You may love Halloween, but in your marriage, there will probably be only about 50 of them. Most of your marriage will be lived as yourself. So resist the overwhelming urge to go ghoulish for your wedding.
You and your beloved want to be married as yourselves, as openly and vulnerably as you can. Camp is fun. Camp it up for your reception if you want (although if you’ve just spent one of the most important half-hours of your lives looking fabulous, why change then?
Tip: You want your guests to dress up? Great. But you, make these promises with a straight (and unpainted!) face. Then next year when you’re looking for costumes, go as a bride and groom. Be the people you most loved being! (and get some use out of that wedding dress!
Neither snow nor sleet nor dark of night is going to keep a bride from making it to her wedding. But let’s be sensible here. (I know, I’m shocked to hear the Wedding Priestess utter the S word myself.
Winter’s coming and you’ve got to get to the church, club, restaurant. Odds are the weather will not be perfect and the ground will be messy, slippy, whatever.
I know you want to capture all those lovely pictures getting dressed at home. Once you do, take the dress off, put your sweats and your boots on (a perfect accompaniment to the veil) and get to the location without worrying about getting your hem wet, your shoes dirty or freezing.
Once you get that cold it’s hard to warm up. Brides who are freezing are NOT focusing on the wonder of marriage, they’re wondering if their feet will ever thaw out.
Tip: There’s a cute saying for every kind of weather, but mostly they were just covering bases. Dress warmly to get where you need to go and then slip into your dress. You’ve got help. Stay warm and clean! And let a smile be your umbrella on your wedding day! And don’t forget your shawl!
Fall is a wonderful time for a wedding but it can be chilly. Wedding and bridesmaids dresses are rarely built for the cold. Here’s a piece of tull to slip on darling isn’t exactly going to help ward off the weather.
And if you’re nervous, you’re often colder.
Answer? Shawls. Pashminas, fake fur, fleece, wool jersey. cuddle up. you’ll be so glad you did!
Tip: Get an extra length of your wedding dress material, find some warm and lovely lining and have a dressmaker sew a shawl. it can be a simple rectangle, but oh, so warm.
Don’t overlook the simple but elegant solution: #10. Make it: I had friend do this for me. The dress was perfect for me and I looked stunning. Now, I know a lot of people so my odds are greater of knowing someone. But if I could find someone in nowhere Pennsylvania who did not just sewing, but design, my guess is you might too! And with a little work on Google or even a (gasp) phonebook, you could find someone.
Tip: What’s great about this is that you get to select the fabrics and the pattern. So everything is just perfect. And sometimes, if you do it with a friend, it’s an incredible amount of fun!
The New and Different #9. Rented: Yep. Renting. It’s not just for tuxes anymore. And they have to dry clean it! Some people are just too sentimental for this.
Tip: go read Elizabeth Oake’s article on this!
The Daring #8: Shared: I’ve only found this once. But if I’ve encountered it, it’s been done before and since. Someone actually advertised and found someone her own size and taste and they bought a gown together. They didn’t know one another and were getting married a few months apart. Could have been tragic, if bride number one had had spaghetti for her wedding meal, but bride number two had another option up her sleeve if that tanked! More common is someone you know has a dress, and is willing to lend it to you.
Tip: Think outside the box here. There are lots of ways to share dresses with people if you just think a bit about it! This makes the entire experience much cheaper!
The Very Fun and Meaningful #7: Heritage: Is there a dress in your family that you would like to wear? You can wear it as is, or modernize it (if that’s allowed!). There is something wonderful about wearing a dress with history.
Tip: Talk to your family. Is there someone (at least vaguely shaped like you) who had a memorable and wonderful dress? Is there a tradition in your family of wearing someone else’s dress? Do you want to start one? You’re going to have to pay for cleaning and alterations, but this might be just the ticket!
Fabulous Way #6 to choose a wedding gown:
Go Vintage: You can look in specialty boutiques or on line. If there’s a certain look you’ve always wanted, you just have to start looking for the silhouette! You might want to look in someone’s attic!
Tip: If there’s an era and its clothing that make your heart beat faster, go find yourself a gown from that time. If you’re a diligent on-line kinda girl this will be a great way to search. Some of us (ahem) are not. And we’ll do better befriending the owner of a vintage store who might be able to help us find the perfect gown!
Tip #5. Resale: On line and in stores. Someone I know got the most amazing dress from, are you ready for this, the Salvation Army. She had to have it cut down and even had it remade, just slightly. She paid $200 for a name brand dress and $150 for alterations. People were gaga! Nope, she wasn’t too proud! BravoBride.com is doing some really interesting sales on line.
Tip: You need to be an incredibly diligent shopper if you want to do this… but you can do it! And sometimes it’s worth it to step outside your comfort zone for the savings. And you can probably find a friend to help you. Friends actually like helping you with your wedding. Some people like planning weddings! Go figure!
Here’s Tip #4 for choosing the right dress to make you look fabulous!
4. Wedding Warehouses: If you’ve got ADHD or are a serious extrovert, avoid this sensory overload. Or go with a bevy of friends who will bring dresses to your dressing rooms. Major overstimulation! But a good thing if you don’t know whether you want a sheath or a fluffy tulle skirt! Try on this. Hold this up. What’s the right shape for your shape? Did you want white or ivory or champagne or light pink? What makes your skin sizzle? If you wanted hot pink or dark blue, you’re better off looking at the bridesmaids’ dresses!
Tip: Don’t forget to look in the discount section! Someone might have returned the perfect dress and now it’s sitting there waiting for you at a fraction of the price!