Every bride-to-be has fantasized about her wedding day. To deal with these fantasies in a concrete way, try to determine the overall look you want for your wedding. Remember, you set the style. Harmony is the key to a beautiful wedding, no matter how formal and elaborate, no matter how simple.
In searching for the right gown, consider bridal shops, department stores, bridal shows and designers of custom-made formal wear. But don't ignore the possibility of using an antique gown that has special associations for your family and having it restored for your needs.
Whether you choose the ready-made, custom or restoration route, allow plenty of time for the task. Most experts recommend that you start looking at least nine months before the wedding. When you go to the fitting, be sure to bring the lingerie you'll wear on your wedding day to ensure a perfect fit.
Weddings fall into four basic types:
1. Very formal: Floor-length gown in fine fabrics with long trains or veils. Engraved invitations. Afternoon ceremony. Elaborate reception. Sit-down dinner for 200-plus guests.
2. Formal: Gown with chapel or sweep train with hem-length veil or mantilla. Food and beverages for 100-plus guests.
3. Semi-formal: Elegant short dress or simple floor-length without train. Short veil. Fewer than 100 guests.
4. Informal: Street-length silk suit or jacketed dress (usually white). Flowers worn, not carried. Ceremony held during the day in small church or private home. About 50 guests (relatives and close friends). Handwritten invitation.
ATTENDANTS Bridesmaids' dresses should be the same length and formality as your own. Best: Shop with your maid-of-honour and choose her dress first. For the bridesmaids, let them choose from three styles you like since they will foot the bill.
Most important features of bridesmaids' dresses:
1. Simple enough to flatter a variety of body types.
2. Attractive back tailoring since this is the side that the guests see the most during the ceremony.