Your dream bridal gown

Getting married is an opportunity to make a dream come true and to create a beautiful image for your lover, family and dearest friends. Your personality should shine through as your gown is the ultimate expression of your personality.

However much you fantasize your wedding gown should suit you, complement your body type and be the right shape for your body type. Concentrate on the real you and be realistic about what colours and styles suit - your dream dress should highlight your good points and draw attention away from other aspects you're not so keen to reveal.

White was once the standard colour for a dress but ivory, ecru and cream are now more popular. Bold colours such as red and black look absolutely stunning but choose a colour that suits your colouring and flatters your complexion.

Consider the theme of the wedding - is it formal or more casual as that will influence the style of your dress. The colour and style of your dress may be influenced by religion or culture. Traditionally Chinese wedding dresses are red-the colour of good luck. A New Zealand born Indian bride might wear a sari.

The season and location of your ceremony should have some influence on your choice of gown. A mid-winter, mid-Summer or a beach wedding will dictate different styles.

You don't want to be too hot or too cold. Also consider how the fabric will last throughout your day and through the evening. You don't want a fabric that will crush easily as you still want to be looking fresh when the last guest departs.

Veils aren't often seen at weddings these days although they can add a touch of glamour and mystery. More popular are tiaras, hats and hair jewellery.

Wear what you want and you'll feel like a million dollars. You might select your dress ready-made; in which case make sure it suits your personality and fits well. Keep an open mind and try on different styles to firm up on ideas.

You may choose a pattern and have a dressmaker make your dress or go to a designer for a made to measure creation. The designer option will give you a gown perfectly tailored to your figure. A dressmaker will tailor a pattern to fit and ready to wear gowns can be adjusted to fit each bride individually. Hiring your gown is another option especially for those on a tight budget.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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