Your Wedding Dress: How Do You Know When You Have Found the 'One'?

Looking for the "one" can take time, so give yourself plenty of it, work backwards from your wedding date and plan your appointments. The search may seem endless at certain points, and if you let it, it may drive you crazy! Here are my tips on finding your dream dress while having fun.

Be honest with yourself. Spend time considering your personality and imagine how your wedding day will be. Ask yourself, "Is this me? Will I feel comfortable in this dress? Will it suit my venue?" Even though you are thinking it is just one day, it is a special day and the memories and photos are forever. It is important to see yourself in this moment and feel confident in your dress -- you will shine!

Define your style to the fullest. Before even stepping into a store, give yourself time to figure out what your true style really is. Is it glamorous? Modern? Romantic? Something entirely different? Let go of all inhibitions and be proud of who you are and what you feel comfortable in. You could start by pulling out your favorite dresses in your wardrobe to understand why they make you feel good -- Is it strapless? Sleeved? Or waisted shapes? Also consider the fabric -- Is it lace you love? Or embellishment? You should see similar shapes and details being repeated and you should find it easier to discuss with your bridal consultant.

Compliment your figure. Highlight the best part of your body -- again, be honest with yourself. We all have a great part; we do not need to have the perfect body. Emphasize your favorite feature, as identifying a dress that works for you and your body is key to finding the right dress. To highlight your slim frame you might choose a slinky beaded gown, or to show off your back go low and sexy. If you'd prefer to de-emphasize your arms, go for a sheer sleeved gown, or to minimize your tummy consider a ball gown. You can work around your personal likes and dislikes and it will build your confidence. When making all of these decisions, always take a friend or a family member, someone who clearly knows you inside and out as they can offer you support. They can help guide you, but remember ultimately this is your full decision, and you need to connect with the dress. Only you will know when this emotional connection has happened.

Make believe. When I am designing dresses, I like to take this thought into consideration: working with three distinct aesthetics, my Amsale, Kenneth Pool, and Christos collections, I imagine the bride and the setting -- I make believe I am there. For example, the Kenneth Pool bride is sexy and daring and very confident. The wedding might be elegant and lavish in an Italian villa. There are lots of people, it is black tie and the bride is always center of attention. When I think about the Amsale bride, she is the perfect balance between classic and modern. This blend is very important so the dress does not look dated. The Amsale wedding is timeless but perfectly polished in an understated cool tone. It is so important that this understanding reflects the way the gown looks and feels.

My advice is, understand your style. When the dress mirrors who you are, you feel confident. The right dress will speak to you. If you love it, wear it!