Wedding Dresses 101: Finding Your Fit

When shopping for your wedding dress, know that it may take some time—especially when it comes to finding the right fit for your body type. Some brides begin searching for their wedding dress for more than a year before the wedding. Others mistakenly wait until there are only two or three months left, only to discover how limited their options have become.

Most wedding planning bridal experts recommend you start choosing a wedding dress at least six months before the big day. After browsing all of the wedding dresses pictures available to you, you need time to visit bridal salons, try on different styles, select the dream wedding dress and make the necessary alterations. Here, we offer a list of top considerations for finding the right fit for your wedding dress.

1. Body Shape
The right wedding gown spotlights your face and waist and distracts from less-than-perfect aspects. The key to choosing a wedding dress is to make your figure look well-proportioned and properly balanced.
According to salon professionals, women’s bodies typically belong to one of four categories: hourglass, triangle, rectangle or inverse triangle. Which type you are depends on the relationship of your hips, waist and bosom.
Our gallery ofwedding dresses pictures offers many examples of these and other styles.

2. Waistline
Choosing a wedding dress will be different for brides who comprise the non-hourglass majority. Whatever your shape, the most important technical decision is what to do with your waist. You can go with your natural waistline, move the gown’s waist up or move it down. Each offers advantages, depending on your body type.

Top candidates for a high-waisted bridal gown are women with larger hips. By moving the waistline up, your hips are de-emphasized and you look slender. One common way to do this is an empire waistline. It’s placed between the natural waist and the brassiere line beneath your bosom.

Another possibility for those with a small waist but larger hips is the princess seam. This wedding gown design creates vertical lines that draw eyes upward while slenderizing the hips.

Brides with large busts are the best candidates for a lowered waistline. The most common is the Basque waist. This is placed lower than the natural waistline and comes to a point at the front. It’s often defined with cording or embroidery and helps slenderize most body types.
Browse our gallery ofwedding dresses pictures and see the differences in these styles.

3. Neckline
Your neckline will have a strong impact on your wedding day appearance. Brides with larger bosoms often select the sweetheart neckline. This curves down across the breasts and comes to a point at the cleavage. It makes your silhouette better proportioned.

“Queen Anne” necklines, which sit high on the neckline and often feature lace edging, are another popular option for bustier brides. Some drop into a sweetheart at the front.

Women with smaller busts often pick flattering square necklines. Another possibility is the spaghetti strap, which leaves your neckline unobstructed. Spaghetti straps and strapless designs are often less flattering on brides with larger bosoms.

When browsing the many wedding dresses pictures keep these details in mind as to how you want your pictures of a lifetime to look.

4. Pointedly petite

If all the wedding gowns you try on are too long in the bodice, refocus on petite sizes. It’s not your height or weight that determines whether you’re petite — it’s the distance from shoulders to waistline. Such petite styles are scaled-down. Bodices are shortened, while their skirts, trains and accessories are designed for smaller frames. Petite sizes can go as high as size 26.

Finding the right wedding dress to fit your body type requires time and attention. Just remember that the right dress is the one that makes you look and feel your best.

For more ideas browse our gallery of wedding dresses pictures.

Image courtesy of Chris Gillyard Photography.