When you go shopping for your gown, your first thought will be the style. Do you dream of wearing a strapless gown? Do you want to feel like Cinderella and so a ball gown with a long train is a requirement? Or does your taste run to the sophistication of a body-hugging style that is currently seen on all the celebrity award shows?
Don’t let go of your dream, but pay attention to the fabric and its suitability for both the time of year and the time of day. Taffeta, silk moire and silk shantung know no season and, therefore, are popular with designers. A winter wedding, however, gives you some other interesting fabric options, such as velvet, heavy satin and brocade.
A summer wedding welcomes the airy look of light-weight silks, organza, eyelet and chiffon. The weight of the fabric affects not only the look, but the feel of the gown.
Morning and evening
Even the time of day can influence your choice. An afternoon garden wedding invites a less formal gown. A long train, for instance, inevitably gets caught as you move over the grass and it doesn’t seem to fit the garden surroundings. Alternately, an evening candlelight church service is crying out for a classic ballroom gown, perhaps with a cathedral train.
The exception, of course, is the daytime royal wedding that we all watched in April which, regardless of time of day, is the ultimate in formality for the immediate wedding party. The guests and family, however (including Queen Elizabeth) acknowledged the morning wedding by wearing short, daytime dresses. When you are shopping for your gown it may well be a full season before your actual wedding date; use your imagination so you can envision the climate on your wedding date.
Your primary interest is style, but pay attention to fabric because it makes a major contribution to how your dress falls and holds its shape.
Summer Wedding: think light-weight silks, organza, eyelet, lace georgette and chiffon.
Winter Wedding: think velvet, heavy satin, matte jersey and brocade.
Seasonless: think taffeta, silk moire, silk shantung and silk charmeuse.