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Oliver Goldsmith, the 18th century literary giant who authored the timeless comedy She Stoops to Conquer, liked to say that he chose his wife as she did her wedding gown: “For qualities that would wear well.” Had Goldsmith been born two centuries later, he might have my job—he knew that a bride-to-be’s decision-making process begins long before she says Yes to the dress. Wearability, for lack of a sexier term, is but one of the components that goes into picking the perfect gown. Here are five more:
Personal Time A bride’s personality is what I call “her story.” This is what makes her special and unique. A bride’s story should have a major influence on the look and gown she selects. I have worked with a wide range of brides. Everything from a princess bride to a fantasy bride who had wings fabricated to match her gown. Now that’s a personality!
Location Location Figuring out your wedding location actually goes hand-inhand with selecting a wedding dress. It’s important that your wedding dress and your venue are telling the same story.
Be a Calendar Girl The date or season of the year can greatly affect your choice of wedding gown. Some styles and fabrics should be ruled out simply by virtue of the fact that they aren’t necessarily friendly to certain times of year or day. For example, heavy velvet may not be the best choice for a summer ocean-side wedding. Although you may have a certain look in mind, consider the fact that you want to be comfortable and enjoy every moment of your big day.
Celebrate the Outer You When it comes to body type, I say embrace who you are. The number one question I am asked is What type of dress will be the most flattering for my body? I don’t believe in labeling, changing people or placing them in a group of predetermined shapes or sizes, and then telling them what they should wear.
Eureka Moment This is what we refer to in the show as saying “Yes to the Dress.” It is the magical moment where everything else is put to the side and the girl falls in love with how she looks and feels. At that moment, she knows the dress makes her feel beautiful and she cannot wait for her walk down the aisle. EDGE
Editor’s Note: Randy Fenoli is Fashion Director of Kleinfeld Manhattan and one of the stars of TLC’s hit series Say Yes to the Dress. His first book, It’s All About the Dress, will be published in November by Hachette.