Carolina Bride

April 1, 2010

Finding the perfect gown

Because you don't want to settle for less than exactly what you want.

For a dress as important as your wedding gown, you want to do all you can to find exactly what you want. At a full-service bridal salon, you can expect to find a good selection of quality gowns, along with a full line of accessories, including veils, shoes, jewelry – even guest books and other incidentals – all guaranteed in case there is a problem. Seamstresses are available to do alterations on site, and your dress will be pressed at least once before the day of your wedding. Store consultants will give you personal attention and can advise you not only on your own gown, but also on bridesmaids’ dresses and other details.

Here are some helpful hints as you start the quest for your dream dress:

Don’t shop yourself into confusion. While you will want to try on several different styles of dresses, don’t try on every gown in town. If you try on a dress and you think it’s beautiful, then buy it. Consider shopping on your own – at least initially. Later, you can show your mom or best friend your two favorite dresses and see what they think. Wear the proper undergarments and shoes when trying on gowns. Bring a strapless bra, petticoat and heels when you shop. Ask if your dress can be customized. For example, some dresses can be ordered with a different sleeve or train. Expect alterations. They are almost always necessary and there is usually an additional charge. Consider your budget. Wedding dresses in the greater Charlotte area vary from several hundred dollars to several thousand. The fabric, ornamentation and designer all affect the price. Ask your bridal consultant about samples and discontinued styles. They can be wonderful bargains for a fraction of the cost. Remember, you alone will wear this dress. You have to look good in it and have confidence that you look good in it.

Finally, be happy with your selection. When you find “the” gown, you’ll know it – don’t settle for less or clutter your mind with second thoughts.

Want a custom-made gown? For a truly one-of-a-kind gown, a couturier is the way to go. They will take the time to talk with you about the style you have in mind, and can suggest fabrics and detailing that will work best to realize the gown you envision. You might want to bring photos – or sketches – of gowns that you’ve seen and like. But start your search early. Skilled dressmakers may be booked well over a year in advance.

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