Getting the gown right

By Bride and Groom 30 June 2016

One of the first items on a bride-to-be's checklist is choosing a wedding gown. Shepparton business Brides and Maids proprietor Tina Rutherford has 40 years' experience dressing brides and their attendants. Bride and Groom asked Tina for some tips when shopping for your perfect dress. 

Q. How far out from the wedding date should brides start their gown shopping? 
A. Bridal wear can take 12 – 16 weeks for delivery, so allow plenty of time to shop and look around, I would recommend anywhere from nine to 12 months. 

Q. Is it best if a bride has firm ideas of what she wants to wear? 
A. Pictures and photos can give a general idea of what the bride is thinking, but that doesn’t mean she will end up with that style. Regardless of what they think they may like, they need to keep an open mind. 

Q. What should a bride wear when trying on wedding gowns? 
A. Bring stable shoes and well-fitting underwear. They should avoid using body lotions and fake tans so the gowns don’t get marked. I’m happy for the girls to wear make-up because we put the gowns on them in the fitting rooms so they are protected. 

Q. How many people should a bride bring with her? 
A. I suggest the bride brings her mother or mother-in-law and one other friend. I definitely would not recommend bringing a whole tribe along because the more people expressing an opinion, the more confused a bride gets. Too many comments make it harder for the bride to critically look at the dress and make a decision. Ultimately, she must be the one who is happy; it’s not what I think, or what the others think. 

Q. Can you take photos of the gowns? 
A. Not before you have purchased a gown, but even then I prefer them not to. They are not professional photographers and often the angle they hold the camera at can lead to a distorted image. When they look at it later they can be disappointed with their choice. 

Q. What are the bridal gown fashion trends for 2015? 
A. Beautiful corded Chantilly lace and guipure lace, lots of tulle and full skirts, ruffles of organza and taffeta. Slim-line gowns, with beautiful shaping on the body, are also very popular. 

Q. Do you offer brides direction if they are unsure or indecisive? 
A. I try and decipher what the brides do and don’t like about the gowns, if they want to make simple changes like add a belt that’s fine, but if they want to make wholesale changes they are best to take that gown off and try something else. In those instances that gown is obviously not the right gown. 

Q. Once a bride has chosen and ordered a gown what is the next step? 
A. Each bride usually requires three fittings starting about six weeks out (from the wedding). In the week of the wedding we have the final fitting so when they put on the gown on their wedding day there are no dramas. All gowns are steamed and spot cleaned, if required, then wrapped or placed in a bridal bag to take home. I recommend bringing a sheet in so we can wrap the gown to take it home; if we place some of the fuller dresses in the bridal bags they can get creased.

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