How to Find a Wedding Dress

Even if you've been dreaming about your wedding for years, choosing the right wedding dress is hard! Understanding the basic types and styles of popular wedding dresses will help you be prepared for the thousands of choices you'll face while shopping. Here's our simple strategy guide to finding your idea wedding dress, plus a guide to basic styles!

Research First: Bridal magazines and websites are a great place to start your wedding dress hunt. By taking a few hours to peruse these sources, you'll quickly become acquainted with the basic types of dresses and the most popular styles. It's a great place to start- but remember, it's just the beginning!

Choosing A Wedding Dress That Fits Your Personal Style: Once you've seen what's out there, you need to ask yourself what you like. Are you drawn to full- skirted ball gowns or sleek charmeuse sheathes? Do you want a casual dress that will look right with your beach wedding, or a formal stunner that will light up your elegant night? Knowing your personal preferences is an important step to cover before you head out shopping.

Before You Shop: Make a quick list of your preferences and questions before hitting the racks. Since it's so easy to get overwhelmed with the choices, a list can really help you stay on track and remember what you're looking for! Here are some details you might want to include on your wedding dress list:

• Your favorite designers
• Necklines, Sleeves, and Train options that
• The length you're looking for
• Fabric preferences

Choosing a Wedding Dress That Flatters Your Figure: You'll need to keep an open mind when you start trying things on. Even if you love a particular style, it may not be flattering on your figure- something you'll quickly find out! Here's a basic guide to common wedding dress styles that should help you narrow down your style options.

Ball Gown: Ball gowns are typically fitted on the top, often using a corset-like bodice, and feature a wide, flowing skirt. These are flattering on most figures, since the top gives you a slim-but-busty fit, while the skirt can camouflage the tummy, hips, and thighs. Shorter brides or very petite girls may not look best in this wedding dress style, since the wide skirt can overwhelm a small frame.

A-line Gown: A-lines are nearly universally flattering. They skim the body to the upper hips, never tight enough to show any bulges or bumps. At the hips, they gently taper outward, giving you a long, sleek, balanced silhouette. Since they are not very defined at the waist, they may not be the best choice for brides with hourglass figures.

Sheath Design: Sheaths are sleek designs that hug the body for their entire length. Sophisticated and sexy, they are
often made out of flowing, thin fabrics to increase the body-hugging look. These dresses are typically best for women with a straight silhouette, or those whose hips are narrower than their shoulders. Since they show every little curve, a good slip or shape-wear is often necessary, even with the fittest body!

Empire Waist: An empire waist wedding dress is classy and romantic, and eternally forgiving. These dresses feature a high waistline that starts just below the bust, the skirt is loose and may be slightly flared. Empire gowns often feature deep necklines and pretty sleeves to offset the simplicity of the design. They look great on just about everyone.

Mermaid style: Mermaid gowns are dramatic and sexy. Designed to create an hourglass figure, mermaid wedding dresses are fitted through the hip and thigh, flaring out just above the knees. The flaring skirt creates the illusion that the hips and waist are proportionally smaller- and who doesn't want that? While these dresses are gorgeous on natural hourglass girls, they can also help create curves on a straighter figure.