Understand Wedding Gowns Before you Shop

Wedding dress shopping is an exciting adventure. It’s a rite of passage that all brides-to-be should be able to enjoy, the ultimate search for the perfect dress.

Photo Courtesy of The Hitching Post

When determining your perfect dress, it’s important to remember that we all have different body types, personalities, likes and dislikes. Finding the perfect gown (that puts your best you front and centre on your wedding day) can be a bit stressful. How can you know what looks good on you and where do you begin?

Understanding the different options available to you is the best place to get started. Check out these infographics to verse yourself on gown-speak before you head out to the stores. Knowing the various silhouettes and neckline names can help communication with bridal staff to ensure they offer you options that you know you’ll love.

The Gown Silhouettes:


Photo Courtesy of BridalGuide

The Gown Necklines:


Photo Courtesy of PaperBlog

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How to Shop for a Wedding Dress

Shopping for the perfect gown can be a thrilling adventure, or it can suck the fun right out of you. Here are a few tips to remember before your shopping extravaganza to keep your mood in the former. Wedding dress shopping can be a completely civilized event. 🙂


Photo Courtesy of My Wedding Ideas

Eat something before you go, and eat regularly throughout the day. If you’re hungry, you’ll have less patience, and patience is the one thing you absolutely need when gown shopping.

Know your price range. The fastest way to ruin your experience is to try on a gown (you know, just to see) that is three times your upper price limit. You’ll fall in love and nothing else will do. If your budget is set, on look (and try on) what’s in your range. If you do happen to skip this rule (you know, just because) then consider hiring a seamstress to re-create the gown within your budget.

Make yourself slightly fancy. Take a few extra minutes to doll yourself up a bit before you head out. How you feel about your overall appearance will reflect the gown you see in the mirror.


Photo Courtesy of Aisle Style

Bring the right underpants and shoes. In fact, bring a couple of options. If you haven’t settled on a dress style, consider bringing a strapless bra, a push-up bra, any slimming shapewear you might want, along with similar undergarments you’re likely to wear on your big day. Shoe height is also important, consider bringing varying heights to get a good feel of the overall presentation.

Keep an open mind. Even if you think it won’t look good on you, try it on. You’ve got the day, enjoy it. You won’t know for sure that something doesn’t work until you have it on your body. You may just be surprised.


Photo Courtesy of Helena Fortley

Don’t bring everyone you know. Too many people means too many differing opinions and tastes. You will know the dress yourself, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Bring a BFF or two who know you and your style well so they can confirm what you already know.

Most importantly, let yourself enjoy the process. If the day is a bust, don’t be discouraged, there are plenty more styles and options for you to consider. Your gown is out there and you will be the bride you’ve always dreamed of being. 🙂

– Catherine Thorpe





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Inexpensive Wedding Dresses

While they may have only been your go-to for a nice top or blazer, H&M made headlines recently when they announced that they are branching out into unchartered territory later this month: selling wedding dresses for less than $100. With that in mind, we wanted to explore other retailers and labels that offered wedding dresses – not just dresses that you could wear to a wedding – that don’t break that bank.



[Photo Courtesy of H&M]

Coming out later this month, this dress which H&M describes as “1930s Hollywood with a modern twist” will only retail for $99. The cut looks slimming and comfortable and the design is simple but still elegant. If you’re having a casual wedding (like an ambush wedding which we talked about here) or if your venue is somewhere outdoors, this could be a viable option.



[Photo Courtesy of ModCloth]

This online retailer has a whole line of wedding related goodies from dresses to shoes to accessories. Yes, their designs are non-traditional and you might confuse some for cocktail dresses but, again, if your wedding style is very relaxed and in fact a little eccentric and quirky, you’ve got to look into ModCloth. This dress above, called “Romantic Storyline,” is coming soon and will cost $97.99, and if you jazz it up with some jewelry and a veil, you will look a million bucks!



[Photo Courtesy of Ruche]

Another online retailer that has wedding dresses is Ruche. Where ModCloth is more quirky-chic, Ruche is vintage to the core – think 1920s elegance. Their collection comes out later this month as well but judging by their look book, you can look forward to lace, quilted designs, flowing lines, feminine cuts and lots of drama. Other dresses on the site retail for around $100 so we can expect similar prices for their wedding looks.


Dawn Lo is a contributing writer to the Bridal Guide.

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Trend Watch: Bejeweled Necklines

Now that 2014 is in full swing, the Bridal Guide is going to break down some of the New Year’s biggest wedding trends. This week we’ll touch on the brightest trend in wedding gowns: the bejeweled neckline. There are so many different ways to incorporate bling into your wedding look, but buying a dress with a jeweled neckline will save you the hassle of trying to match jewels to your dress. The other plus side to dresses with a jeweled neckline is that they’re often quite fashion forward and also tend to be more unique than your average lace A-line.

 Grecian Inspired


[Photo courtesy of Marchesa]

If you’re looking for something light and airy, this Marchesa look should serve as some good inspiration for you. The beautifully draped body of this gown is matched with a loose illusion neckline. We love that the neckline is sheer, and serves as some extra coverage with capped sleeves. The model is done up nonchalantly with a loose braid and minimal make-up. If you’re a laid back bride who still wants a little bit of bling, this look has your name written all over it!

‘50s Bride


[Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham]

Are you a retro and vintage fashion lover? Are you having trouble finding a gown that mixes that theme with a traditional wedding look? Look no further than this Jenny Packham frock. The semi-full skirt, ankle length hem, and short sleeves scream ‘50s glamour. On the other hand, the fabric, criss-crossing of the bodice, and very bejeweled décolletage say beautiful classic bride. Pair this look with a finger wave in your hair and you’ll be the talk of the town.

Classic Gown


[Photo courtesy of Reem Acra]

Finally, we picked this Reem Acra look for the brides who love traditional gowns. This lace A-line gown is simple and can be complimented with almost any hair and make-up look. While it seems traditional, the beaded, almost icicle-like, neckline sets it apart from more simple gowns. If the spikey neckline isn’t for you, take this look as inspiration for a jeweled twist on a classic gown.

Lauren Chan is the Editor of the Bridal Guide.

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BHLDN Releases 2014 Wedding Gown Collection

Bridal designer label BHLDN has released images of their beautiful 2014 collection. The line is available today at BHLDN.com. The site is geared towards the young, modern, hip bride. Along with it’s trendy wedding dresses, BHLDN offers a range of products including shoes, lingerie, décor, and gifts.

You can also visit the website to check out their B-Inspired blog. Its DIYs, theme inspiration, wedding ideas, and staff picks will keep you occupied while you decide whether you like their gowns enough to purchase one.

As for the 2014 wedding gown collection, all dresses have a very modern and contemporary feel. Be assured that there is no sense of stuffy tradition in these designs. Belts are a theme, whether they are made of fabric or heavy jewels.The collection hosts one short cocktail length dress and one boho inspired gown for the free spirited bride—perfect for a beach wedding!

The looks are paired with natural-looking make-up and loose, wavey updos, and fun accessories. The prices are reasonable, but if you find they run a bit high, you can always browse through last season’s sale gowns.


Toga Dress: Ruth Gown



Jeweled Neckline: Tia Gown



Contemporary Queen: Sian Gown



[Photos courtesy of BHLDN]

Lauren Chan is the Editor of the Bridal Guide.

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Dresses Your Bridesmaids Will Wear After Your Wedding

Your bridesmaids are likely some of your best friends and family that are thrilled at the prospect of making you happy on your wedding day and in the stages of planning. They plan your showers, your bachelorette parties, and more. The one thing that these women deserve in favour of all their efforts is a dress that they don’t hate. We all know the running jokes about terrible bridesmaid dresses, so do you really want to make your bridesmaids feel terrible? Try to collaborate with all of your bridesmaids to find a dress that they will wear again and again after your wedding. Here are our suggestions.

What’s on Trend

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[Photo courtesy of Shopbop]

ONE by Contrarian Maxi Dress $459

Sure, trends come and go, but if you pick something simple and on trend, your bridesmaid can wear the dress again for a few more times that season. Some trends will allow the bridesmaid to wear the dress for years! For this idea, we suggest a maxi dress. We doubt it will end up being a dress that anyone looks back on with a quiver and regrets wearing. Unlike puffy shoulder pads, this dress is simple and true to a woman’s silhouette.

Little Black Dress

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 10.47.53 AM

[Photo courtesy of Shopbop]

Velvet Stretch Lace Dress $182

All girls can use a few little black dresses. The LBD can be worn to almost any event: to a cocktail party, holiday dinner, birthday shenanigan, etc. They can be dressed up or dressed down, and as long as they are moderately priced, we doubt any of your bridesmaids will be complaining about this versatile staple. If you can’t decide on a trendy dress to outfit your bridesmaids in, we definitely suggest using a little black dress.

Body Flattering

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 10.48.11 AM

[Photo courtesy of Shopbop]

Zimmerman Strapless Dress $372

If your bridesmaids are all different shapes and sizes and have a hard time deciding on a flattering cut, fear not! There are certain elements of a dress that are universally flattering. Here, we see a moderate length, but the hem line can be adjusted. A sweetheart neckline will help enhance the chest of girls with a small bra size and it will help balance out women with a bigger chest. The rouching of the waistline draws the eye in and away from any unsightly lumps and bumps. The flowing skirt flares out to create a bodacious hourglass figure. What’s not to love?!

Be sure to openly discuss and concerns that your bridesmaids may have with their dresses. After all, be sure to remember all they have done or will do to help you on your big day.


Lauren Chan is the Editor of the Bridal Guide.

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Fun “Mr. and Mrs.” Wedding Gifts

Most couples have a wedding registry months before their big day. They find dishes, bathroom towels and kitchen accessories that they like. Sometimes, however, the registry is small because the couple collectively has everything they need already. This makes gift buying difficult for the bridal shower and/or wedding guests. Money is always an option for a gift but is more impersonal and some people enjoy giving the couple something they can open and enjoy for a long time. If you are one of those people, here are a few fun gift ideas for the new Mr. and Mrs.!

Luggage Tags


[Photo courtesy of Wedding Gifts Company]

For the couple planning on a honeymoon, “Mr. and Mrs.” luggage tags make a great gift. You can often find companies that will personalize them with the couple’s names and wedding date/contact information. They might not make a fancy gift but they are sure to add some excitement to the traveling newlyweds’ time together! 

Drinking Glasses


[Photo courtesy of Wedding Gifts Company]

Whether it is a beer mug, champagne flute or shot glass, there is a wide selection of “Mr. and Mrs.” glasses that you can give as a gift. Again, you might be able to find a company that can personalize the glasses. You can choose a more masculine style for the groom and a more feminine style for the bride. Maybe the couple enjoys drinking coffee, so coffee mugs would be a good idea. If you are a family member or part of the wedding party, you could even get the couple personalized toasting flutes that they could use at their wedding. Tread carefully, however, as some couples insist on choosing and customizing those themselves.

Pillows/Home Decor


[Photo courtesy of homeideamaker.com]

Once the wedding is over and the newlyweds begin their life of wedded bliss together, things will soon become routine and memories of the wedding will start to fade. What better way to have a daily reminder of their marriage than to have a home decor item they can look at every day? “Mr. and Mrs.” pillows are becoming very popular and there are so many fun styles to choose from! You can also find wedding date pillows, pillow cases and other corresponding products.

In addition to the items mentioned above, you can find “Mr. and Mrs.” picture frames, salt & pepper shakers, flip flops, bath towels and much more! These types of gifts are best suited for more casual gatherings like bridal showers, but finding a small “Mr. and Mrs.” gadget to add to your wedding gift would be a nice touch.

The important thing in choosing a “Mr. and Mrs.” gift is to think about who the gift is for. Would the person like the gift? Do you know their style? Would they use it? Not everyone is meant to receive novelty gifts like these, however, for those who are, these are really fun ideas.

If you are a soon to be bride, you can also add these items to your wedding registry! Check places like Etsy and Pinterest for ideas.


Leena Kollar is a contributing writer to the Bridal Guide.

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Wedding Dresses for Busty Brides

Most wedding dresses in bridal magazines showcase brides that are tall and slim with petite chests, so if you are a large chested bride finding gowns that flatter your figure can be difficult.

If you have a large chest and you’re worried about what dress to wear and what to wear under your dress for support, here’s our wedding dress guide for busty brides.


One Shoulder


One shoulder wedding dresses are a great style for busty brides. The asymmetrical look draws attention away from your chest and generally camouflages your bust with runching.

Wedding Dress with Sleeves


This doesn’t mean you have to don long sleeves like wedding dresses from the 1980s. A cute cap sleeve or an off-the-shoulder look is perfect for hiding a bra strap under your gown. Flattering necklines for big busted brides include a tasteful V-neck or a keyhole style.

A-Line or Ball Gown


If you think you can pull off a strapless gown, the best way to do it is with a fuller skirt. You don’t want to have much beading or detailing on your bodice because it will draw everyone’s eyes towards your chest—which for big busted brides isn’t want you want to be doing. You don’t have to hide your natural assets, but you want to balance them. That’s why a full skirt in either an A-line dress or a full ball gown works perfectly for larger chested brides.

Under the Wedding Dress

For large chested women the key too feeling comfortable and sexy on your wedding day is a well-fitted bra. If you have a strapless gown or an off the shoulder or an asymmetrical one shoulder wedding dress, it will be difficult to wear a regular supportive bra with straps. To get the same support without the straps you need to have a proper fitting band. The best thing to do is measure your band yourself, just below your chest. Many women with larger cup sizes buy bras with bands what are too big for them. It’s better to buy a smaller band, like a 34 instead of a 36, and get a cup size larger than you usually would get, like a DD instead of a D. It may be difficult to find this size in stores, but many specialty lingerie shops sell high quality bras online.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for the Bridal Guide.

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All the Rage: Long Sleeved Wedding Dresses

Did you know that most brides wear white wedding dresses because Queen Victoria was married in a white gown? Well it seems that in this century Princess Kate Middleton it setting a trend of her own: long sleeved wedding dresses.


[photo courtesy of quilting.about.com]

Who could forget the gorgeous gown Kate wore to her wedding to Prince William? Thousands of brides wanted a ‘Kate Middleton’ dress for their own wedding after seeing how gorgeous she looked in the Alexander McQueen gown.

With the wedding long behind them (and a baby due this weekend) her dress is still setting the standard for iconic weddings around the world.

Last weekend Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert married Toronto Maple Leaf Dion Phaneuf in the country’s east coast. The bride looked gorgeous in a conservative yet becoming long sleeved wedding gown that made her look as classy as Princess Kate.

[photo courtesy of E! Online]

[photo courtesy of E! Online]

Before the Royal Wedding, Nicole Richie wore a long sleeve gown in 2010. The reason Nicole broke with the strapless trend was because they were going for a very upscale classy look and because Richie is very fashion forward.


[photo courtesy evelynclarkweddings.com]

Aside from Kate’s dress that has been replicated in countless stores, one of the most iconic long sleeve wedding dresses came from a movie. You may be familiar with the fictional character, Bella Swan, who wore a long sleeve dress to marry her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen, in the blockbuster film Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Even if you aren’t a fan, which many are not—since the film is a bit below the age bracket for most brides—the wedding dress has stood out and been recognized beyond the film. Replicas of the intricately handcrafted gown have been shared thousands of times on Pinterest and beyond. Brides love the unique back and spine of the dress and they want to get a similar look.


Kate Middleton was expected to wear a long sleeve gown because she was getting married at Westminster Abbey and she needed to be covered up. She may have needed sleeves, but her elegance inspired so many brides and now long sleeve dresses are becoming increasingly more popular.

Long sleeved dressed are special because they showcase the bride’s body in a mature and elegant way—which for many brides is ideal. If you want a classy look for your wedding, the long sleeved trend may be just want you’re looking for.

Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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Wedding Shoes: What’s your Perfect fit?

A helpful guide to help you find your perfect wedding shoe style.


Photo courtesy of ShoeDazzle.com

When it comes to weddings, there’s nothing wrong with being traditional. Most traditional brides choose white or beige heels to go for a classic look. In addition to the colour choice, they also chose a traditional style. If you’re the type of bride who thinks, “Why buy something fancy when no one will even see it?” it’s possible that traditional wedding shoes are for you. There’s no bling and no special design, just classic elegance for a beautiful bride.

Open Toe

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Choo

The most popular wedding shoes right now are open toe heels. If you always have your toe nails manicured and painted, you should want to show them off! Open toed shoes are likely your first choice when you walk down the aisle.


Photo courtesy of Haute Look

Sandals give brides the option of having a uniquely shaped shoe. Instead of a traditional silhouette, the straps create a more intricate look on your feet. By choosing a sandal you can add a lot of personality and flare to your wedding shoe. Sandals are perfect for summer brides who want to show a bit more style and originality.


Photo courtesy of GlitzNGlamourou


Flats are a great choice for several types of brides. They are great for taller brides who don’t want to tower over their husbands. They’re also great for brides who value comfort. Wearing flats doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, there are many gorgeous wedding shoes that are feminine and flirty without a heel.



Thisbe Grace Photography

Most brides want to feel like a princess on their wedding day. What better way to feel like Royalty than with a touch of sparkle? Having jewels or sparkles on your wedding shoes is a great way to be flashy and fun but it’s also a good way to feel like a princess. These shiny shoes will look lovely on young and outgoing brides who want to dazzle.

Pop of Colour

Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Many non-traditional brides opt for colourful shoes on their wedding day. This is a great way to incorporate ‘something blue’ into your wedding outfit. It’s also a great way to show your personality. If you choose a colourful shoe, you can work in your theme or colour scheme, you can match your groom, or you can make a trendy bold statement. The best part about opening up your colour pallet is that almost any shoe becomes a potential wedding shoe. Colourful shoes are for unconventional brides who think that white shoes with a white dress are just too bland.


Photo courtesy of Vera Wang

It’s hard to find a trendy wedding shoe this season that doesn’t have a bow on it. Whether it’s an actual ribbon or a jeweled design, bows are popping up on all different types of wedding shoe styles. If you love keeping up with the trends and this girly style speaks to you, then you should keep an eye out for wedding shoes with bows.

Personalized Love Note

Alea Photography

Thanks to Pinterest, brides are learning that wedding shoes can hide a secret love note from the groom. If the thought of handing your partner your wedding shoes and a Sharpie doesn’t bother you than this romantic gesture is certainly something you should consider with whichever wedding shoe style you choose.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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