In Western cultures, the history of the modern wedding gown can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when a bride was expected to dress in a way that represented her family and social status in good light. Brides who could afford it were draped in expensive furs and embellishments, and dresses were typically blue or multicolored.
It wasn’t until 1840 that Queen Victoria set the precedent for a white wedding by wearing an off-the-shoulder gown decked out in lace and florals. The trend caught on, and white and off-white dresses remain the standard of European and American weddings today.
Whether you’ve chosen a simple or elaborate design, preserving the beauty of your satin wedding dress depends on simple but diligent aftercare. While we recommend only taking your wedding dress to a professional dry cleaner for a full treatment, spot-cleaning your gown is easy and inexpensive to do at home.
Once you’re ready to visit your bridal shops, wear something comfortable but dress it up a bit—freshen up your makeup, treat yourself to a manicure, etc. You’ll feel more confident if you do, and it helps the consultant get a better sense of your style. Don’t forget to take a pair of heels that match the height you plan on wearing on your wedding day. And remember to eat and stay hydrated so your focus stays on finding your perfect wedding dress!
Whatever the ball gown wedding dresses style or color, one of the most exciting but stressful parts of planning a wedding for a bride-to-be is finding the perfect dress that matches her aesthetic and personality. This process can be overwhelming, but the bride can always enlist a little help from family and friends to make things easier and more meaningful.
As the maid of honor, you get to accompany the bride-to-be to shop for dresses, attend fittings, and put the finishing touches on the bride’s look for her wedding day. You’ve known the bride for a long time and can offer the best second-opinion when it comes to her unique style and layout for her wedding.
You may also be involved in coordinating the bridesmaids’ looks based on the bride’s vision of her wedding party. Below is an outline of etiquette and tips for the maid of honor to help make dress shopping less like an ordeal and more like a joyful celebration!
After all, this is why the bride wants you there! Do some research with the bride before going to her first dress shop so you both have a better understanding of what styles to look for. You’ll see each dress from all angles; be honest about your point of view and help the bride find the dress that fits her style and personality. Encourage her to try on a variety of silhouettes to see what looks best on her unique body. She may end up falling in love with a wedding dress style she hadn’t previously considered!
Once you’ve helped the bride research options and find the perfect gown, help ensure she has plenty of time for her dress to be delivered in time for her wedding. It typically takes three to four months for a gown order to arrive, and possibly another four to six weeks for alterations.
Similarly, plan on a five- to six-month cushion for bridesmaids’ dresses so everyone has ample time for returns, styling, and alterations. It’s best to coordinate a dress fitting for you and the other bridesmaids well in advance of the wedding.
As a bridesmaid or maid of honor, plan on paying for your dress, shoes, and accessories unless the bride has explicitly offered otherwise. As the wedding day approaches, be sure to budget the cost for getting your hair and nails done, and don’t forget the proper undergarments for the dress. Advise the bridesmaids in the wedding party that bra and underwear lines should not be visible.
All in all, the shopping experience should be fun for you and the bride! The key to making it less stressful is preparation, patience, and, most importantly, having a big smile when the bride finds her perfect a line wedding dresses. Best of luck and happy shopping!