Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
I was a wedding photographer in a past life. I have photographed over 600 weddings, allowing me to be up close and personal to A LOT of brides in their gowns “in action”. It is safe to call me an expert on the art wearing of a bridal gown, so I am going to just go ahead and call myself one!!
As a designer, I strongly believe you should choose the gown of your dreams and it should make you feel wonderful wearing it! You should be able to put it on and forget about it. Here are some things to think about when choosing that dress to help you avoid being a literal fashion victim…
#10: Bling on the wedding shoes. Unless you are wearing a tea length or shorter dress, I strongly advise against shoes with pronged rhinestone embellishments on them. They snag on the hem of the dress while you move. I like having my couples in motion in photos, and nothing interferes more than a bride trying to unsnag her shoes from her dress every step….not to mention the temper tantrum that could happen any moment!! If you’ve gotta have bling, make sure the stones aren’t set with prongs.
#9: Red Rose Bouquet. This is the case with firmer flowers, like roses, I have noticed, but as you carry these flowers against a white dress, they make marks on the dress like colored pencil. I have never seen them come out even with the arsenal of goodies in the “bridal emergency kit” like baby wipes, or white chalk. If you insist on red, maybe opt for a softer petal flower, like peonies or tulips.
#8: Wearing Long veil beyond ceremony. As soon as the hugging starts, it will become your worst enemy. I have seen so many tender moments ruined by a yelp, “Oh! Grandma! My veil!”. This makes the offender feel terrible, irritates the bride and ruins the photo!! My advice would be to ditch the veil after all the photos you want have been taken. If you feel like you’ve just got to have a veil to feel like a bride, maybe have an alternate short veil or some tulle “blob” to change into later.
#7: Complicated train. Keep in mind that your bridesmaids will have to adjust your train when you reach the altar (well she should, for photos’ sake!!), and they often have “stage fright” and do it quickly, so a train that takes more effort than picking it up and fanning it out will more than likely end up all wonky in photos. You might want to skip the asymmetrical or multi-length layered trains……don’t even get me started on veils that are longer than the train…….Do a run through before the ceremony. Don’t be afraid to pul it up high and wide to fan it out; there are so many layers they will not be exposing your bootie….stay tuned for a video tutorial!!
#6: “Folded Boob” syndrom. Make sure when you do a strapless dress, the alterations are done well, and make sure you sit in the dress to see if this happens to you. Strapless dresses are NOT for everybody.
#5: Dress doesn’t work “in motion”. When you are trying on dresses, make sure you walk, turn, bend over, sit down, etc, to be sure you aren’t falling out or being restricted in an uncomfortable way; you don’t want to be an invalid on your wedding day, and you certainly don’t want your zipper popping like this one!!
#4: Hollywood tape Fail. Whenever I see ladies using this to hold up their dresses, I can only shake my head. If there is any tension on what you are taping, it will not hold. Usually not beyond an hour or so. And for sure not when the dancing and sweating starts!! If you are even thinking your dress will need this, I encourage you to choose a different dress. I have never seen this work.
#3: Train not bustled short enough. So many times I see the bustle still dragging on the floor. There is a 100% chance of it getting stepped on on the crowded dance floor and ripping one of the ties out and you will be dragging a “clump” of the dress. Yes, I’m aware of the existence of safety pins, but it is quite an interruption and the person who steps on it feels terrible. This is a huge motivating factor behind my mostly “trainless” dresses.
#2: Intrusive hair style. As a photographer, this one always killed me. I liked getting the shots of emotions and faces interacting, but when the bride has a style where her hair hangs down one side of her face, everything other than a straight on angle is being blocked by a wall of hair. This is especially tragic during the ceremony when, a lot of times, the photographer isn’t able to change positions freely. Also, it seems that no matter how much hair spray is used, these hanging pieces end up looking sloppy almost immediately. The stress and energy wasted trying to control them is quite unpleasant for everybody. I haven’t even begun to talk about being outdoors in a breeze of any measure!! Maybe consider a few bridal portraits like this beautiful one at the beginning of the day and then pinning it back before the ceremony starts.
#1: Fretting over dirt. I am going to just say it. There is nothing more irritating on a wedding day than a bride freaking out over her dress getting dirty. It’s white, it drags on the ground. Do the math. You have just got to let go and accept that you have only one day to get a lifetime’s worth of dirt on this thing! Don’t stress yourself and everyone else out around you by yelling at them and pushing them away. And for you bridesmaids…..if there is a small smudge on the bride’s dress that nobody will notice, DO NOT POINT IT OUT TO HER….it doesn’t really matter!!