How About Designing Your Own Wedding Dress?
By Richard Keir
As you probably have begun to realize, planning a wedding is both exciting and often more than a little nerve-wracking. Preparing for a ceremony as special as a wedding is plenty of cause for excitement and anticipation. However, there is so much to do and, most likely, since you'll want it to all go perfectly that's plenty of cause for anxiety and stressed nerves. And when you consider that it isn't the kind of thing we do on a regular basis, nor something that we normally have any training for, you need to ease up a little on the quest for perfection and try to focus on the excitement.
Your wedding dress is likely to be the most significant component of the wedding ceremony. Everyone's eyes will be on the bride. Whatever style of wedding you settle on, you'll find that there's a lot of traditions that relate to the wedding ceremony - even with some of the more unusual themed weddings. Still, there is room for you to add your own special touches - to make your wedding uniquely your own.
If you've never thought about actually designing your own wedding dress, you should give it some thought. If you've priced wedding dresses, you'll be aware that even low-end brands may cost over 5 or 6 hundred dollars. Dresses sold by bridal shops tend to include a lot of overhead and additional costs which you can avoid by designing your own wedding dress. If you have a friend or relative who is well-skilled in sewing, you can save even more money. One of the greatest benefits of designing your own wedding dress is that you will end up with a true one of a kind, a wedding dress no one else owns.
One caution - before you start designing be certain that you have or can find a person with the needed skills to actually create your wedding dress from your designs and ideas. This is not something you can wait until the last minute to do. You'll need to spend some significant time working with this person - well in advance of the wedding - so make sure of both the person's skills and availability.
A good place to start generating ideas for your wedding dress design is to consider the theme of the wedding and when and where it'll be held. Is it going to be a summer wedding? A winter wedding? Will it be outdoors or indoors? Will the reception be indoors or outdoors? What special characteristics does the location have? This is particularly important for an outdoor wedding since the answers can have a significant bearing on the style of wedding dress you design. As an example, an outdoor wedding in Texas in the month of August requires a wedding dress design that will not leave you soaked in perspiration. You should also consider how formal or informal the wedding ceremony itself will be.
If you don't already have some ideas for a design, a good place to start may be with bridal magazines, wedding dress catalogs and even on-line bridal shops. All these can be good sources for ideas to use in designing your own wedding dress.
While you are always free to design your wedding dress to reflect your personal style, most likely you'll want to follow one of the standard shapes generally used for wedding dresses:
A-line - Empire - Straight - Ball Gown - Mermaid - Strapless.
The shape of your body is an important factor in choosing a wedding dress shape that is most appropriate for you. If you have a full figure, or what is considered a "pear" shape, an A-line style dress may work best for you. A dress with this style accents the top-half of the body which is smaller while concealing a larger bottom half.
Not many women tend to opt for a straight wedding dress, including women with coke-bottle figures for whom this style of wedding dress was designed.
If neither of these styles seems to suit you, then a ball gown may be a good choice. This style of wedding dress has a snugger fit at the waist with a somewhat exaggerated full skirt.
A strapless style can be integrated with several shapes. The so-called mermaid style tends to be somewhat uncomfortable and not particularly popular. If you feel uncertain about what shape may work best for you, you can always visit a bridal shop and try on several styles to find the one that appeals most to you.
Once you have chosen the shape, design and style for your wedding dress, you are ready to consider the type of material. Silk and linen are both commonly used in creating wedding dresses. Both can be fairly costly and linen, in particular, tends to be quite delicate and require considerable care when putting the wedding dress together. There are also blended materials which use silk or linen along with other man-made materials allowing the creation of a fabric which is both beautiful and substantially easier to work with.
Once you've decided on the shape and design, and chosen the fabric, it's time to get together with the individual who will be making the wedding dress for and begin bringing the wedding dress of your dreams out of your dreams and into reality.