A “trunk show” is a special event in which designers present their latest collection of wedding gowns to brides. Most bridal salons only carry select gowns from each designer year round, therefore a trunk show is an excellent opportunity for brides to see an entire collection of gowns from a single designer. In many cases it allows brides to preview and/or purchase brand new gowns before they are made available in stores. On occasion, the designer or a representative from the label will be present to answer questions regarding customizations, explain the inspiration behind their designs and offer style advice.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for a gown is to keep an open mind and try on a variety of styles and silhouettes. In the end, you want to feel beautiful and comfortable.
Here are some general guidelines to help you select the perfect gown for you.
- If you have an hourglass or “curvy” figure, an A-line gown with a dropped waist and a sweetheart neckline is the perfect formula to flatter your figure. This shape will beautifully show off your waist and chest.
- If you are petite, you’ll want to keep it simple by wearing a stunning sheath or modified A-line gown. Your small frame can get lost in a larger, more elaborate gown.
- If you are pear shaped, you’ll want to stay away from sheath gowns and go for a gown that focuses on the top half of your body, such as a strapless ball gown or an empire waist gown.
- If you have a short waist, choose a gown that will make your body appear longer. Something fitted through the bodice, such as a dropped-waist silhouette will look gorgeous on you.
- If you have a voluptuous figure, try an A-line dress which is the easiest silhouette for most women to wear. You also have an option of a ball gown which brings the attention away from your lower half. Don’t be afraid to try a strapless dress, with the correct undergarments, you will look fabulous!
- If your waist is undefined, try an Empire-waist gown, which flows from just under the bust all the way to the floor. This elongates your body and gives the appearance of a long and lean figure.
- If you are tall and thin, a ball gown will add femininity and shape to your slight figure.
- If you are short and thin, a sheath gown will be just the right dress for you.
Have fun and go with the dress you love!
Next to the wedding dress, the veil is considered by many to be the most important part of the bridal attire. Generally, the style of your dress dictates the type of veil you should wear, so finding the perfect gown should be your first step. There are several lengths and styles of veils, so here are some tips on choosing the right veil for you.
- Cage – A cage or birdcage veil is the shortest of all veils, measuring just long enough to cover the face. This style of veil is made of netting rather than the traditional fine-mesh veil fabrics. This is an elegant and glamorous look for the modern bride and pairs nicely with a simpler silhouette such as a sheath gown.
- Flyaway – A Flyaway veil is very short, hitting just above the shoulders. This style is most appropriate for daytime weddings and looks best with a simple gown, a shorter dress such as cocktail or tea length, or a wedding suit. This veil is a fun alternative to the long, traditional veils.
- Elbow-length – An Elbow-length veil, as the name implies, reaches just to the elbow. It’s a simple style that can work with most wedding gowns. However, if you are trying to achieve a very formal look, a longer veil is more appropriate.
- Fingertip – A Fingertip veil reaches the fingertips when the arms lie straight along one’s sides. This length is a perfect in-between length – it’s more formal than shorter styles but less dressy and dramatic than longer styles.
- Cathedral – A Cathedral veil is a floor length veil worn with formal wedding gowns. The veil should extend at least six inches past the train of the gown. This look is sophisticated and beautiful and a perfect complement to a ball gown.
- Chapel – A Chapel veil is the longest style, reaching to the floor and extending up to three feet past the hem of the dress. The length of this style creates a gorgeous and dramatic look.
- Mantilla – A Mantilla is a long, Spanish-style circular piece of lace that frames the face. This type of veil is usually made of all lace or of tulle that has a lace edge all the way around it. This is a very romantic statement.
- Blusher – A blusher is the part of the veil that covers the face during the first part of the ceremony and is swept back either by the father of the bride as he gives her away, or later by the groom before the kiss-the-bride moment. A blusher can be worn with any style or length of veil. It should fall between the bottom of the neck and the bust.
- Double Tiered – A Double Tiered veil is simply a veil of two layers, with one generally being longer than the other. One benefit of a tiered veil is that it allows the bride to remove the longer layer after the ceremony while keeping the shorter layer on.
Although there are a few general guidelines to follow when selecting your bridal jewelry, picking items that make you feel beautiful, comfortable and reflect your personal style should be your first priority, even if it means “breaking the rules”.
While pearls and diamonds are traditional wedding gems, vintage crystals or rhinestones are beautiful alternatives. Additionally, incorporating color into your wedding jewelry is a wonderful way to express your unique style. Pale pink, soft yellow and light blue are great choices.
Your jewelry should reflect the type of wedding you are having. If you are having a small, informal wedding, such as a daytime affair, keep your jewelry simple. If you are having a large, formal wedding, opt for more detailed and elaborate jewelry.
Make sure your jewelry complements the neckline of your gown. If your dress is strapless or has a low neckline, this is a perfect opportunity to showcase a fabulous necklace and earrings. If you are wearing a high neckline, forego the necklace and focus on elaborate earrings instead.
Notes About Necklaces
There are several lengths of necklaces to choose from. Below are a few tips to help you pick the length that most flatters your gown.
- The Choker is one to three strands worn close around the neck and works well with a jewel or bateau neckline. A choker can get lost if too much skin is showing.
- The Collar is made up of three or more strands that fit securely around the middle neck. This Victorian style looks lovely with a plunging or strapless neckline.
- The Princess falls below the hollow of the neck and is perfect for a pendant. This style is most often 16″ and looks great with almost every bridal gown neckline, except a high neckline. If your dress is strapless, this is a great option.
- The Matinee is longer than the Princess but shorter than the Opera. This style hits the top of the bust and looks great with a bateau, jewel, or a lower neckline. It is important the necklace does not hit the top of the dress.
- The Opera is a long single strand that falls below the bust and looks classic with a very high neckline.