Expert Advice From Mennat Al Hammami: How To Pick Your Wedding Dress – The Wedding Planner’s Perspective
Written by on July 26, 2016.
Tagged under: Expert Advice From Mennat Al Hammami: How To Pick Your Wedding Dress – The Wedding Planner’s Perspective
How to pick your Wedding Dress – The Wedding Planner’s Perspective
This month, our BCME expert panel member and founder of Cloud 9 Weddings & Events, Mennat Al Hammami, is talking all things wedding dresses! Many brides-to-be do not realise that planners can also help when it comes to choosing their dream gown for their big day. After all, it’s sometimes good to have the opinion of someone who is not quite so personally involved, and is able to give an unbiased view of how you look in the various gowns that you will try on. For example, your Mum may think that you look ‘so beautiful’ in everything, and your best friends may be wary of being too honest and upsetting you. Therefore, it makes sense to enlist the help of your wedding planner, who also knows your overall vision of how the day itself will look and run. Below, Mennat gives her top tips, gleaned from her years of experience as a wedding planner. Enjoy!
I recently helped a very close friend of mine with making some major decisions relating to her upcoming wedding, including offering advice on picking out her wedding gown. I observed as she made her way from one bridal boutique to the next, visiting several big couture design houses in the region. Surprisingly, her position of being indecisive wasn’t because of the lack of dresses that suited her; or that fit her beautifully. The question she asked me was in fact, how do I pick the right dress for me?
When I first started out my career in Wedding Planning, I was actually accredited to become a consultant for couples getting married rather than a handler of the logistical side of planning. Though my expertise did spill over into the latter side of things, I felt my strengths lay in putting together the perfect aesthetic version of a couple’s persona. Creating the wedding that speaks you, as the Cloud 9 motto goes! With that in mind, my passion for fashion gave birth to my following of the world of bridal wear. I was fascinated with everything from the classic understated styles of Oscar de la Renta and the uniqueness of Marchesa, to the creativity of Reem Acra and the detailing of Badgley Mischka. I understood how every type of bride, whether the shy and simple or bold and daring, could wear each style. A bride’s personality will always dictate the style of the wedding, starting with her gown. Nonetheless, there are more important factors that also play a part in the decision making process.
Avoiding a hefty price tag is often the first point any bride addresses when wedding dress shopping, and rightly so! The smart first step would be to dismiss price and set a realistic range. Think about the occasion first. Is it an intimate beach wedding of less than 100 people? Or is it for 500 people in an extravagant ballroom? Start with the kind of wedding it will be and work backwards to the dress.
If you are a bride who is brand savvy or looking for a heavily embellished gown, for example, then be ready to hear numbers that aren’t the lowest! If you have a small budget but want a big dress and can’t afford the same quality or workmanship, it is not advised to cheat. Try looking for a smaller dress made from quality silk, with every detail beautifully made, rather than something that looks bigger but is cheaper quality or fabric.
A perfect fit is more important than anything else. Try not to get caught up in the trend of the moment, but instead focus on your personal style and what flatters you most. It is so easy for a bride to look to social media to find the look she wants; it’s even easier for that same bride to compare herself to other brides and feel like she needs to stand out. It’s best to find something that flatters all of you; your figure and confidence in the way you carry yourself. In order to avoid breaking the budget, focus more on the fit on the top half of your body, with a simpler bottom. The majority of wedding photos that guests take of you are from the waist up! So if purchasing a gown with an embellished skirt is too expensive, think of looking for a dress with a detailed bodice that really works with you. Be mindful of necklines and back detail. Think about which style works with the parts of your body you feel the most confident showing off.
Along with finding the right gown for your body type, there are a few other things that can help you find your dress. If you have a consultant or a wedding planner, trust their suggestions that fall outside of your comfort zone. You never know what could surprisingly look great on you. Also, shop with a supportive crew that can read your body language and facial expression when you try on the dresses. Every dress has an indirect effect on the way a bride feels in it.
Finally, go with your gut! If during your search you come across a dress that makes you feel beautiful, confident, comfortable with yourself and glamorous, then that dress is worth revisiting. It would be a further advantage if you were able to dance and move around easily. Even if the dress is not as trendy as you had hoped, feeling like a more confident version of yourself when you’re wearing it is far more important. Wearing a gown that incorporates both the traditional and the modern will make any bride feel timeless.