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Friday, July 09, 2010

Weddings 101: A crash course in wedding & bridesmaid frocks- PART UN

I, like every girl, have been contemplating my wedding dress since I was the age of 5. As early as the 1st grade I often chopped up my Barbie's white gowns in order to test possible wedding day frocks. Nowadays, I drool over the awe-inspiring wedding gowns of designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang. And this might be a little too much information, but I definitely have spent a few Friday nights curled up watching repeats of TLC's Say Yes to The Dress. Naturally, I was completely excited when RemChic reader, Katy, asked for help with her own wedding plans!

Here's what she had to say...

Question: "I have been having the toughest time finding ANY dresses that I like for myself and my bridesmaids. I've looked at RemChic and really like the things that you put together and I would like your help if you have the time. I really like tea-length dresses since my wedding will be on the beach and I don't want to drag a train through the sand. I think the bridesmaids dresses should be the same length or shorter. I like semi-formal ones more than fancy expensive things...If you do get the time to look and you come across anything awesome, just let me know."

There are so many options out there it's really hard to decide where to begin. I'll be breaking this question down into a 3-part series:

will focus on brainstorming and making sure we have a clear idea of what type of wedding dress you are looking for. We will be assisting Katy in figuring this out, and consequently, she will be serving as a great example!
will focus on giving examples of how we can translate the information from our brainstorming session into bridal attire.

will focus exclusively on bridesmaid attire, and all of my examples will be catered to Katy's wedding.

The first (most important) aspect to consider is what your personal style is. This is a day where (like it or not) all eyes will be on you! You want your dress to reflect who you are as a lady, right?

There are a series of questions every bride-to-be should ask herself, so naturally I picked Katy's brain in regards to a number of aspects she should consider. Here are the guidelines. Katy's responses have been highlighted in light pink.

Exhibit A: Silhouette

This is the first place to start because shape will really help you find a starting point. I listed 4 different shapes for Katy to choose from based on the preliminary information she gave me. Of course, there are tons of silhouettes out there, but these four are fairly common and would work well considering Katy's circumstances.

Which silhouette do you prefer? 

a. Ball Gown: These have a full skirt and usually have layered skirting. They also generally have crinolines built in or a slip (that may or may not be a separate piece) that must be worn in order to support the shape of the gown. Ball gowns are also similar to a bell shape.

b. A-Line: This type of dress has a fitted bodice that is the most tight around the waist and then flairs gently downward to form an “A” shape. This is ideal if you want to cover the tummy or other lower body areas. A-lines are similar to ball gowns in that they both flare out; however, they aren’t as voluminous as ball gowns.

c. Sheaths: This dress is designed to fit the body snuggly. I would only recommend this dress if you are very comfortable with your figure. The material for these dresses is usually a silk and hardly ever contains elaborate embellishments, although minimum beading and/or lace overlays can be found with extra hunting.

d. Empire Waist: This is most similar to A-line; however, the tightest part of the body is actually the bustline, not the waist. Empire waist dresses are made of light, flowy fabric.

Exhibit B: Embellishments and Styling

After you have considered the foundational element (shape) then start to think about what kind of detailing you'd like to see on your dress. I generated a list for Katy to choose from, but again, the possibilities are endless.

Which of the following would you consider on your dress?

a. Bows
b. Ruffles
c. Lace
d. Beading
e. Pleating
f. Floral Embellishments
g. Ribbon
h. Ruching
i. Draping
j. Asymmetrical/One Shoulder
k. Strapless
l. Halter
m. Cap Sleeve
n. Backless
o. V-neck Back
p. Cut-out Back
q. Corset Back

Exhibit B: Capture Your Style Preferences

No one is a cookie cutter bride! Ask yourself what kinds of specifics you want when dress hunting. Having a list of 5 or so words and phrases will help you tell personnel at the bridal boutiques what you are looking for. You can also stop and ask yourself "Is this dress (insert word or phrase here)," which is helpful when making wise shopping decisions.

Please list 5 adjectives that you feel describe your style and/or the style of your wedding dress.

 Here are Katy's answers:
1. Flowy
2. Semi-formal (Beach Style)
3. Tea-Length
4. Simple, but with one or two “pops” (like beading or flowers)
5. Fitting (not too, too puffy)

Exhibit C: Venue and Circumstance

Of course, you MUST think about where you are going to wear your dress, as well the other aspects that will make up your look, such as hair style and veil.  Here are some questions I asked Katy to consider:

Will you be wearing your dress for the ceremony and reception?

What kind of footwear will you be wearing?
During the sandy-ceremony, either flip-flops or bare-foot. After that, something cuter like wedges or a kitten heel (I can’t do three inchers unless it’s a wedge haha).

Do you plan on having a veil?

Will you be wearing your hair up, down, or half up?
I think I will either have my hair down or half up.

Exhibit D: Explore Other Resources

Beyond these preliminary questions, it can be beneficial (and fun) to try other bridal resources, such as one of the many wedding gown quizzes out there. I had Katy take one from TLC's Say Yes to The Dress. The link is below, as well as Katy's result.

Please take this quiz and enter your final results below.

Your style is: Casual

“Effortless, elegant and comfortable” describes your style. Your ideal wedding is one where everyone feels relaxed and happy, including yourself. Look for a simple, flowing dress with a flirtatious cut to match your refreshing style."

Stay tuned for PART DEUX where I will take all of this information and apply it! The hunt for Katy's wedding dress is on! In the mean time, if you have a question for RemChic you can...

1) E-mail me at info at remchic dot com
2) Become a fan of RemChic and ask via Facebook!


Katy said...


This is wonderful! I cannot wait for the second part. Thanks so much :)

Kristina said...

Of course! It's been fun researching and all haha

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