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All eyes will be on you on your wedding day so it's important to make the best dress choice possible. Here are some helpful hints and tips to get you started on your search for your dream gown.
Research. Before you even begin to shop around, it’s important to have done some research. You should always have a bit of knowledge about dresses, and know some of the terms used in reference to them as well. It would be a good idea to begin by looking at bridal magazines and websites to give you an idea of what is available as well as the styles you may be interested in looking at.
Decide on your style. Wedding dresses are made in several different shapes. Again, before you consider buying a dress, it would make good sense to know what style will suit your body shape the best. It would be a good idea to consider the types of dresses you already own and which ones make you feel the most comfortable. Look at photos of different styles of dresses. Wedding message boards and forums and websites such as Pinterest are a great way to see photos of real women in dresses, rather than relying on touched up photos of professional models.
Some common types of wedding dress include:
- Ball gowns – generally look great on most body types, unless the bride is very short in which case it may overwhelm her figure.
- A-lines – have a fitted bodice and a gently flared skirt. Again, they suit most figures and are a good choice for women not completely confident with their lower body, but who don’t want to wear a ball gown.
- Empire waist – have a flowing skirt that falls from just beneath the breasts. They are a great choice for a casual non formal wedding, or for a tropical or beach wedding due to their light flowing fabric. They are also a great dress choice for pregnant brides as they provide extra room in the waist and are comfortable to wear.
Picture it. Image yourself on your wedding day. What are you wearing? What style is your gown? What fabric? Is it embroidered or beaded? What colour is it? There are so many choices and brides often find it very overwhelming looking at hundreds of different styles. So again, before you even start to try on dresses, envision how your dream dress will look. Look at photos in magazines or online, talk to friends and decide which dress will suit your particular shape. Then write down a quick description of what you’re looking to find. For example, “satin, cream, beaded, strapless, a-line style”. Now that you have a reference it will be a little easier to look for that particular type of dress.
Consider the circumstances. A wide variety of factors can affect what makes a particular dress appropriate to the occasion.
- Formal ceremonies usually call for floor length gowns and long trains, while informal ceremonies (especially destination weddings) are a great place to wear a shorter more casual gown.
- The weather can play a big part in the type of dress that you choose. If you're getting married in the winter, you may not want to wear a dress made of light or thin fabric. In the middle of summer a heavy satin dress may not be a good idea!
- Most traditional ceremonies will call for a white gown, however, in recent years more women are choosing dresses that best complement their skin tones or colours including red, pink, blue or even black. Pick the colour that you like best and that suits you best. After all it’s your day and your choice!
Decide your budget. When deciding on your budget, you don't need to set a very specific price at the beginning. Decide on a general price range such as $1000 - $1500 for example. Some experts suggest devoting 10% of the overall wedding budget to the bride's attire (the gown itself, as well as the veil, shoes, slip, jewellery etc).
The gown that late actress Elizabeth Taylor wore to marry Conrad Hilton Jr in 1950 was estimated to sell for between £30,000 and £50,000 by Christie's of London. The auction, however, exceeded its maximum estimated value by more than two and a half times.
The gown was designed by legendary costume designer Helen Rose for the then-18-year-old bride as a gift from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film studio under which Taylor was contracted, and was inspired by the wedding gown which the actress wore in the 1950 film "Father of the Bride".
It is estimated that the gown took fifteen seamstresses three months to complete, and is made of 25 yards of shell-white satin sprinkled with bugle beads and pearls, 15 yards of satin train, and an inbuilt corset which cinched Taylor's waist to a tiny 20 inches for the day. The matching veil is made of 10 yards of shimmering silk illusion net attached to a pearl-covered Juliet cap.
"The dress is inextricably tied to the Golden Age of Hollywood, as well as to the extraordinary life and career of the star who wore it," said Christie's director Nicolette Tomkinson. "Since it was unveiled, it has attained global appreciation, resulting in competitive bidding for it today."
Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Hilton Jr on their wedding day
- Image via Telegraph
It’s an age old tradition that the bride and groom exchange rings at a their ceremony to symbolise their love for each other, but now it seems as though rings are out and ring tattoos are in.
Ex X-Factor contestant Katie Waissel announced her engagement to model Brad Alphonso recently and tweeted a picture of their hands with a heart tattooed on their ring fingers. The tattoo trend is also being followed by tennis star Kim Clijsters, who revealed her ring tattoo at Wimbledon. Similarly, actress Billie Piper has her husband's name tattooed on her ring finger.
So why the sudden disinterest in wedding rings? More expensive, yes. The possiblilty of losing it, yes. But they are pain free!
While ring tattoos may seem like a good idea, and a much cheaper alternative to a traditional ring (with no chance of ever losing it!), they could potentially turn into a fad that will look quite unfashionable in years to come. Also, don't forget that tattoos are permanent, so think before you ink!
Bold fashion statement or bad idea - what do you think?
Katie Waissel and Brad Alphonso's ring tattoos
- photo via Steven Stone Jewellers
Kim Clijsters sports a "B" on her ring finger for her husband Brian Lynch
- photo via tennisforum
Kate Middleton's wedding dress has made the Royal Family a whopping £10 million in ticket sales, after becoming the main attraction of a Buckingham Palace exhibition last year.
Kate Middleton's Sarah Burton-designed Alexander McQueen wedding dress went on display for 73 days at Buckingham Palace and was seen by a total of 626,678 people, a figure Royal Collection director Jonathan Marsden called "unprecedented".
Visitors also got to see the Duchess's Robinson Pelham diamond earrings (a wedding day gift from her parents), as well as her handmade silk shoes, a replica of her wedding cake, and even the Cartier tiara she borrowed from the Queen.
The Queen famously described the headless mannequin that displayed the wedding dress as 'horrid', and 'very creepy' as she accompanied the Duchess on a private tour of the exhibition before its public opening.
We guess not everybody thought so!
Ever since Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got engaged in April, details of the upcoming nuptials have been kept very private, until now!
Angelina was in Bosnia yesterday at the 18th Sarajevo Film Festival, where she was honoured for her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, a love story set during the Bosnian war. She decided to use this opportunity to step out for the first time at a public event wearing the $500,000 tablet-shaped engagement ring custom designed by jeweler Robert Procrop and Brad Pitt.
What do you think of her engagement ring?