Ask Pat: Do I need a separate dress for my wedding reception?

Hi Pat! I recently went wedding gown shopping and have found that I really love the look of ball gowns, but I’m concerned about being able to dance in it, especially with the long train dragging behind me! If I do decide to get a ball gown, should I get a different dress for the reception? I just want to be sure I’ll be able to bust a move on my wedding day.

Just because you’re getting a ball gown dress doesn’t mean you necessarily need a second dress in order to comfortably dance the night away. Often once the dress is in your size and altered to fit properly, you’ll find that moving around in it is much easier than when you tried on the store sample. Having a bustle built into the dress to get the train out of the way will also help so much–it will keep you (and your guests) from stepping on it.

All that being said, if you’re planning a big first dance number or you know you’ll want to be completely unencumbered by the many layers most ball gowns have, then getting a second reception dress is definitely a good idea! Your dress shouldn’t get in the way of you having a great time at your wedding.

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog!

Ask Pat: What should I do if my daughter and I have different opinions about her wedding gown?

Dear Pat: I will be helping my daughter shop for her wedding gown in a couple of weeks, but am worried about upsetting her with my opinions on dress styles. I love my daughter, but know from past experiences shopping with her that we do not see eye-to-eye on most things. She has already sent me pictures of styles she’s interested in, and they are nothing close to what I had in mind for her. I want her to love her dress and be happy, but I am afraid that I might ruin her shopping experience if I speak my mind. How would you advise I handle this? 

Chances are if you’re worried about differing opinions on the wedding dress, your daughter is as well. She likely knows that you disagree with the styles she’s interested in, but she wants you to be there by her side when she says yes to the dress because she loves you, and she respects your opinion. The key to you both having a great shopping experience will be to keep in mind exactly what you just told me–you want her to love her dress and be happy. When she asks what you think about a dress be honest with her about certain elements of the dress you like and dislike, but remind her that you want her to have what she wants regardless of your opinion. If you sense she’s fallen in love with a dress, be supportive. Just remember that she’s your daughter, and you’ll be glad you had the chance to share the shopping experience with her.

Ask Pat: What ball gown styles are good for a hot summer wedding?

 

Dear Pat: I’m getting married in August and am concerned about getting a gown that I won’t sweat through on my big day. I really want a ball gown, but all the ones I’ve tried on so far have tons of layers and feel really heavy and hot. What kind of styles would you recommend for me? Should I give up on finding a ball gown that will work and choose another silhouette? 

Since our Virginia summers can be so hot and humid, many of our brides pose this same question to us all the time. You absolutely can find a style you love and also be comfortable in on your big day. The key to finding a dress you won’t get too hot in, particularly a ball gown style, is choosing a gown with the right fabric and structure. Here are a couple of examples.

 

The gowns above may look heavy based on the layers and fullness of the skirts, but they are actually quite airy! Both have skirts that are made from layers of soft tulle and netting, which are lightweight. Looking out for these kinds of fabrics will you help you find a style that is comfortable, and won’t get too hot on your big day. But if you’re not a fan of tulle or netting, never fear! There are more options for you. Take the chiffon and silk styles below:

Chiffon is wonderfully lightweight and absorbent, and designers are able to drape it very easily, resulting in beautiful skirts like the one pictured on the left. The gown on the right is a well-designed gown made from a single layer of lightweight Thai silk, which holds its shape very nicely. Both would be great choices for a summer wedding.

If you prefer an all-over lace look, you can absolutely find a style that will be lightweight enough for summer. Just choose a look with minimal layers, and laces like chantilly, that have a light and airy feel.

 

Have a question you want to ask a real bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com. Your question might even be featured on the blog!

Ask Pat: What’s a bustle? Do I need it?

Hi Pat! My wedding gown arrived recently and it fits almost perfectly, but my seamstress said I might need a bustle added to help with the train. What is a bustle exactly? Do I need to have it added or is it something I can do without?

Good question! A bustle is a series of hooks or ties built into the dress that will bring up all the layers of your wedding gown’s train, making it floor length all the way around. Most brides will have their dress bustled after the ceremony is over, that way they can dance the night away at the reception and not have to worry about it getting in their way or getting stepped on by guests.

As for whether you need a bustle, it usually depends on the length of the train. If it’s not very long and you don’t think it will get in your way throughout the night– remember you’ll be on your feet most of the reception, dancing and greeting guests–then you might be fine without one. If your train is long, a bustle is usually recommended. If your seamstress advises you to get one built in, then it’s best to listen to her advice and have it done.

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog!

 

Designer Day and Trunk Show with Antonio Gual this month!

In just a few weeks, Sealed With A Kiss will be hosting a trunk show and designer day with the one and only Antonio Gual. We can’t wait!

During the trunk show we will have a variety of designs from Antonio’s Tulle New York collection for brides to see, feel and try on. You can check out the collection here:

 http://www.tullenewyork.com/collection/.

Designer Antonio Gual himself will also be in store to meet with brides, tell them about his work, and to offer design and styling input. Not many brides have the  chance to meet the designer of their gown, so this is truly an amazing opportunity!

Appointments will be limited, so be sure to call today to schedule yours!

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Here’s a quick peek at some of the gowns you’ll see during the trunk show weekend!

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See more of his designs at: http://www.tullenewyork.com/collection/.

We hope to see you at the trunk show!

Coming Soon: Anny Lin Bridal Trunk Show

 

Starting February 1st Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville and Richmond will be hosting our first trunk show of the year, featuring designs from Anny Lin Bridal.

Brides who purchase an Anny Lin design during the trunk show are eligible for a trunk show discount, so this is not an event you want to miss!

To schedule your appointment online, visit:

http://sealedwithakissbridal.com/appointment

For questions, send an email to:

pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com

You can find out more about Anny Lin at annylinbridal.com.

Why We Love Anny Lin Bridal

Anny Lin comes from family of wedding gown designers, and she has blended designs and techniques that have inspired her to create truly unique, couture designs for the modern bride.

Every gown in her collection features an array of carefully designed, eye catching details such as beading, feathers, cut outs and draping.

Anny Lin’s designs feature a variety of silhouettes and fabrics. Brides love that she is not afraid to add color to her gowns, so many designs have blush, champagne and ombre options.

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We also love Anny Lin for their willingness to allow the individual bride to be a part of the design process–they will customize and combine designs to create a one-of-a-kind style to suit the needs and wants of the bride.

Be sure to schedule your appointment for the Anny Lin Trunk Show soon! You will not want to miss out on a chance to see these gorgeous dresses.

Ask Pat: What to Expect when Wedding Gown Shopping

Question: I just got engaged (yay!) and am planning on visiting my first bridal shop this weekend, but I’m not sure what to expect. How does shopping for a wedding gown work?

Good question! There are several parts to the shopping process: the consultation, trying on the dresses, ordering, and finally the alterations. I’ll go over each portion of the process in more detail, but first here are some main points you should know before you go:

  • Depending on the day and time, bridal shops might not be able to take walk-ins, so it’s always best to call a few days ahead of time to make an appointment.
  • Start shopping early! We usually recommend ordering the dress 6-9 months before the wedding. If you’re shopping closer to the wedding date (less than 5 months) it may not be possible to order a new gown for you and you might need to purchase a sample gown off the rack and have it altered to your size.
  • One of the first questions you will get asked is what price point you want to stay around, so before you go you should have an idea about how much you want to spend on the dress. Wedding gowns can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, so your consultant won’t know which dresses to show you unless you’re honest with her about what you can afford. Nothing’s worst than finding the most amazing dress and then realizing you could never actually buy it.
  • Your consultant will usually come into the dressing room with you, so expect to get undressed in front of them. We understand that having a stranger see you in your underwear might be uncomfortable at first, but getting into the dress alone or with someone who doesn’t know how to fit it can be difficult. You’ll be happy to have a consultant who knows what they’re doing in the dressing room to help you.

Now I’ll go over what happens during each portion of the appointment. Things will vary from store to store, but this should give you a good idea of what to expect during your shopping experience.

The Consultation

Typically when you walk in you will be greeted by a consultant or stylist who will sit down with you and want to know all about your wedding and what you have in mind for a gown. They’ll ask what kind of look you’re going for (i.e. vintage, casual, modern), what styles you like (mermaid, ball gown, strapless, etc) and what your price point is. As I mentioned, it’s best to have a good idea of your price point before you go to your appointment but if you don’t have styles in mind yet that’s okay, especially if it’s your first time looking for wedding gowns! It’s often hard to know what you like and what you don’t until you’ve tried a few styles on, so just let your consultant know that you’re open to styles and she’ll choose a few different kinds for you to try on.

Trying on Dresses

Now comes the fun part–trying on dresses! Some stores have all their dresses in an area you can peruse through so that you can pick out styles you like, others will have their dresses in a different room or storage area and your consultant will choose which dresses to bring out and show you based on the styles you discussed. Keep an open mind when deciding what dresses to try on, as things often look different on your body than on the hanger. Ask your consultant to suggest styles and cuts that will suit you, even if it’s not necessarily what you had in mind. Brides will often choose a dress that is totally different from what they initially thought they wanted, so it’s good to see all your options!

As I mentioned in the things to know before you go section, you shouldn’t be surprised if the consultant joins you in the dressing room to help you get in and out of the dresses. As you try on each dress your consultant will tell you a little bit about its design, color and customization options. You should be honest about what you think and feel about each dress so that your consultant will know what style to have you try on next. Keep in mind that many dresses can be changed or altered to better suit the look you’re going for, so if you wish the dress had different sleeves or you wish the design was a little bit different, ask if it’s something that can be done.

Ordering

You might find the dress at the first shop you visit or you might need to visit two or three more shops before finding “the one”–the process for each bride is different! Whenever you do decide on the dress, the consultant will go over sizing and ordering with you. To determine the size you need to order they’ll take your measurements and compare them to the size chart for the designer of your dress–bridal sizing runs one to two sizes smaller than normal clothing sizes, so don’t fret if you come up a size bigger than you thought! Most brides will come up between sizes on the size chart and most places recommend ordering the bigger size. This is because dresses that are big can always be taken in, but if the dress is too small it can only be let out so much. Some designers offer custom sizing and/or custom hem length for an additional charge, and though it adds to the price tag you’re paying up front it will likely cut down on the cost of any alterations needed later.

Once this is done your consultant will go over the store’s ordering policy. Since bridal gowns are made to order, most stores have an all sales final policy on all bridal designs. Some stores require partial payment of your dress to order it, others will require that you pay in full before you order. Remember that a dress can take months to come in, so if you need to pay in full before ordering it’s best to do so as early as possible to be sure your dress arrives with plenty of time for alterations.

Alterations

Though the gown is being ordered in your size it might not be the perfect fit when it arrives–the hem might need adjusting, it might fit in some places but be a little tight in others, or you may have changed weight since you ordered. This is why your wedding gown will need alterations. Your bridal shop will either have an in-house seamstress or will recommend a seamstress who has experience altering wedding gowns to you, and will set up a time for you to begin alterations. Here at Sealed With A Kiss we tell our brides to begin alterations six to eight weeks before the wedding, but recommend starting earlier if your gown needs major work (like adding or removing an illusion neckline or taking it in more than two sizes). Keep in mind that alterations are typically not included in the original price of the dress and the cost will vary depending on the gown’s construction and the difficulty of the alteration.

Have a question you’re dying to ask a bridal consultant? Email your questions to pat@sealedwithakissbridal.com and one of our experienced consultants will be more than happy to help. Your question might even make it on the blog!