Weddings are the stuff of young girls' fairy tale dreams. They see themselves in a flowing bridal gown of gossamer and lace. The details are sketchy, but they are always visions of loveliness, in perfect silhouettes, and they dream of the days to come.

The Perfect Shape for the Perfect Wedding

Brides-to-be won't settle for less, especially when it comes to the wedding gown. Depending on the couple's budget, the bridal gown may be the fourth largest expense following the reception, wedding cake, and honeymoon. Apart from the budget, brides start working on their dream gown by figuring out the perfect dress to flatter their figures.

The bridal gown should reflect the wedding theme; it could be a beaded outfit in silk and lace befitting a formal or traditional wedding, or a tea-length modest dress for a simple exchange of "I dos" before the parson.

But whatever the wedding theme, it is best to do some research on the perfect fitting wedding gown or dress to match your figure and the wedding. There are several dress shapes to hide the flaws and flatter the figure. The following silhouettes are:

  • The sheath is form fitting and highlights every curve and accent of your figure.
  • The princess cut is an A-line cut preferred to show off a slim bodice and falls in soft folds in a full skirt.
  • The empire cut is form-fitting at the top and starts to fall under the bust line. This is the perfect cut for the bride who is expecting the stork early.
  • The low-waist gown is perfect for the fairy tale gown with fitting long sleeves.

With the shapes of the bridal gown decided, it would be easy to decide the length of the dress - cathedral length with a train for traditional weddings, floor length to be embellished with beads for a formal feel, or tea length for outdoor weddings.

The sleeves should also be considered carefully - strapless, off-the-shoulder, long-sleeves, or cap sleeves. Whatever the sleeve type selected, the embellishments and the cut add to the formal or informal appeal of the wedding gown.

Body Types and Dress Silhouettes

If you're deciding on a wedding gown, determine your body type before getting a bridal gown off the rack or having one customized for you. The female figure spans the following:

  • Hour glass figure - would do well with gowns that show off the waist. The ball gown and or a corseted dress present the figure in the best light.
  • Full waist - the drop waist and attractive neckline can draw attention away from the waistline.
  • Pear-shape - A-line cut will disguise wide hips.

Tall women will do well in ball gowns, A-line, and empire cuts, while the petite ladies should pick out light fabrics and simple cuts without much distraction so as not to overwhelm their stature.

Accessories and Hairstyles

It is a rule that when a dress is simple, accessorize. Jewelry, tiaras, gloves, and shoes should be selected with care to complement the dress; the hairstyle, too, should complete the perfect picture.

For your hairstyle and make-up, a professional's advice should be sought before the wedding. Make it clear that you'd like to look as natural as you can with or without artificial lights for those perfect shots on video and digital camera. Indeed, your bridal gown happily dictates the shape of things to come.

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