Destination 101

21 Mar

  Over the weekend I worked with a variety of brides.  All with different shapes, sizes, personalities, themes and wedding locations.  However, this diverse group of appointments had one common thread.  They were all in the process of planning destination weddings.

  Surprisingly, destination weddings are still very popular among brides despite the economic times.  It is still very common for me to hear of locations like Costa Rica, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but I am also starting to note places like Ireland, Italy and Greece.  Another growing destination wedding trend is a more local destination wedding.  These wedding locations are still within the United States, but the bridal party and guests still need to travel to another state.  Some of the most popular relocation sites include California, Colorado, Florida and the Carolinas.

  With so many brides still opting to get married miles away from home, there is still a need for your typical destination wedding bridal gown.  Traditionally, these gowns are considered to be light weight and made of either chiffon, organza or lace.  When brides come in to look for a gown for their destination wedding they usually want something with an empire waist or a form-fitting sheath.  They also always tell me that they want something that “flows” and nothing that they will be too hot in.  The not too hot bullet point always gets me…afterall, you are getting married in Puerto Vallarta where the average temperature is 85 degrees and that doesn’t even include the humidity!!!!  You could get married in a swimming suit, and you would still be hot!

  Now back to the bridal fashion…even though brides consider an empire waist gown or a sheath to be a destination dress, not all brides can wear these two shapes. 

Source: Augusta Jones

  An empire waist gown is often described as a Grecian looking gown.  The fit of the gown is usually right underneath the bust line and then the skirt of the gown extends from there.  This silhouette is perfect for a bride who is a little self-conscious about her hips or if she is more of a pear shape.  This shape also works well for brides who have a “boxier” shape and aren’t concerned about showing their curves.

  Most empire waist gowns have an overlay of either chiffon, organza or lace.  

  A sheath silhouette is for the bride who wants a form-fitting gown that will show off her shape/curves.  These gowns are typically considered as a little more informal and at times more sophisticated.  Not all figures can wear a sheath silhouette, especially since the types of undergarments you are able to wear underneath the gown are very limited due to how fitted the gown is.  A good bridal consultant should warn you about this, if she is the least bit concerned about the fit.  If not, it could be an alteration nightmare!

Source: Amy Michelson


 These gowns are usually made of charmeuse, but can also be seen in satin and lace.

  After destination brides try these two traditional destination wedding gown silhouettes on about 50% of them end up hating how the shape looks on them.  Most of the time I could have saved them the trouble of trying on the two shapes since I knew they wouldn’t work, but I do think it’s important that a bride sees herself in what she thinks she wants.  Once that is out of the way, it is my turn to bring in the right gowns. 

  (Another reason brides nix these shapes is because they don’t feel bridal enough.  The gowns lack fullness and volume because there isn’t any crinoline under the skirt.  Many brides reason that these gowns feel like any other dress they could possible wear in their lifetime, nothing special.)

  So, if these two silhouettes don’t work on your body type, don’t get frustrated.  Your destination wedding isn’t going to be ruined.  You will still be able to wear a gown that is both “flowy” and romantic.  There are a variety of gowns that are made of organza, chiffon and lace, but finding the most flattering silhouette for your body is key. 

  A few brides from this weekend my have been disappointed at first, but after trying on some different shapes…success!!!  They were all able to fall in love with a gown that they not only felt comfortable in, but was also destination wedding appropriate. 

  Lesson of the day…when trying on bridal gowns all brides need to keep an open mind, especially when you come in with specific ideas of what you think you want.


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