Wedding Style

The guidelines below will help select the most appropriate gown for your wedding:


  • Informal Wedding: 
    • Street-length gown or suit
    • Corsage or small bouquet
    • No veil or train 
  • Semiformal Wedding: 
    • Floor-Length Gown 
    • Chapel train 
    • Fingertip veil 
    • Small Bouquet 
  • Very Formal Wedding: 
    • Floor- Length gown 
    • Cathedral train 
    • Full-length veil 
    • Elaborate headpiece 
    • Long Sleeves or long arm-covering gloves
    • Cascading bouquet 
  • Formal Daytime Wedding: 
    • Floor-Length gown 
    • Chapel or sweep train 
    • Fingertip veil or hat 
    • Gloves 
    • Medium-sized bouqet 
  • Formal Evening Wedding: 
    • Same as formal daytime except longer veil 
  • Things to Consider: In selecting your bridal gown, keep in mind the time of year and formality of your wedding. It is a good idea to look at bridal magazines to compare the various styles and colors. If you see a gown you like, call boutiques in your area to see if they carry that line. 
  • Always try on the gown before ordering it. When ordering a gown, make sure you order the correct size. If you are between sizes, order the larger one. You can always have your gown tailored down to fit, but it is not always possible to have it enlarged or to lose weight to fit into it!  
  • The gown should arrive at least six weeks before the wedding so you can have it tailored and select the appropriate accessories to complement it. 
  • It's a good idea to put on "evening" makeup before going to try on desses- trying on your wedding gown with a plain face is like trying on an evening dress wearing sneakers.
  • Beware: Some gown manufacturers suggest ordering a size larger than needed. This requires more alterations, which may mean extra charges. It is a good idea to locate a few tailors in your area and ask for alteration pricing in advance. Many boutiques offer tailoring services, but you will often find a better price by finding an independent tailor specializing in bridal gown alterations. Also, gowns often fail to arrive on time, creating unnecessary stress for you. Be sure to order your gown with enough time to allow for delivery delays and also be sure to check the reputation of the boutique before buying. 
  • Tips to Save Money: Consider renting a gown or buying one secondhand. Renting a gown usually costs about 40-60 percent of its retail price. Consider this prcatical opton if you are not planning to preserve the gown. The disadvantage of renting, however, is that your options are more limited. Also, a rented gown usually does not fit as well as a custom tailored gown. 
  • Ask about discontinued styles and gowns. Watch for clearances and sales, or buy your gown "off teh rack." Restore or refurbish a family heirloom gown. If you have a friend, sister, or other family member who is planning a wedding, consider purchasing a gown that you could both wear. Change the veil and headpiece to personalize it. 
  • Price Range: $500 - $10,000 

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