Many brides already have an idea of what they want their wedding dress to look like before they even begin shopping. And, maybe more importantly, they often have in mind what they don’t want their dress to look like.
But whatever your preferences, it’s easier for that perfect dress image to come into focus if you understand the styles and hues that flatter you to the fullest. We asked Christina Vicaro of Lowcountry Bride & Gown and Cassandra Gamble of Blush Bridal & Formal Wear to help us help you.
Regardless of your size or circumstance, Gamble and Vicaro both agree that shopping earlier is better: “It can take up to six months to get a gown in once it’s ordered, and a bride should have her gown at least three months before her wedding for fittings,” Gamble said.
And in order to find that perfect dress, don’t say no to trying on styles you’re sure you won’t love.
“Be open-minded about trying styles that may be unexpected,” Vicaro said. “Fifty percent of my brides end up with a dress style completely different than what they originally planned on purchasing.”
A-line and drop-waist ball gowns are great for curvy bombshells, Vicaro said. Gamble also adds mermaid gowns to that list: “Curvy brides look beautiful in anything that will show off their shape,” she said. “Most curvy brides think to hide their beautiful shapes. Do just the opposite! Show it off!”
Lean brides have the luxury of being able to wear just about anything they love, from fit-and-flare to A-line to ball gown. Gamble said sheath dresses can be a show-stopper for these women as well, and these brides can have fun with varied necklines. “Dresses with low backs are also great on a lean figure,” she said.
Anything with a higher-defined waistline will flatter a petite bride, Gamble says.
A fitted dress looks great on petite frames, and Vicaro suggests opting for a designer that does custom sizing.
That old rule about only being allowed to wear white on your first wedding day is as outdated as the one about matching bridesmaid dresses. Vicaro said that more mature brides who are getting married — or remarried — later in life typically are drawn to elegant, simpler styles, perhaps with some lace details.
“Understated and chic” are their go-tos, Gamble said, with simple fitted and flowy gowns being most popular among this crowd.
“Fair skin tones look fabulous in light blush and champagne undertones,” Vicaro said, and darker skin tones look great in white. Plus, all skin tones look beautiful in classic ivory, she said.
These days, designers are offering dresses in an array of colors, from nude to caramel to smoky lavender to blush. “The best piece of advice when it comes to colors is to try it on,” Gamble said. “You may be surprised on what looks good with your skin tone.”