1) Wedding Gowns of Today
Listed below are traditional guidelines to help you understand what was customarily appropriate for wedding gowns and attire. What is most important today, however, is that after reviewing the list you select the gown that you want and in which you feel most comfortable.
2) Traditional Style Guidelines
Season, location, and religious or local customs often dictate the fabrics you will select for your wedding gown. If season and location are the prime concern, in fall and winter you might choose crepe, taffeta, satin, brocade, velvet, or peau de soie. In the spring and summer months you will feel more comfortable in silk, chiffon, lace, linen, pique, eyelet, lightweight satin, cotton, or chintz. If ethnic custom is most important to you, you may choose whatever is traditional an Indian sari, a Japanese kimono, or a traditional red Chinese wedding dress, for example.
3) Nontraditional Style Guidelines
Here you are free to do whatever you choose as long as it is agreeable to both you and the groom, in keeping with the theme of the festivities, and done in good taste. You may choose anything from cowboy boots and a western shirt to an antique lace gown with brocade satin shoes.
4) Very Formal Wedding Attire Guidelines
Gowns are usually floor length in formal satin, lace, or peau de soie with cathedral or chapel-length trains. Veils are full length, and headpieces are decorated with lace, beading, or flowers. Bouquets are often large and elaborate. Shoes can be either unadorned satin dyed to match your gown or elaborately decorated with beads and lace. Long gloves are often worn to complement short sleeved or sleeveless gowns. Jewelry is optional but, if worn, should be classically simple and of heirloom quality, such as a single pendant or a string of pearls.
5) Formal Wedding Attire Guidelines
Gowns are a little less elaborate; they are floor length with chapel length or sweeping trains. A fingertip length veil, decorated head piece or hat should be worn. With short sleeves, if gloves are worn, they should be white kid, lace, or matching fabric. Bouquets are often small but can range from the very simple to the very ornate. Shoes and other accessories follow those of the very formal style.
6) Semi-Formal Wedding Attire Guidelines
A simple, floor length gown, usually without a train, or an elaborate afternoon style dress is most often worn. Veils are short with street length dresses, longer with floor length, or any style of hair piece is appropriate. Bouquets and other accessories are understated and simple.
7) Informal Wedding Attire Guidelines
Dresses are street length and appropriate to the season and style of the festivities and are usually worn without a veil. Bouquets or corsages are often carried or worn, and all other accessories are more of an everyday nature.
8) How You Both Will Be Attired
After deciding the style of the wedding festivities, you and your fiancé will need to come to an agreement on how you both will be attired in relation to the wedding style you have selected and the budget you have arrived upon for such attire. Your wardrobe will depend somewhat on how the groom pictures himself dressed and how important the wedding attire is in the overall picture of the wedding festivities. Remember that you not only need to buy your dress, but must also budget money for a veil and other accessories. Hosiery, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie can total hundreds of dollars if you are not careful and do not plan ahead. After you have thoroughly discussed the attire for the day and have come to a general understanding, you will want to begin to get serious about your gown and your accessories. You must feel like everything is just the way you have always wanted it to be in order for you to feel as beautiful as your family and friends will think you are.
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