Catherine Irwin by Beth Forester Photography

Catherine Irwin by Beth Forester Photography

Follow these tips to ensure your big day will end up just the way you planned.

Wedding planning can be an overwhelming experience. From picking the perfect gown, to avoiding easy mistakes, here are a few tips to tuck away before making your final decisions.

On picking the gown…

1. Have a budget in mind.
Know what you can spend and stay in your price range.

2. Remember alterations are a must
ALL dresses need to be altered.

3. Shoes
Take shoes with a heel height that you are comfortable wearing.

4. Know what styles fit your figure

Wide hips? A line is the most flattering choice with embellishments and details on top.
Busty? Try a halter bodice or V-neck gown with straps.
Armful? Lace or sheer sleeves are the way to go.
Meddling middle? Diagonal ruching will hide a bloated belly.
Plus size? Call the salon before your appointment and ask if they have plus size samples for you to try.
Skinny minny? Accentuate your slimness with a slip style gown or a mermaid style that flares out from your knees.
Short stature? Stay away from ball gowns that will swallow you. Try ballerina length instead.

5. Dress for the venue

Before choosing your gown, choose your venue and keep that in mind as you try on dresses.

Beach Wedding – Think breezy, romantic, and fuss-free. Flowy fabrics like chiffon and silk work well.
Outdoor Wedding – Lace and vintage gowns feel at home in rustic venues. Ditch the long train.
Church Wedding – If your church is cathedral or grand, dress the part with a ball-gown dress and a long veil.
Art Gallery or Contemporary Loft – Think clean and modern sheath or slip style gown.

Before you begin trying on dresses, use WV Weddings magazine as a resource guide for bridal shops. Mark what dresses you like and note where they were purchased—that’s why we include the vendor.


On avoiding mistakes…

Wearing Comfortable Shoes
Don’t buy cheap shoes. You’ll be on your feet the entire day. Think about switching to flats during the reception.

Not Retouching Your Makeup
Oil absorbing sheets are a bride’s best friend. You want to glow, but you don’t want to shine.

Making Guests Wait at the Reception on an Empty Stomach
You don’t want to rush your photography session, but you also don’t want to make our guests wait too long to eat. If there’s an open bar, make sure you are serving appetizers or have a vegetable and cheese tray.

Cash Bar
Wedding experts say this is a no-no. Have an open bar, but limit the selection.

Not Hiring a Professional Photographer
Your photographs will be your most cherished takeaway from your wedding—after your groom of course. Choose your photographer wisely.

Not Hiring a Videographer
A well shot and edited video will be enjoyed for years to come.

Trashing Your Dress
One great photo shouldn’t be the death of your wedding dress.

Drinking Too Much
You’ll want to remember your special day. Be smart.

Not Eating
There’s a lot going on, but make sure you eat, especially if you are having a glass of wine or two—or three.