When little women spend their math courses imagining of weddings (instead of winning the World Series-- not to claim you can't do both), what do they dream of? The excellent wedding dress, of course: a dress in white satin with a bustle and sweeping train, the ideal embellishments, and the ideal shoes.
For those with lofty budgets, this is the way to go. You can work with wedding dress designers directly. It helps if you’re in a hub like New York or Paris, but top designers of wedding dresses can be found in most major cities. If you’re considering going the custom route, you’ll need to find a designer whose vision aligns with yours and whom you trust, as it will be a collaborative effort. In the end, you’ll have a gown like no other.
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More commonly attached to fitted gowns, sleeves can give the impression that the bride is wearing something similar to a shawl. These sleeve gowns are fun to try on and feel different than sleeveless dresses. Each dress has unique sleeves that add elegance to your wedding dress design. They can compliment the dress or stand out as an accent. Different styles of sleeves are more intriguing when the bottom of the dress is fitted straight down and there is no long dress tail or any distractions from the beautiful sleeves.
For brides with a smaller budget, discount wedding dress outlets are great places to find major discounts on wedding dresses. Brides will typically shop off the rack and take the dress home immediately. Styles may be a mix of discontinued national brands and private-label merchandise sold at reduced prices. Also look out for big sales by major name dress designers, because those sales are few and far between, but when they happen they are an awesome place to find an amazing wedding dress on the cheap.
If you’re a fan of clean lines, modest dresses will give you a chic minimalist style that you’ll love. The straight cut adds even more length to your figure. If you’re looking to highlight your hips, there are two fabulous cuts you should try: the trumpet style, which is fitted below the knee, and drop waist style dresses, which shows off your waist and hip area.
These bridal stores will normally offer a full range of bridal related services. In most cases, it makes sense to make an appointment but not necessarily. You can expect to see all of the wedding dresses out in the open which is nice. It is important to note that while an off-the-shelf wedding dress may be a possibility, these shops typically require special-order gowns for brides. Price ranges and wedding dress designers vary from moderately priced to high-end.
Illusion: The illusion gown offers the modesty of a jewel neckline, but with the general shape of the sweetheart. The material connecting to the sweetheart neckline is usually made with a more transparent material ,so it’s a great option for those who doesn’t necessarily want to go strapless but still want to show off their collarbone and shoulders.
These are the David’s Bridals of the world. These stores will make, import and sell their own private-label gowns. That means cheaper prices. More recently, these chains are creating custom partnerships with top wedding dress designers like Vera Wang so don’t just assume it is all private labeled. The other perk of these bridal chains is that they have everything you need, from dresses to shoes to accessories and so on.
Years ago, bows used to be popular, whether you were wearing them on your head or on your clothing. They were one of the biggest trends of 2011. Seven years later, bows are back in style. They either compliment the back of the gown as an accessory or the front of the dress as an accent bow. Bows are more commonly seen on the back of the wedding dress to bring attention to a long dress tail as the bride is walks down the aisle. With bows, you can use them with a simple look, such as small delicate bows, or you can really get noticed with large decadent bows. A statement bow will get noticed and may spark many fashion-related conversations at your wedding.
As you begin wedding dress shopping, there are seemingly endless styles: billowy ball gowns, strapless mermaids, long-sleeved illusion dresses, spaghetti-strap sheaths. The list goes on and on. To find inspiration, browse wedding dresses by cut, see what real brides wore, and view the latest looks from Bridal Fashion Week (which happens every April and October). Start trying things on 10 to 12 months before your big day so you can order by the six- to eight-month deadline most salons require. If you don’t have that much lead time, you may still be able to get a made-to-order gown; some can be produced in as few as four weeks. Just be ready to pay for the convenience: It’s usually an additional 10 to 15 percent, not including rush alteration fees.
If you plan on wearing a veil, first consider the venue: “A long cathedral veil is beautiful for a traditional religious ceremony, but it could be distracting on a windy beach,” Risatti says. Depending on your preference and budget, you can buy off the rack, order from a bridal designer, or have one made by a veil specialist. (A high-end salon can give you names.) Wait until you’ve chosen the gown to start shopping so that you pick the right length and shade of white; get a swatch from your dress to match it exactly. Custom can take up to six months. In all other cases, just buy it in time for hair and makeup trials. 
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