It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little girl, twirling around in a makeshift veil, whispering, “I do” to your teddy bear: Your wedding day.
Fast forward to today’s vision of bridal bliss. As you walk down the aisle, you’ve never felt so stunning, so classic, so deeply loved. Your closest friends are there, lined up in the stunning bridesmaid dresses you agreed upon. You can hear the awe in the room as you appear in the dress that was meant for you – exemplifying your personality and quintessential style. The dress you have chosen for the most important day of your life. The wedding dress of your dreams.
While most of us have dreamed of our wedding day since childhood, it’s important to think of who you are and what personifies your style today when you are looking for a wedding dress. Close your eyes and envision what you want to look like on your big day. The perfect wedding dress is one that fits your vision, is the epitome of your individual style, flatters your unique figure and goes eloquently with the locale of the occasion. Your bridesmaid dresses should follow suit as part of that vision, with consideration of your bridesmaids wishes, equally matching the occasion and complimenting the dreamy wedding dress you have chosen.
Wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses come in many different designer shapes and styles, some fit specific body types better than others. Keeping your figure as well the different body types in your wedding party in mind is extremely important when choosing both your dress and bridesmaid dresses for the big day. I put together a simple dress guide outlining basic dress forms to help you find the sensational dress silhouettes that will help shape your ravishing wedding to be!
A-line dresses literally take and “A” shape, fitted at the waist and flowing out from the body. This style is the most flattering for all body types, making it a perfect choice for a bridesmaid dress. Whether you’re dealing with a thicker waist or full hips, the A-line shape disguises imperfections and emphasizes the beauty of your amazing day.
Fluted gowns, otherwise known as mermaid dresses, are a sleek and contemporary style fitted through the waist then flaring out from around your knees. Better for tall women, this style can tend to overwhelm those with a petite figure. If you want to show off that hourglass figure, this style is the perfect match to accentuate your curves.
Ball gowns are a traditional bridal dress shape with a fitted bodice and full skirt. This fairytale princess style looks best on thin and or full-figured body types, and it disguises a pear shape (full hips) beautifully. This style can easily overwhelm a petite figure, but falls wonderfully on a tall frame.
Empire waist gowns are basically A-line, falling away from the body from your bust instead of your waist. This style is great for shorter women because it tends to make you appear taller. It is also great to hide larger hips or full waists. If you have a full bust this is not the style for you, as your bust will be accentuated and will result in inappropriate church cleavage.
Finally, the simple but elegant sheath gown falls straight on your body. This classy yet simple dress is designed to flatter your figure. If there are certain parts of your body you do not want emphasized, this dress style is not for you.
Now that you know which dress form is the best fit, the next step toward finding the best wedding and bridesmaid dresses is deciding the specific design that suits you and your wedding party. Keep your wedding location in mind and envision what style exemplifies you and your bridesmaids best. Today’s brides tend to toss out traditional and hold on to designs that incorporate personal style. Kristen Schneider, a University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning graduate and bridal designer, agrees that today’s bride wants to step out of the box.
“[Brides] absolutely want something about the dress to bring out their personality,” Schneider says. Whether it’s a modern, elegant, new, vintage or alternative style you want, there’s something out there for everyone. The best dress will fit your locale and express your unique, personal style. Today, the fashion-forward thinking modern bride goes beyond the dress and delves into the world of accessories. According to Schneider, “No longer are the days of crowns and tiaras with the basic veil…glam up a simple gown with a Russian net veil just covering the face or a stunning broach on the shoulder.” The bottom line is this: it’s OK to break the norm, your joyous wedding day is about you after all.
Following suit, most brides are breaking tradition when it comes to bridesmaid dresses. While the bride typically chooses the color and texture, many are allowing their wedding party to choose the style of dress they prefer. This allows the wedding party to express their personal style, and still lets the bride match the color to the event.
Schneider explains, “Whether they are all different dresses but the same color or the same skirt for everyone with a different top…individuality is definitely becoming a bridesmaid trend.” Cookie cutter satin dresses are no longer the norm – enter individualistic, stylish, personalized bridesmaid dresses. “Think red carpet, instead of walk of shame,” Schneider says.
Tea-length dresses have become more popular for bridesmaids, as well as unique color choices like black or multi-colored designs. Brides are allowing their maids more choice in the matter, and allowing them to reflect some of their own personal style.
So where do you find bridal designs perfect for your big day? Schneider’s top store picks are Bridal and Formal, located in the Reading Bridal District and Fabulous Bridal, located just across the river in Covington. Bridal and Formal is a Cincinnati-based, family owned company that carries over 150 designers and 4,000 bridal gowns. Known for their designer label loyalty and wide selection, Bridal and Formal carries gowns, accessories, bridesmaid dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl dresses and even tuxedos. While their selection is expansive, their bridesmaid dresses tend to lean toward a more traditional style. Schneider suggests Kotsovos in Montgomery to amp up your bridesmaid look. There, she says you can find a gorgeous beaded gown or perhaps a pretty cocktail dress that strays from the norm.
The expanding trend of personalization in bridal wear has brought more attention to customized gowns designed by the bride and/or the bridesmaids. “Brides are wanting to have a say in the overall design of the dress. The answer isn’t necessarily to bust out your sewing machine, but finding someone to make a couture creation of your very own is on the rise,” Schneider says. Also allowing your bridesmaids to take part in their dress design will make them feel a part of the process and will increase the likelihood of the dress being worn again. There are several custom bridal sources in the tri-state if this is the route you wish to take. To discuss custom bridal designs with Schneider, you can reach her at (513) 284-8246.
The best bridal dresses are comfortable, elegant, fit well and express your unique personal style and essence. There are no longer strict rules to abide by when choosing a bridal gown or bridesmaid dresses. Think outside the box when envisioning your special day and enlist the help of available bridal consultants in local bridal boutiques if necessary. Most importantly, enjoy your wedding day knowing you have chosen dresses that personify you and your wedding party with eloquent class and personal style.