Knowing Your Style

One of the quandaries a bride faces is figuring out what style and silhouette of wedding gown is really "her." This happens for a few reasons: One, there are so many beautiful options on the racks, it can make her head swim.

Two, there's such pressure for a bride to look her best on her wedding day, that she can lose her own sense of what she likes to wear and suddenly feel she has to reinvent herself. If she's a classic, all-American girl, she might think she has to become drop-dead glamorous on the big day; if she loves high glamour, she might feel she has to play it down and go demure and innocent.

Three, a bride often has more than a few different voices advising her in the fitting room—mother, sister, friends—all of whom mean well, but can project their visions of how she should look and obscure her authentic style.

What I say to brides is, don't reinvent your style for your wedding gown; find a gown that really captures it. You almost always do know what your personal style is when you think about it, and identifying it will help you gravitate naturally towards a wedding dress that feels true to this style—whether it's metropolitan and minimal, or dramatic and opulent, or bohemian and playful, or pure and innocent, and so on.

To identify your personal style, ask yourself, "What shapes do I like to wear most in my everyday life? How clean or how adorned do I tend to dress? Which of my outfits do I feel my most confident and beautiful in, and what do these outfits have in common?" Then, envision yourself at a special event. Ask yourself, "When I go to parties or evening events, what style and cut of gown do I love to wear—or would I wear if I could? Is it classic, dramatic, sexy, or is it edgy fashion?"

Make a few notes before you start looking for your wedding gown; or tear some images from magazines and start a Pinterest board of dresses you love. Sharing this information with your bridal consultant makes all the difference. With the consultant's wisdom to guide you, you can hone in on gowns that feel very true to the essence of who you really are, and ensure that you find the right one, so that on your big day, your spirit and beauty really do shine through.