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      Thursday, 22nd March

Choosing Your Wedding Gown

Sooo many options are open to future brides now, the task of finding 'the' dress may seem a very daunting one. But you'll get there! And you'll have fun looking and feeling like a princess at every fitting along the way!

Wedding Couple on a Beach!Things to consider before picking your dress are the venue and location of your wedding. For example, if a large part of your day will be outside, you may not want something too long, as by the time of the evening reception comes around, you may have a nice muddy, grass stained train! Or, you may choosec not to worry about this - it's your day and you can wear what you want where you want - and worry about the dry cleaning later!

You may also have a theme to match for your entire outfit - such as medieval, or casual.

Wedding Bouquet and ShoesAnother location-concerned consideration is what shoes to wear on that particular terrain - spiked stilettos may be continuously sinking in grass or sand, so maybe flats or dainty kitten heels might be a better idea?

It's easy to think that if your dress is long, then your shoes will not show. But there will be many times throughout the day when you are lifting your skirt for walking or for taking a cheeky snap such as showing off your garter! Many dress manufacturers make shoes in all the colours of their dress range to ease the problem of shoes greatly. Alternatively, to open a huge range of shoe possbilities, ask for a swatch of your dress fabric, and find someone to dye your shoes. Many bridal shops offer this service. Check the WeddingToPlan.com Directory for a service in your area. Remember - check with the dyer before purchasing the shoes if possible, to check the shade/material is suitable.

Bridal ShoesFeeling creative?! Why not decorate your shoes? Find diamonte jems to stick on to match any detail on your dress, to afix a beautiful tiny brooch or clip. Visit the Directory or email WeddingToPlan.com using the Contact Us page to track down some suppliers.

It is very good to go wedding dress shopping with an open mind. That way, you won't have your heart set on a style that just does not suit you. Listen to the shop staff - these people are professionals and know what looks good on brides. Right down from what shapes and styles of dresses would suit, and what colour would match your skin tone. This by no means you don't have a say - their advice is just valuable guidance. Whilst you don't want loads of opinions beeing shouted at you in each shop, taking a couple of close friends/family is a very good idea. These people know you, and can honestly tell you what they think as they want you to look fantastic on your big day! Also, your mum has probably been imagining this for years!

Equally, whilst you've got to be realistic if something doesn't suit you, don't over estimate any (in your opinion) 'flaws'. Don't dismiss a fitted gown because you think you have a big bum! Try it, and evaluate it fairly.

Wedding DressesOne thing that may be difficult, is imagining an 'off the peg' dress in the correct size. It is not practical or feesable for wedding dress shops to keep all sizes of each dress in stock, so you will try on a dress in the wrong size, just to get an impression of it. The shop will then order the dress in your size once you have purchased/ordered it. On top of that, you can then get it altered to fit you perfectly, as no two size 12 women are exactly the same! Ask your bridal shop how much they charge for these adjustments, and maybe shop around. The advantages of having the dress altered at the shop you bought it from are that they may have worked with the same dress before, and you can just leave the dress there until you're ready to pick it up for the day, rather than move it around.

Wedding VeilYour choice of headdress will come after you've picked the dress. A dress with a long flowing train may only suit a short veil, rather than a long one that overlaps the dress. Also, you may not wish to cover any detail on the back of the dress with a veil. You also have a choice whether veils fall from the top of your head, fixed by a comb or tiara, or just from the back of your head, fixed to a bun/hairstyle. Don't rule veils out without trying some - they are not simply pieces of net, but can be beautifully woven, with sparkling beads and adornments sewn into them, to catch the light as your head turns throughout the day.

Whilst gloves always look glamorous and sophisticated, you may wish to consider the practical side of being too warm in the height of summer, or of struggling to take them off for the placing of the ring. For this reason, don't choose ones that are too tight - and when the time coes, calmly remove each glove, not rushing - this is your day and you can take things at your own pace!

Above all else, remember to be comfortable! This is also very much the case with shoes. It's gonna be a long day, and you want to be able to enjoy every second of it.

For more tips on finding the perfect dress, read our guide on dresses to suit your shape.

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