Choosing Your Wedding Dress: What to Consider
This is the driving force behind almost every decision you will take during your wedding planning. For most brides, a perfect wedding dress is of the utmost importance. Some early birds even start looking at designs even before a proposal has occurred. Whatever the case is, it is important to do research on the cost of the type of dress you would want. If you have ample time to save towards your budget, then start as early as possible. Although you will probably wear this dress only once in your lifetime, and maybe even for that reason alone, you may want to splurge. Others prefer to find a dress they like, for the most affordable price they can get. In this case, consider purchasing second-hand or even renting. It is all about what works for you and what you are comfortable with.
Other clothing costs such as the cost of your traditional attire should be factored in. Buying and sewing kente for your traditional marriage can be quite expensive; even more so if you’re having your kente custom-made. If your plan is to have a second/reception dress on your wedding day, that is also expenditure that needs to be factored into your budget. These may go a long way to affect what you spend on your main wedding dress.
Ready-made or Tailor-made?
In choosing your wedding dress and design, it is important to consider which of the above options you are going for. Depending on your specifications, one can be equally as costly or as affordable as the other.
The pros of ready-made wedding dresses are convenience and style outcome. You already know what you are getting and don’t have to come up with an entirely new design. On the flip side, you get what you get. So it may be hard to find one you love because what you see may not be exactly what you want. These days however, it is possible to get a ready-made wedding dress that can be altered to your specifications, so you get the best of both worlds, at a higher cost however. Usually, bridal shops do not charge extra to make size alterations. Design alterations however, usually attract an additonal fee.
Although tailor-made clothing is very common in our part of the world, it wasn’t until recently that tailor-made wedding dresses became a ‘thing’. With a tailor-made dress, you can determine what you want your wedding dress to look like, and are almost always guaranteed that it will fit you right. You do however have to find a good tailor/seamstress/designer, the right fabric, and attend fittings till you get exactly what you want. Thus it can be time consuming and costly.
Body Type and Dress Style
We cannot stress enough the importance of these two factors. We all know of “someone” who wears clothes that do not fit their body type. Knowing what your body type is (curvy, petite, athletic, pear, hour glass, busty, inverted triangle), and which styles (ball gown, mermaid, A-line, etc) fit you best, can make your beautiful wedding dress look exquisite. The right wedding dress style/design usually not only flatters your body type/shape, but also enhances your features appropriately. It can create the illusion of features you may lack, e.g., curves, and/or reduce the abundance of features you have, e.g., bust size.
There are other factors that should be considered when choosing one’s wedding dress. Some families or religions are quite conservative. In such cases, plunging necklines or backs may be a risky choice. It is good to know what your limits are before choosing a design, to avoid costly additions or alterations eventually. Hair style is another to consider. Certain hairstyles can either complement or rather take away from your look. Consider what an up-do versus cascading curls could do to your look. Furthermore, your wedding dress should complement your theme.
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