I know this part is supposed to come way later but let’s be real the first thing you’re going to want to do is find that dream dress, it’s the most exciting part when you get engaged. If you are anything like me you have an idea in your mind of what you want your dress to look like. What may not occur to you is there’s a lot more to finding a dress besides the fact it looks pretty. So you go out looking and you found your perfect dress…BUT… .it costs more then a down payment on a car. What Now??

1.The Look: When it comes to choosing a dress we all have to keep in mind reality. Yes, the 6 foot model in the magazine looks perfect in that large princess gown but put it on someone like me who is 5 feet tall it’s going to look hideous. You really need to look into the type of dresses that suit your body type. Keep in mind, when I looked into dresses that fit my body type I looked at all the styles and hated them on paper but when I went to the store and put one of them on, WOW, I have never looked so good in a dress before. What dresses look like on paper and on your body are very very different. You want something flattering on your wedding day which means you may have to step out of your comfort zone a bit on try something on you never would have before. 
            Petite Body: Stay away from those big ball gowns lean more towards a silhouette that slims     your body. Find a dress with a waist line that starts above your natural waist, this will give you a lengthening effect. No big bows, no big anything, big things will only make you look smaller. 
            Pear Shaped: Find a skirt that gradually flares out in an A formation from your natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of the midsection and floating away from the hips and thighs.  
Stick with fabrics that don’t cling. For the bodice, lean more towards V necks and thin straps this way you are highlighting your small upper frame.
            Larger Bust: You will want to even out your body so look for a full bottomed dress, “Princess” gowns would work perfect for you. Stay away from straight across tops they will only make your chest look bigger and shelf-like. Sweetheart bodices give just enough scoop that you show off a little but don’t give the cow away for free.
            Plus Size: Look for an Empire dress with a skirt that begins just under the bust and flows into a gradual floor-length A-line. Make sure the Empire seam does not start on the chest and that there is no pleating of the fabric. You don’t want the dress to be too loose because then it will add pounds. Celebrate your curves and show them off.
            Lean and Straight: The key to your dress is to create curves. You can do this by focusing on dresses with flared skirts, diagonal draping, and daring necklines.  Look for something that clinches your natural waist and flares out, this will make it look like you have more curves.
            Apple Shaped: You’ll need a dress that cinches in at the smallest point on the waistline, then gradually flares out. Don’t have a bodice with a lot of texture to it―think ruche or lace detailing―that will camouflage and fit snugly, creating a corsetlike effect. The most slenderizing neckline for you is one with a deep V, which will draw eyes toward the vertical, not the horizontal. 
            Hour Glass Shaped: Waist defining sashes and A-line gowns will shrink those hips and show off that shape everyone is dying to have. Stay away from things that focus too much on your hips, you don’t want people’s attention on those you want them on your waist.
            Tall: You will want everything to compliment your height, lower waist lines, floor sweeping hems. Stay away from too many bells and whistles, simple is the word for you. If you are going with long sleeves make sure it goes all the way to your wrist stay away from three quarter sleeves.

2. The Price: Now ladies, I know this is the most important day of you life but the thing we need to focus on in this sentence is it’s one day, just one. I fully encourage you to find that dream

dress and have that Cinderella wedding but I don’t want you to break the bank to do it. After the wedding normally comes things like buying a house and I know when you are coming up with that down payment you are probably going to look at that 3,000 dress in a box in your closet and regret spending that amount of money especially when it’s not necessary.
            First, there are so many used wedding dress shops around the area paying full price just seems silly. 
            Second, if you are completely against wearing a used dress keep an eye out for a sale. You may have to drive to get the dress you want but a little gas could go a long way to saving you money on that dress. 
            Third, stay away from the designers. I promise you can find a wedding dress that looks exactly like a designer dress. The only different between the two will be the price. No one is going to care five years from now who made your dress, and truthfully most people won’t even ask. 
            Fourth, go to a regular department store. Some of the prom dresses today could easily pass for wedding dresses. No one will know and you will pay a fraction of the cost.  

3. The Color: Contrary to popular belief your wedding dress does not have to be white. Speaking of white did you know how many types of white there are? I know the traditional wedding dress is ivory but we’re not a traditional society. Even the smallest color change can help compliment your skin tone. Keep in mind the season you are getting married in, that could effect the color of your dress. Dresses these days have flowers and ribbons and bows and trust me you can get them in almost any color you can think of. Yes, you can matchy matchy with your dress to your wedding colors but make sure you don’t go over board. Some brides today are going completely out of the box with their choice of dress which is great. I have seen brides in red, pink, even blue wedding dresses. None of those were a shade of white but every single bride looked stunning. This is your wedding, your day, so don’t let stereotypes and cliches determine how you are going to look and feel on your big day. 
4.The Shoes; I’m going to make this as simple as possible, if you have not or can not walk in heels do not wear them on your wedding day. The last thing anyone wants is for you to fall on your face walking down the isle. Also, remember you will be wearing those all night so your feet are going to kill you. Think you can just take them off? Sure, if you want you dress ruined. Your dress will be hemmed with the shoes you will be wearing which means the moment you take those heels off your

dress is going to slide across that floor. Plus, heels change the look of a dress, it gives you more height,therefore giving your body a lengthening effect and making you look a bit slimmer so the reception pictures won’t look the way you wanted them too. There is nothing wrong with wearing flats. I was at a wedding where the bride wore white converse. No one knew because they were under her dress so it didn’t ruin any look, and she was happy and comfortable all night. Keep all this in mind when you are dressing your bridesmaids please, the same goes for them as it does for you. Don’t require six inch heels when you have people standing next to you who trip in a pair of flip-flops aka my sister. 

Yours Truly,

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