We’ve all seen the poorly fitted wedding gowns; the bulge hanging over the back, the cinched in waist, that creates unflattering spillage in other places. Or, the strapless gown that gaps at the bust of the less endowed bride. So it seemed befitting, pardon the pun, to invite a professional, who specializes in fitting wedding gowns, to offer some advice to you for choosing your wedding gown. Tricia Edwards owns a bridal salon. She also sews wedding and bridesmaids dresses. It’s to her that I defer for her expertise.
“It’s your day, your dream, your dress. Finding “the dress” should be a fun experience–not something akin to Chinese water torture! As a bridal shop owner, here are some tips to assist you as you begin shopping for that perfect gown:
- Choose a bridal salon that is welcoming, helpful and honest; check the policies of each shop you plan to visit. Most salons require appointments so you can receive all the attention you deserve. Some salons limit the number of gowns you may try on during one appointment; others will allow as many try-ons as necessary. Sometimes a brides finds “the” gown in the first two or three choices. Other brides may try on ten or more gowns before they find “the” gown. Nothing is more frustrating then to be told everything looks absolutely wonderful when you know better.
- Certain styles look better on certain body types. A knowledgeable bridal consultant will be able to steer you toward flattering styles. There are empire waistlines for those who don’t have an hourglass figure, and basque or dropped waistlines for those that have a relatively small waistline but need some help defining that area. A-line skirts are flattering on most body-types–just make sure it doesn’t fit too snugly through the hipline.
- Think about the ceremony itself, but also the greeting, hugging, sitting, eating, and dancing. Certainly a bridal gown isn’t going to be the most comfortable garment you’ve ever worn, but neither should it make you miserable.
- Quality is imperative; a bodice must be heavily boned and interlined for support.
- Also, remember that bridal shop owners have thousands of dollars invested in the gowns that you are trying, so please be respectful of the merchandise and treat it with care.
- Always ask about payment policies, layaway opportunities, alterations, etc. as the policies at each salon are different.
- Find a consultant who knows her stuff, who communicates well, and who really, really listens to your concerns.
- Buy the size you currently wear, allowing a little room for alterations. Do NOT buy a size smaller, hoping that you will fit into it by your wedding day. It’s easier to take in the seams than to add a panel!
- Above all, enjoy your shopping experience. Take only one or two people with you. Too many opinions will only confuse you. One or two people who will tell you what they really think will be more helpful to you.”
Tricia Edwards, Owner
Tricia’s Bridal and Pageant , located in Ft. Blackmore, VA.
Photography by Julie Roberts Photography, Knoxville, TN