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Choosing your wedding dress is probably the most exciting part of the wedding preparations. Before you decide, it's particularly important to know what defines the quality of a dress. Here's a list to help you make your choice: 

  • Seams are clean, even and flat
  • The hems of a wedding dress are not noticeable, the stitches are invisible and generally done by hand. It's meticulous, precise work. This hem can be taken up again or completely redone when the length needs to be changed.
  • The inside of the wedding dress is fully lined
  • The zips are invisible and slide off easily
  • The pearls, embroidery and lace inlays are individually hand-sewn for a couture wedding dress. If you choose a made-to-measure or half-measure dress, all these little details will also remain invisible to your guests.
  • The buttons can be used
  • The wedding dress corset must be made from a quality, comfortable fabric. The corset is designed to slim just where you need it, hugging your ribs and hips without crushing them. A pretty corset is your guarantee of a dream figure and an enhanced bust.
eautiful, happy, smiling bride in white wedding gown and veil holding a bouquet with water and sky background

Tips for buying your wedding dress

First of all, plan your time and budget, because bridal boutiques have beautiful dresses to present and it becomes difficult to concentrate on the budget you had set yourself and the model you had in mind. You'll probably want to try everything on, after all when there are so many beautiful options it makes sense. Start early, because designing a dress can take from 4 to 8 months, depending on its complexity and especially if it's made to measure. Don't forget to think about the alterations that require extra time.

We're going to share our top tips to help you find and buy your wedding dress.

Your wedding budget

Before starting your search, it's a good idea to define your overall wedding budget and how much you can spend on your dress. Generally speaking, your wedding outfit includes accessories, lingerie and shoes.

Shopping for wedding dresses just got a whole lot easier! La mode nuptiale offers a wide range of dresses, from short to long, from the most traditional to the most sophisticated, so you can find the wedding dress of your dreams.

Your wedding dress budget

Once you've established your overall wedding budget, you'll be able to define the actual budget you can allocate to your dress. It all depends on whether the wedding dress is the most important item for you. Generally speaking, if you have a budget of €40,000 for your entire wedding, ideally you should choose dresses starting at €3,500. Perhaps you'd like to spend a little more or a little less on other items such as floral decoration or music.

Start your wedding dress search

As well as Pinterest and Instagram inspirations, which will undoubtedly help you to envisage a style and understand what you'll like to wear on your wedding day, it's important to talk over the phone with the boutique or design house you've chosen for an initial budget approach. It would be a shame to fall in love with a dress that far exceeds your budget. Once these initial discussions have taken place, take the time to visit the boutiques and shows to get an idea of the materials and colours.

Time to try on the wedding dress

Start your day with a cocooning session to help you feel beautiful and confident as you try on your wedding dress.

It's easier to imagine yourself as a bride on the big day! Keep an open mind. Be ready to let yourself be surprised by an unexpected silhouette!

Think about your accessories to enhance your wedding dress

Wedding attire is much more than just the dress, it also extends to the accessories, so if you have any vintage jewellery you'd like to wear, it's a good idea to bring it along. Outstanding pumps? Bring them too! That way you can be sure they'll match the dress. Remember to wear underwear that you won't be embarrassed to be seen in. Remember that when you're trying on a wedding dress, you're not alone. Surround yourself with

a few people you can trust to accompany you. It's possible that shopping for your dress won't work out on the first try, but that's no problem at all. Buying a wedding dress isn't that simple. What's certain is that you'll find something that's perfect for you, so stay calm and trust your instincts.

Dancing movements look amazing in this long dress.

Will I be wearing a veil with my wedding dress?

Whatever the answer, this accessory, once shunned, is back in fashion and much sought-after by brides.

The veil, so ancient yet so modern, because it enhances your dress and can be combined with all styles. The ultra-long veil in a sheer train is a real eye-catcher. Another incredibly sexy style is the shoulder-length veil. For a pin-up look, opt for a tutu veil. And don't forget that there are some very pretty veils for that rock'n'roll look.

In a way, you choose your veil according to your desires and the world of your wedding.

Hire your wedding dress

Renting your wedding dress is an economical option. Despite the fact that this service is still underdeveloped in France, shops and salons offer a wardrobe of wedding dresses based on models from previous collections or unsold items. Be meticulous and inspect the dress you are about to hire very closely. Check the hems, loose threads and armpit stains. Check for missing lace appliqués, buttons and pearls. Make sure the zip slides and the tulle or muslin is smooth. If you notice a defect, make sure it can be repaired or easily cleaned.

The benefits:

  • Prices are obviously lower than for a new or made-to-measure wedding dress.
  • The second-hand aspect
  • Your dressing room won't be cluttered with a huge dress that needs protecting from dust and that you'll probably never wear again.
  • The chance to wear a dress from a design house without breaking the bank

Disadvantages:

  • Touch-ups will rarely be possible
  • No personalisation of your wedding dress
  • Accept the idea that the wedding dress has a story that you don't know
  • Few shops offer this service

How to get your mother to buy your dress from a distance

In these days of covid-19, remote wedding planning is more of a reality than ever. The search for and purchase of a wedding dress is a special and emotional moment. Ask her for her opinion, exchange ideas together, organise a zoom, or some other means of contact that suits everyone so that she can have an active and visual input. The idea is that she shouldn't feel excluded because of the distance. Take lots of photos and when you're trying on dresses, think about doing a face time, so you can share your enthusiasm at the same time.

Glossary of wedding dress fabrics

As well as choosing the style of your wedding dress, there's one decisive factor to consider: the material.

Knowing the terms relating to fabrics will help you to feel more at ease when trying them on and to better understand the characteristics of the materials so that you can assess the quality of the fabrics.

La Crêpe Georgette crêpe: a fabric that is sometimes smooth, sometimes wavy and slightly grainy, depending on the type of crêpe. Georgette crêpe is particularly popular for wedding outfits, as it is a soft, wispy fabric with a superb fall.

La Dentelle Elegant, sexy and timeless, lace is a must-have. It's a light, openwork fabric made up of very fine stitches and criss-crossing threads that generally create endless floral patterns. Each lace has its own particularity and is also widely used in ready-to-wear clothing. Do not confuse lace with embroidery, which is a superimposed ornament.

Embroidery Embroidery: embroidery is a decorative ornament added in relief to fabric to create special effects using materials such as precious stones, sequins or pearls. You can ask the designer of your dress to personalise it with embroidery or a message, which can be an original and very couture option.

La Mousseline muslin is both comfortable and extremely soft to the touch. It is a cotton or silk fabric woven from light, natural fibres. In fact, muslin is a vaporous, transparent fabric that allows air to circulate. So there's no risk of allergies. It's a great option for a delicate, comfortable wedding dress.

Le Plumetis Plumetis: plumetis is a cotton voile distinguished by the small raised dots found on fabrics such as cotton voile and tulle. Appreciated for its delicacy and refinement, it's the fabric of choice for brides who love the romantic, bohemian spirit.  

Organza Organza, a classic bridal fabric that adds volume and lightness to a wedding dress. It's a thin, light, transparent fabric with a shiny, rigid side.

Satin Historically, satin was used for upholstery. Then satin became very fashionable in the form of lingerie for its soft, flowing feel. It has the distinctive feature of having a smooth front and a matt back. Its high-gloss appearance reflects light beautifully.

Taffeta Taffeta: taffeta is a more or less fine, shimmering fabric that is slightly shiny, soft and thick at the same time. It is very pleasant for designers to work with, allowing them to create graphic drapes and bubbles that capture the light.

Tulle Tulle: tulle is very popular in the wedding world and comes in all colours. A fine, light fabric, tulle is vaporous and ideal for a wedding dress underskirt. It can be made from different materials such as cotton, silk or linen.

The silk Mikado For a glamorous look, silk mikado is a good option. It's a thick, relatively heavy material with a luxurious, slightly shiny look that's ideal for supporting bustiers and flared cuts, for impeccable hold and a highly refined look.

Chantilly lace Chantilly lace: Chantilly lace is hand-worked, usually with silk thread, and is mainly used to make mantillas, long dresses and wedding dress trains. Extremely delicate and light, chantilly lace is decorated with floral motifs and their components. Ideal for an ultra-romantic retro look.

Guipure Guipure is a kind of bottomless lace, very light and openwork, made up of threads interlaced with an embroidery thread that is often confused with lace. Designers have given it an important place in the world of fashion, particularly in the form of details on ready-to-wear wedding dresses.

Coloured wedding dresses The new look: dare to wear coloured wedding dresses, white is not compulsory! The codes are changing and we love it! Go for powder pink, blush or nude wedding dresses! A bright colour of your choice gives a bride personality.

With so many different options for materials and styles of wedding dresses to choose from, there's something for everyone, but it can also make your head spin. I hope I've helped you in your search for the perfect dress. 

Would you like to organise a prestigious wedding? Don't hesitate to contact me.

Michèle, Wedding Planner - Paris Ile-de-France

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