Your wedding gown is probably one of the first items you will purchase after becoming engaged. In fact, some women actually purchase thier wedding gown before they even get engaged. This is because many women have envisioned their wedding day and wedding gown for many years. Fairytale weddings, happy endings, and Cinderella ball gowns are bred into little girls from an early age. As an adult, you many have a more practical and realistic idea of the wedding you want. Nonetheless, Ever After Events is here to plan your Ever After Wedding in the heart of the great Smoky Mountains. As you venture off to find that magical dress, here are some terms and tips to consider.You will need to get familiar with wedding gown terminology and styles. Here are some general guidelines to help you get started.
A silhouette refers to the outer shape of the garment. There are five basic wedding gown silhouettes outlined below. The silhouette you choose should be based on your personal preferences as well as your specific body type.
The most versatile and flattering of all the wedding dress styles, it is fitted around the bodice as it flares out into an "A" shape as it falls to the ground.
This style is wildly popular as it is flattering to just about anyone, no matter what your body type. For the pear shaped figures, it's a no brainer because it hugs the natural curves of your upper body, thus accentuating the top half of the body while camouflaging the lower half.
Skirts can range from slim A-lines to full A-lines, but the key is that they begin to flare right below your natural waist, hiding a heavier bottom. The A-Line/Princess consistently flatters most full figured brides. Also heavier fabrics in this style are especially flattering on the fuller figured brides because they don't cling.
This style can also create the illusion of height on a shorter body, by elongating the torso thanks to no waist seam. It hugs the natural curves of your upper body, while depending on the gown's fabric, this style can be suitable for ballroom or backyard. No wonder this is the most popular wedding dress style today.
Look and feel like a real life Disney princess with a wedding ball gown. The tulle-layered skirt gives that extra poof needed to hide the body from waist down. If you’re on the petite side, skip this option since too much poof might just make you look smaller than you actually are. These gowns normally quite formal, reminding you of Cinderella. The bodice is fitted with a very full skirt. Ball gowns can be long-sleeved, sleeveless or anywhere in between. The full skirt of a ball gown silhouette can hide large hips and thighs.
If you have larger breasts, the ball gown style will help create the hourglass look since the waistline is emphasized due to the fitted bustline and natural, dropped or basque waistline. This wedding dress style typically doesn't feature a train.
With a high waist that starts just beneath a fitted bustline while falling with a slight flare, the skirt style can flow freely or be a bit more fitted depending on what is most flattering to your particular body shape. This style is very flattering to those with thicker waists as it can sweep softly over your curves. You will usually see the empire waist style paired with a square neckline and wide straps or sleeves.
Like the A-line, the Empire Waist style is very versatile and can accommodate whatever level of formality your wedding is. While the empire style fits well on most body types, it's especially flattering for those brides with a smaller bust since it draws attention to the neckline.Empire gowns have a raised waistline that starts right under the
bust, flowing to a skirt that skims over the hips then flairs slightly
to the floor. This romantic silhouette is flattering to most body types
and is particularly flattering to small breasted women.
As the name indicates, the mermaid silhouette is contoured against the body then the gown flows out beginning around the knees. This is the sexiest of the styles. If you confident in your body, a mermaid dress can show off your curves.
The mermaid skirt has a timeless, elegant and romantic appeal that makes it an easy evening gown skirt style favorite. A number of brides choose this figure-hugging number for their wedding gowns. If you’re looking to show off your gorgeous hourglass figure, then go for this type of skirt style.
Simple, sleek and elegant, a Sheath Style wedding gown can fall nearlystraight down (sometimes referred to as "Column") from the neckline to the hem, or it can hug your curves, accentuating your torso, waist and hips.
Although flattering for several body types, depending on the fabric chosen, the Sheath or Column Silhouette may not allow much room for hiding certain problem areas, like a larger lower body. This silhouette also works very well for shorter brides.
However, choose your fabric carefully (heavier is less form fitting) this can be a stunning choice for your wedding. This is the most popular wedding dress style for beach weddings, as well as other destination weddings.
Tips For Curvier Brides
- Remember that keeping your wedding dress simple will be more flattering. Too much fuss and frill can make you appear there is more of you than there really is.
- Make sure you order and are fitted according to your proper measurements. A dress that is too snug will also make it seem that there is more of you.
- Beware of clingy fabrics such as chiffon and charmeuse as they highlight lumps and bumps. To avoid accentuating bulging areas, choose a substantial fabric such as shatung silk, taffeta or duchesse satin.
- Consider a corset to help minimize your entire torso. Very supportive bras work well too, but obviously only minimize one area versus a corset which can help minimize a lot more.
The length you select for your gown is determined primarily by the formality of your wedding. From floor-length which is most formal, to street-length which is most informal. Make sure you try your gown on with the shoes you will be wearing. Nothing is more annoying than catching your heel in your hem. Now, for some dress-length terminology:
Hem falls just past the knee. Some traditional brides may be shocked that street length wedding gowns are even an option. Street length wedding gowns are best used for informal events, or second weddings.
This type of wedding gown is very similar to a cocktail dress and is usually worn by slender brides not afraid to show a sexier side on their wedding day.
Intermission/ Tea LengthHem falls between the knees and ankle.
While there are many options for tea length dresses, they are not appropriate for every wedding. If your wedding is very formal, you may want to consider a gown that is floor length, perhaps with a train. A tea length gown may be less desirable in colder climates or weddings taking place in the late fall or winter months when chilly weather makes a longer gown more comfortable.
There are many other types of weddings, however, that are perfectly fitted to the tea length dress. While this length is less formal than a full length gown, it can still be very sophisticated and elegant. Depending on the materials and style, it can also be more casual and relaxed.
Wedding dresses in a tea length work well for:
- Outdoor weddings
- Garden weddings
- Spring and summer weddings
- Casual or informal weddings
- Less formal second weddings
- Beach weddings
On this type of wedding gown, the hem falls just to the ankles. This is a semi-formal length of gown and a popular choice for many brides. This type of gown does not normally have a train and is easy to wear with no bustling required. This lengh of gown is appropriate for indoor and outdoor weddings and works well with most body types.
The hem on this gown just barely touches the floor on all sides. A wonderful formal look that works well on both straight and full styles. Floor length gowns are said to be the most formal of all the gown lengths. Floor length wedding gowns are more traditional and are best suited for indoor weddings.
- 3/4 sleeves - End between the elbow and wrist. Bell - Long sleeves, flare out toward the wrist creating a bell shape.
- Cap - Rounded sleeves, just covering shoulders.
- Fitted point - Long, fitted sleeves that come to a point over the hand.
- Juliet - Long, fitted sleeves with puffy shoulders.
- Long sleeves - Extend to the wrist and are normally form-fitting.
- Off-the-shoulder Sleeves - Cover the upper part of the arm but leave the tops of shoulders exposed.
- Poet - Long sleeves, fitted to the elbow then flared.
- Pouf - Short sleeves, gathered to create a puffy look.
- Short sleeves - About the length of T-shirt sleeves.
- Sleeveless - Strapless with no sleeves.
- Spaghetti - Thin spaghetti straps with no sleeves.
The neckline you choose for your wedding gown usually depends on cleavage. Some brides want to show less cleavage while other brides want to show more. Although this decision is merely based on personal preference, I do encourage you to consider your venue. If your wedding is in a church or holy environment, a modest neckline may be a better selection.
- Bateau - Close to straight across from the tip of the shoulder. Gives plenty of coverage.
- Halter - Wraps around the back of the neck to create deep armholes. Often also a backless style, which is very sexy.
- High - Covers most of the neck. Creates a formal, somewhat stiff look.
- Jewel - Similar to that of a T-shirt. Creates a bustier look.
- Off-The-Shoulder - As the name indicates, the top of the shoulders are bare. Showcases your collarbone and shoulders.
- Portrait - A very wide scoop from the tip of one shoulder to the tip of the other.
- Scoop - Classic U-shaped neckline. Can be cut low for a sexier look.
- Square - Squared neckline, often associated with empire gowns.
- Strapless - Normally straight across. Not recommended for women with small busts.
- Sweetheart - Shaped like the top half of a heart. Emphasizes the cleavage.
- V-Neck - Dips in the front into a V-shape. Can be very deep.
The bodice refers to the portion of the dress between the neckline and skirt. The neckline and bodice usually work together to create the upper half of your wedding gown. Here a few of the most popular bodice types.
- Corset - A form fitting bodice with boning and lace-up closures.
- Halter - Sleeveless bodice that wraps around you neck, normally backless.
- Midriff - Fits very closely around the mid-section, accentuating your waist.
- Surplice - Sections of fabric cross wrap in the front or back.
- Tank - Sleeveless with wide armholes like tank top.
When we say wedding gown train, the image that comes to mind is that of a bride with a massive and long train trailing behind her as she makes her way down the aisle. If you’re hoping to find the right wedding train for your gown, keep in mind that wedding trains come in different lengths and styles.
The formality of your wedding should influence your decision to have a train more than any other factor. The length of your train should be consistent with the location and time of your wedding.
To help you decide on whether or not you should go for a train, here are the most popular train lengths and terms.
This train length is fit for royalty. Even the late and the great Princess Diana was required to wear a traditional royal train for her wedding with Prince Charles. The royal train, also known as the monarch train, is typically around nine feet long from the gown’s waistline. When it comes to ultra-formal weddings, you can’t go wrong with the royal train.
With a train this size, you will definitely need help making sure that you are not weighed down and that all that fabric is where it needs to be. Due to its regal presence, this type of train is only appropriate for the grandest of occasions. If you opt for the royal train, you will want to make sure the rest of your ceremony and reception does not pale in comparison.
The cathedral length train is another fabulous option for formal weddings. Falling seven to eight feet from the waist, this train length gives you a charming fairytale look. Most gowns today can come with removable or detachable trains to allow you better and freer movement at the reception. The cathedral train is perfect for a very formal and traditional bride who wants all eyes on her as she walks down the aisle
Probably the most common train on our list, the chapel length train provides you with an elegant appearance minus the mobility issues. The chapel length train is the happy medium between the simplicity of the brush and court trains, and the formality of the cathedral and royal trains. The short train falls around four feet from your gown’s waistline. It’s the best choice for semi-formal and even informal weddings.
The court train extends about three feet from the waist. This train can be used at most ceremonies as well, but may be a hassle at outdoor weddings, such as those held on grass or at the beach.
The brush train is the shortest of the train styles, apart from not having a train at all. It barely "brushes" the ground behind your dress, adding a modest amount of volume to the back of your dress. The brush train is the most versatile train because it can be worn at just about all types of ceremonies, from a spring garden wedding, to an evening event in the fall.
The Watteau train is characterized by the way the single panel attaches to the top of your dress, either at the shoulders or the upper back of the bodice. This train can be the same length as the rest of your gown so that it falls straight down to the ground, or it can extend out behind you for a more dramatic look. Since this type of train is not as common as the others, it can be adapted to fit many different occasions, depending on the way you choose to wear it. If you are having a destination wedding in the mountains, and wearing a slinky column dress, a sheer Watteau train would look beautiful by adding just a touch of formality to an otherwise casual look.
Your choice on whether or not you should go for a wedding gown train should be based on practicality as well as aesthetics. Although the wedding gown train is a perfect addition to numerous wedding gowns, remember that it’s more of a gown option than a gown requirement
The type of veil you choose should be based on the overall style and formaility of your wedding, gown, train, and neckline. All elements of your bridal attire must work together cohesively in order to give you the look of the fairytale princess bride. Here are some of the most common Veil types.
- Birdcage - Falls right below the chin, usually attached to a headpiece.
- Flyaway - Falls to the shoulder.
- Blusher - Worn over your face, about 28" long.
- Elbow - Falls to the elbow or waist.
- Fingertip - Falls to the finger tips or just below the waist.
- Ballet - Falls to the ankles.
- Chapel - Falls slightly longer than floor length.
- Cathedral - 9 feet or longer.
Before you venture out to the bridal shops, read over this list of fabrics. Many bridal shops offer a wide variety of colors, styles, and fabrics. A bridal shop consultant may refer to various fabrics which she feels may suit your body type the best. Being familiar with these terms is sure to make your day of fittings go smoothly.
- Brocade: Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs
- Charmeuse: lightweight, smooth, semi-lustrous satiny fabric.
- Chiffon: delicately sheer, a thin, transparent fabric of silk or rayon with a oft finish.
- Crepe: silk or rayon fabric made with crepe yarn, with a slight pebble like texture.
- Eyelet: open-weave embroidery.
- Linen: cloth made of flax. Great for its strength, liked for it's coolness and luster.
- Moire:silk tafetta, wave-patterned to glisten like water when illuminated.
- Organdy: sheer, transparent crisp silk or rayon fabric. Sometimes printed or embroidered.
- Organza: sheer, crisp fabric like chiffon, but with a stiff finish.
- Silk Gazar: a four-ply silk or man-made fiber. Rough in texture.
- Silk-faced satin: smooth, lustrous silk weave with a glossy face and dull back.
- Taffeta: crisp, smooth fabric with a small, crosswise rib.
- Tulle: fine, sheer, open-weave net in silk, nylon, or rayon, for skirts, veils.
- Voile: fine, soft sheer fabric, more like linen than cotton.
You may think that picking out your wedding dress is an easy affair, that all you have to do is try on a bunch of pretty dresses and pick the one that fits you best. Although you are going to have to try on a bunch of gowns, it’s not going to be an easy, breezy shopping experience. Picking your wedding gown can be one of the most frustrating and confusing experiences you’ll have to undergo. Call me today for more information on your perfect wedding gown. I can introduce you to many wedding gown vedors in the Smoky Mountain area who offer a wide selection of beautiful wedding dresses sure to meet your needs. Call me today!bodies. For brides who carry a little extra weight in the middle, empire or