Essential Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Dress and Shoes

Admit it: you've fantasized about The Dress since you were a child. Back then, your dreams might have taken the form of crayon drawings. You literally pictured yourself in white. Perhaps you even drew flowers, a veil, and sparkling Cinderella wedding shoes. Now it's actually happening. 

Choosing a wedding dress is one of the most important (and most fun!) decisions you'll make about your wedding. However, it shouldn't be the first step. In order to decide what type of dress and wedding shoes to purchase, you first need a general picture of the rest of the wedding.

The setting of your wedding will influence your choices, whether it's outside, in a church, or in a destination location like Hawaii. The level of formality of your wedding will also influence your dress choices. Let's look at a few possible examples. Beach weddings, particularly in exotic locales, are becoming more popular these days. These weddings are usually small and informal. For a beach wedding, a dress that's not too elaborate works best. 

If you choose a dress made of a light fabric such as chiffon or even something as informal as a thin linen, your dress will float in the ocean breeze and add grace to your wedding pictures. For beach wedding shoes, you can choose low-heeled sandals or sparkly crystal-studded flip-flops. Some brides choose to go barefoot for at least part of a beach wedding.

If you marry in a church, you have a wide variety of more traditional dress options. But you should still consider the overall formality level of your wedding. If you have an afternoon ceremony in a church followed by a reception on the lawn, you might choose a less formal dress than if you are marrying during an evening candlelight ceremony followed by a formal dinner. For instance, for the afternoon wedding, you might wear a strapless sheath dress with simple, classic lines and a short train. For the evening wedding, you might choose a dress with a longer train, perhaps with a beaded bodice and a longer veil. Wedding shoes for these types of weddings will also be different; you'll want a higher heel and more elaborate shoe design. However, you shouldn't choose a heel that's much higher than what you would wear in everyday life; you don't want to risk a misstep, and you do want to have fun dancing the night away in your fabulous wedding shoes.  For whatever kind of wedding you're having, you're sure to find a dress that suits your style and personality. Have fun planning for the perfect dress-maybe you'll even want to get out the crayons to help you brainstorm.

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