Attire for the BrideBUSTLING: A bustling is the padding in one's slip used to puff out the dress. In Victorian days, this puff was usually only in the back. A bustle involves looping up the train (with loops or hook and eyes on the dress) so that it is off the floor and attached to the top of the skirt portion of the dress. Make sure bustle fasteners are very secure. An alternative to the bustle is a wrist attachment which is used to keep the train up and off of the ground. Another alternative is to get a wedding gown with a detachable train. This eliminates the extra weight of the train which can feel heavy. If you're making your own dress/bustle, a good reference is Singer's book Sewing for Special Occasions (it has detailed instructions for all the little details in making a bridal gown, including 2 types of bustling).
CRINOLINES AND HOOP SKIRTS: Should I wear a crinoline or hoop skirt underneath my wedding dress? Which one you chose depends a lot on your dress and personal taste. You must consider how much pouf you need/want and how heavy the skirt material is. Hoops tend to do a good job with heavier, fuller skirts because they are more rigid. However, the hoops may show through your skirt or stand out in such a way that it looks funny. You could of course wear a crinoline over the hoop slip to alleviate this problem, although this can result in a LOT of layers. If you go with a crinoline, choose one that's lined inside so you don't have itchy tulle on your legs. Hang it upside down to keep it full prior the your wedding day, or lay it on the ground with the layers of tulle spread out (in a circle). If you plan on making your own, check out KALDesign's Petticoat Page (Fast & Easy Petticoat).
DRESS: Before starting to try on wedding gowns, you may want to visit a dry cleaners. Ask them what to watch out for in poorly-made gowns; they may even be able to show you some wedding gowns that were waiting to be cleaned. They could then explain the differences between a custom-made, a poorly-made, and a good-quality dress, side by side!
You don't have to buy a dress full price. You can find one you want on sale. Look in newspapers for Going Out of Business Sales for the best deals.
Have someone in the back of the church (such as the Mistress of Ceremonies) fluff your train (as you turn to enter sanctuary) so that it looks nice as you go down the aisle.
To get a quote on a dress you've seen in a magazine or store, you can send email to the Internet Bridal Gown Ordering Center for dress quotes. Or visit Bridal Gown Search to view gowns or get info on style number, prices, fabric, etc. Bridal Mag lets you view bridal gowns as well.
If you are making your wedding dress, check out KALDesign's Fabric Page (definitions/descriptions of fabrics/laces used in bridal wear), Beading Page (Embellishing with Beads), or Custom Made (page for info on having your gown custom made). Or buy a copy of Singer's book Sewing for Special Occasions. For a list of wedding gown/bridesmaid dress patterns, visit Dorothea M. Rovner's (email@example.com) Pattern Numbers for Wedding Garments.
One idea to put your wedding dress on again after your wedding day is to try it on each anniversary and spend a special evening at home with your husband. Or try it on for the kids and give a "fashion show" with both parents telling about the wedding. This could be a wonderful tradition!
GLOVES: If you decide to wear gloves with your wedding dress, slit the ring finger of the glove at the seam so you can pull it back and out of the way for the ring. You can wear the gloves throughout the reception if you want, except while eating. After the wedding, the glove can easily be resewn.
IVORY DRESSES: If you decide to or are thinking of wearing an ivory/off-white wedding dress, don't despair! Many first-time brides wear ivory or off-white dresses (the tradition of pure-white dresses is waning). However, you may wonder how this choice effects other decisions pertaining to your wedding day:
GOING AWAY DRESS: At one time, it was customary for the bride and groom to leave the reception for the honeymoon right away. The bride would change into her traveling clothes, and leave her dress with her mother to get later. Since many couples wait till later in the day or possibly the next day to leave for the honeymoon, many brides don't bother going through the trouble to change into another outfit. Plus, I'm sure the groom would love to whisk away the bride in her wedding gown!
GOWN PRESERVATION: The proper way to preserve your wedding gown is a highly confusing topic unfortunately. It seems that most everyone agrees that you should at least have your dress dry-cleaned after the wedding. Make sure you take your gown to a reputable place that specializes in cleaning wedding dresses (or a least frequently cleans them). Here are some facts about preserving your gown:
SHOES: Think comfort!! More variety in style can be found in the traditional shoes such as those by Dyeables, although they are often not the most comfortable. If you want to wear flats or ballet slippers on your wedding day, here are some suggestions/ideas:
VEILS: Veils come in many forms: headband, barrette, comb, hats, etc. You can have a veil either with or without the blusher (the part which is worn in front over the eyes at the beginning of the wedding ceremony). Some veils even look good both ways (with the blusher in front or in back). Not everyone wears a blusher these days -- it's up to you! For some hints on choosing a bridal veil, check out the information from Kristen Letourneau's DesignsByK page. To save money, find a veil you like and see if you or a friend can make it. They can usually be made for $20-$50. And if your veil has a piece that hangs over your face, make sure the back and front pieces come together to make a complete circle around your shoulders.
Attire for the GroomThe groom should try to coordinate his tuxedo with the colors the bride is wearing, and to some degree to what the bridesmaids are wearing. This is NOT to say he has to pick his colors after the bride and bridesmaid colors have been chosen. Obvious clashing should be avoided, and this is generally quite simple to accomplish. (i.e. if the bride wants to wear an ivory dress and the groom wants to wear an all-white tuxedo, they should discuss it first). The most typical colors are all black and white or all gray and white. In addition to color, there are all sorts of "rules," grooms, on what style tuxedo you should wear depending on the time of day and formality of the wedding. In general, select the tux you love, not what etiquette says. It doesn't matter these days. For example, if you get married in the morning you're supposed to wear a morning suit which many grooms dislike (ask the tux shop what this looks like). In addition, you're not supposed to wear tails unless it's very formal and in the evening. If you want tails and you're getting married at 11 am it's okay to wear tails. Whatever you choose, it's important you're happy with it and the bride will think you look incredible regardless! Reserve all formalwear for the men early, especially if it is during Prom season for example -- 3 months in advance should suffice. It is also imperative that the groom and groomsmen pick-up their outfits early the day before the wedding and try them on in the shop to be sure that the fit is OK (check sleeve and trouser lengths). Also ensure that the formalwear is of recent vintage -- some shops might try to use older stock that has outlived its usefulness.
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