go for a sheath dress. To shorten your frame, try a strapless gown or off-the-shoulder neckline! Avoid adding even more length to your frame by skipping the long sleeves & long trains. Adding some detail to the hem will also shorten your silhouette. Look for heavier fabrics like damask or satin to fill you out.
For more tips & guidelines, there are numerous books & websites to research. Also, as mentioned before, an attendant at a bridal shop will also help you determine what fits your body. As a local seamstress, I offer free consultations.
SEAMSTRESS VS RETAILER
Do you go to a big, well-known retailer, or let a friend who knows a this or two about sewing make your dress? As we discussed earlier, your dress should be one of the things you splurge on. This means you want to get your money’s worth! If you are thinking about having a seamstress make your dream gown, keep in mind it could cost about the same, if not more, than a retailer. This is because they are having to start from scratch by making a pattern, whereas a retailer already has the dress made. Also, know their skill level. Is this someone who has experience sewing or is just in love with Pinterest? Wedding dresses are a little bit more complicated than the average sewing craft. Have you seen any of their previous work & is that what you want for your wedding? You may just be adding more stress to your plate. The same goes for shopping online. It might look good online & the price may be calling your name, but you can’t be positive it will fit the right way once you get it. Tip:always go bigger. A dress is easier to take in than let out. If you are comfortable with a seamstresses work, go for it! You will be getting exactly what you want & hopefully saving some money.
I am a seamstress & have helped with several weddings & have some friends that do the same. Sometimes we are willing to work with you a little more than a boutique. But keep in mind, the price reflects our time & skill. We are not a huge corporate business with several workers. Often times we are a single person fitting sewing into the rest of our full-time lives.
I cannot say whether one is better than the other. Just as each bride is different, each situation is different. What worked for one bride may not work so well for another. I personally tried on dresses at a store to see what looked good on me & then a seamstress friend of mine made it. It depends on who you know. Talk to your bridal party & other married friends. They just might have a connection you can utilize!
If you have gained anything from this article, I hope that it is a little clarity as to what you need to do next. I do not want to be held responsible for further stressing out an already frantic bride-to-be. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, think of your love & the celebration of your this love you have, & it will all come together. Sometimes it doesn’t quite pan out the way you pictured it in the beginning when you first got engaged. Details & priorities change as you go through the planning process of merging two lives together. You learn what you need & what you can let go of. This applies not only to your wedding but also in your personal life. Welcome this change with an open heart & the beauty of it will flow out.
Thank you Devyn for your valuable advice. Please connect with Devyn on Facebook at Sew Devyn.
Next week we will be hearing from Victoria from Elegant Moments Photography. She will be talking to us about wedding photography!