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The Perfect Gown

The secret to choosing the perfect gown and assuring the proper fit is to start well in advance of your wedding date. Choose a well established, reputable shop with a friendly and knowledgeable staff.

  • Order your gown and bridesmaids' dresses six months to one year before your wedding date.
  • Call ahead for an appointment with a salon consultant, especially December through April and on Saturdays. An appointment will assure you the time and attention needed to make this important decision.
  • Allow the salon consultant to help you select the "correct" size, as each manufacturers size can vary. REMEMBER TO ORDER THE SIZE YOU ARE NOW, NOT THE SIZE YOU "HOPE TO BE" BY THE WEDDING. It is much easier to take in a gown than to let it out.
  • Ask the price of alterations on each piece ordered. (Yes, veils, sashes, belts, etc., can all need alterations.)
  • Be prepared to leave a 50% deposit at the time of the order.
  • Before you begin to shop SET A BUDGET and get ideas about the styles you like by paging through some bridal fashion magazines.
  • The formality of the wedding takes precedence in choosing the style: gowns with a train, whether a sweep, chapel length, or cathedral length are usually reserved for formal or semi-formal weddings.
  • For an informal ceremony consider a floor-length gown without a train, a tea-length gown, a knee-length suit or cocktail dress.
  • Satin, silk, taffeta, velvet, crepe and tapestry brocades are prominent for fall and winter weddings. Chiffon, lace, tulle, silk crepe and English net for spring and summer.
  • Any woman can wear a long white gown no matter what her age or if she has been married before.
  • Traditionally only first-time brides wear a train and a veil. Other options include floral wreaths, jeweled hair combs or bridal hats.
  • The shop will call you to arrange a date for your first fitting. Be sure to bring the shoes, undergarments and petticoats you’ll wear on your wedding day.
  • Attendants' gowns should complement the bride's gown in style and color. They can be floor-length, or any length shorter than the bride's gown - never longer.
  • When ordering bridesmaids dresses, bring in bridesmaids all at one time (or their exact measurements) as dresses will not be ordered until ALL bridesmaids are fitted to ensure that the dresses will all be made from the same dye lot.
  • Allow 6 weeks up to 4 months for alterations, depending on the difficulty of the alterations. Try on your gown after alterations. A shop should be able to do minor alterations quickly if necessary.
  • There are usually three fittings, unless alterations are extensive. After your final fitting, inspect the gown closely for any loose trim, beads, etc. BEFORE you leave the shop.
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