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Wedding Gown Shopping Tips: Choose The Perfect Dress, Not The Perfect Mess

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When you've tried on endless dresses and find The Dress,  you'll be excited and relieved. Of course, you want your dress to make you look amazing, but there is more to a wedding dress than how well it shows off your curves. Here are some small things that many brides may not think about that could be the difference between a perfect dress and a perfect nightmare on the big day.

The Fabric

Lace, flowing silk chiffon, and layers of light organza are all part of the current trends in wedding dresses. However, buying a dress in a certain fabric can mean some uncomfortable realties for you. For example:

  • sleeves trimmed in lace may look bohemian, but they can also become irritating to the skin when you move your arms. You may not notice this in the bridal shop, but after wearing your dress for a few hours, you'll find you're scratching at your arms. If you must get lace sleeves, make sure the lace is finished with a smooth edge, because some styles of french lace are finished with lashes of thread for increased elegance. 
  • a heavily beaded dress needs a heavy style of fabric, boning, and lining in order to prevent the beading from creating runs or drooping. Beading looks great in photos, but if you're getting married in the summertime, you'll find a beaded bodice hot, especially for outdoor pictures and receptions.
  • lighter fabrics are more likely to cling to your body. You may love the Greek goddess look of a draping organza, but this fabric is more likely to cling to the legs and is more prone to static. If you love the dress but hate the cling factor, consider buying a slip in a heavy fabric that will keep the lighter material from settling on your skin.

The Hassle

Do you love the look of all those little buttons coming up the back? Can you see you see yourself walking up the aisle with a full-length chapel train? These are gorgeous additions to any gown design, but you have to be prepared for the extra work that they will take. When buying a wedding dress:

  • make sure there is an easy way to bustle the train. You'll need to get around and your don't want your dress to be dragging in the dirt. The bustle should be simple enough that one person in your wedding party can put it up and down in a few seconds. If the dress you buy does not have a bustle installed, be sure to add that to your list of needed alterations. 
  • consider a zipper closure with faux buttons. Getting into and out of your dress can take a while if those little buttons actually need to be hooked through the loops. Also, lace up dresses require the experience and dedication of a mother or bridesmaid, so make sure you leave enough time. A well-incorporated zipper closure can be virtually invisible on the back of dress, so don't shy away from zippers-- they are definitely easiest for you.
  • pay attention to how easily you can move and walk in the dress. Can you sit down? Pose for pictures? Mermaid dresses show off a figure beautifully, but they can hinder movement if they are tight. When trying on a dress, check to see if you can sit and stand without help. Also, consider how easy it will be for you to go to the restroom alone.

Your perfect dress should be perfect in every way. A beautiful gown should not become a beautiful nuisance. With some of the above tips in mind, you'll be able to narrow down your search for The Dress even more exactly. 

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