Getting Dressed On Your Wedding Day

You have probably been able to get dressed all by yourself since you were about 6 years old. Maybe back then you had a little trouble with the shoe laces but, other than that, getting dressed has pretty much been a solo act for the remainder of your life… then comes your wedding day.

Not so long ago, brides, grooms and the wedding party ( including parents) got dressed at their individual homes,  with the photographer snapping pictures throughout  the process to show the transformation for regular citizen to bride (or groom). I’m sure this  still takes place. However,one of the best decisions you can make  is  arrangements to prepare for your wedding on site. Why? I’m glad you asked!

Three compelling reasons to get dressed at the venue and not at home:

#1) Weather. Weather can be your worst nightmare for three reasons: Cold, rain and humidity. In cold temperatures, you will have to purchase something fashionable and attractive to go over the gown so you don’t freeze to death on the way there. Rain will mess up not only your gown but, also your hair, makeup and any chance you have for looking your best. Remember last weekend when buckets of rain were pouring down from the sky? Humidity can frizz or flatten, expand or squash … almost every hair type falls prey to humidity. It will also cause your gown to wrinkle easily since there is more moisture in the air.

#2) Wrinkles. Speaking of wrinkles, the men will get wrinkled pants from sitting, the bridesmaids gowns will most likely need to be re-steamed and any silk bridal gown will be a wrinkled mess after traveling even a short distance after being seated in a vehicle… even for a short time.

#3) Time– Getting ready at home provides you with a false sense of time; you are never in a hurry until you realize you are late. Getting ready at the church or ceremony site will keep you mindful that the clock is ticking.

Instead of worrying about these inconveniences, plan on getting dressed at the place where the ceremony will occur.

-Make arrangements in advance for a dressing area that is spacious and  have refreshments on hand.

-Have your hair and makeup done prior to getting dressed.

– Allow extra time for conditions like humidity which may require additional products for your hair and makeup.

-Rent, borrow or buy a steamer  to do touch ups on gowns and tuxedos. An iron will work on some fabrics but gowns with pickup skirts and layers of tulle will need to be steamed.

– Hire or appoint someone as your dresser. If your bridal salon offers this service, it is well worth it. They can steam, button, zip, fluff, adjust and inspect the bridal party so that everyone walks down the aisle perfectly coiffed and put together.

You will never regret the decision to get dressed at the site where things will take place. You will have more room, less distractions, and an added bonus is that the photographer can capture images of both male and female members preparing for the wedding simultaneously.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


The Splurge of Your Dreams

Brides everywhere agree: if they could splurge on just one item for their wedding -it would be their bridal gown. Maybe they have dreamed of a certain gown their whole life, maybe they recently spotted a designer must-have or maybe they just tried on a gown out of budget that they cannot seem to live without. 

There are a few things you should focus on when gown shopping and not one of them includes the price. A great deal is only a great deal if you are getting more in value than you are paying in dollars:

Fit – The gown should fit your body type. Just because it looks good on a model or mannequin does not mean it will hug your curves the same way. And it if it doesn’t look good on the runway or in a magazine, it will probably not look good on you. All designer have their own patterns whether it is fuller in the bust or more ample in the waist so find the right fit for you.

Fabric – The fabric should be beautiful and easy to care for. Stylists and designers everywhere are still buzzing about the late Princess Diana’s bridal gown debacle. Remember how she came out of the carriage a wrinkled mess? Silk taffeta is a gorgeous fabric but does not travel well. Make arrangements to get dressed AT the venue to avoid problems like this, if you can.

Finish – The gown should be as beautiful on the inside as it is on the oustide. No unfinished seams, no boning sticking out, no loose threads and no puckers. The hem, the zipper, the closures (hooks or snaps) should all be tightly and neatly sewn. If there is lace or appliques, everything  should be sewn symmetrical, smooth and neat as well.

Feel – When you put the gown on it should not only make you feel beautiful, it should also feel comfortable. Do you want to be gasping for air or tugging at the waistline of your gown for the entire day/evening? Is it so tight you have backfat? If you feel good, you will look good.

If the ‘gown of your dreams’ has all of these qualities, then go ahead and splurge. Splurge a little -not a lot. You should never go too far over budget. Of course you want to look beautiful but, if you spend WAY too much on the bridal gown, you will have to cut expenses somewhere else and you want your entire wedding to be memorable – not just the gown.

Remember, everyone has budget. Whether your budget is $1300 or $13,000, there is a gown for you. Designers are now rolling out their 2012 designs as we speak and I have a feeling the gown of your dreams is waiting for you.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago