Top 5 Tips for Choosing Your Gown

Posted at 04:06 pm Monday November 14th 2011

An Anjolique brideWe're thrilled to have Maggie Torongo of Renee Austin Wedding guest blogging about the top five things to consider when choosing a gown.

1. Where is your wedding going to be?

This is an important question because venues vary from a backyard tent to a Vegas Chapel and on to a Grand Ballroom. Even if you don't have your exact venue booked at the time of dress shopping, that's okay as long as you know the style you want the wedding to be. Some churches require shoulders and backs to be covered and if that's the case, you've already narrowed your search down to gowns with sleeves, attachment tops or something that looks great with an overcoat. Say your thinking something more casual on a beach somewhere, you might want to look for something with less of a train. By all means, please feel free to get a ball gown if you want as it's perfectly appropriate on the beach, just cut the train off. Also the time of day can be important. For example if your having an evening wedding, I suggest having some sparkle somewhere because the late night lighting picks it up beautifully! Again it comes down to your style. With thousands of dresses out there these days, you don't have to stay in a certain category, just make sure you can see your dress in your venue so there's no second guessing.

2. Who is paying for your dress?

You are wondering why this is important. Well, imagine yourself in the dress of your dreams, you can't take your eyes off yourself in the mirror and you know this is exactly what you want to get married in. You are so excited and you unveil your look to the people with you; mother, grandma, sister, etc. Your grandma and/or mom is footing the bill for your dress and one of them chimes up to say that it's terrible and there is no way in the world your going to get that dress. Most of you will say that your family would never say that to you. I'm speaking from experience, it happens! In this case, you might have to compromise your wants for something more in the payers taste. There can be tears and an overall bad experience that nobody wants to go through. On the other hand, if you are paying for the dress, feel free to tell them how much you appreciate their feedback but that it's your day, and this is the dress you want. If none of this applies to you, relax and enjoy your headache free shopping day.

3. What does your groom like?

This is a trick question. This DOES NOT matter at all. Nine times out of 10 you can show your groom the picture of your dress in a magazine, hanging in your closet and on the model on the website and even still, when your walking down the isle he is going to be just staring at you and no matter what he might have thought before, he is going to think you're beautiful and not recognize that the dress you're  wearing is the same one he has seen 3 times before. The point is, if 'John' says he hates ruffles, he doesn't really know what ruffles on a beautiful wedding dress looks like.. he's just thinking of the 1980's prom picture he's seen of his mother. ;)

4. What silhouette looks best on me?

I have sold hundreds of dresses and I can honestly say that at least once a week I'm surprised how fabulous a certain style of dress can look on a bride that I never thought would have worked. It doesn't matter if your a size 4 or a 24, it all depends on the dress! Sure, most magazines will tell you there are certain shapes that look best on certain body types and while that can be a general rule, it isn't an end all. My best advice for this is go through a couple magazines and rip out any dress you find appealing. I will bet that even if you have more than one shape of dress, they will all be the same 'look' of dress; romantic, edgy, blingy, etc. This will help your sales consultant narrow down the best options for you.

5. What should be my budget?

I am not a pro on wedding budgets but I do think your dress should be a top priority. The dress is what's going to be in 90% of all pictures and the first question is always, 'What did her dress look like?' After you have found a budget you are comfortable with, I would make sure that you share that at all your appointments. If you see something across the room and it's a little out of budget but you LOVE it, I think there's always room to move a couple other wedding details around for you to have the most perfect dress you've always wanted. When you're staring at your wedding pictures year after year, it will definitely be worth it. On the other end of this, maybe you just find spending any sum of money on a wedding dress silly so look for the sample sales! Bridal shops always are marking down dresses. Maybe it's marked 'damaged or past season.' If there's a small rip or missing beads, that is a low cost repair and I bet you'll get the dress for at least 1/2 Off; Total Bonus!

The truth is I could go on and on about all the questions brides ask me and to be honest I think it's all pretty simple. Always go into dress shopping with the person best to help make your decision. Go into your appointment with an open mind and know that if you're looking, you are bound to find your dress. It is a myth that everyone just knows and gets this amazing feeling with 'the dress!' Yes, that does happen a lot, but what also happens a lot is a bride just feels simply stunning in her dress. That's all. And isn't that what's it about? You don't need to try on every dress in your surrounding area because once you land on it, nothing else will compare.

I will leave you with this.. "It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart."- Oscar Wilde

Combined with a dress, you will have everything your looking for.

-Maggie Torongo
Renee Austin Wedding

Share on Facebook Share via Email Share via Twitter