Top Five things to do BEFORE going dress shopping

1.     Set a Budget. It is so important to know what you are able to spend on a dress. Talk to whoever it is that will be paying for the dress and set a distinct price point. If you wait till you’re in the store shopping, you’ll simply
      be adding stress and sometimes even hinder finding
      your perfect dress.
   2.     Decide who you would like to come with you. Your entourage can make or break your appointment. Make sure whoever is coming with you will be honest but tactful. You need someone whose opinion you can trust but also remembers it’s what you want that matters most.
    3.     Get an idea of what style you like. There are so many different styles to wedding gowns that it’s a good idea to at least have a place to begin when you first start shopping. If nothing else, have an idea of what shape you’re interested in trying first. But, don’t get hung up on that original shape if it doesn’t work once you have it on.
   4.      Decide what height of heal you plan on wearing. On your wedding
      day you’ll be standing for a long time. You’ll also be standing for a while during your appointments.
      If you know what height of heal you would like to wear, you can have a trial run during your appointments. That way if after 20 minutes you can’t stand anymore, you’ll know before the wedding!  
5.      Do your hair and makeup. It sounds silly but let me explain. Even if you’re getting the simplest dress in the entire store, it’s still a wedding dress. I don’t mean an up-do and night-life makeup, just something so when you’re surrounded by mirrors you’re looking at the dress and not getting distracted by crazy hair. 


Traditional Veiling

            Traditional veiling has four pieces to it, each with its own specific purpose and meaning. Even if you don’t think you’ll wear a veil or you want something simpler, every bride needs to see themselves in traditional veiling.
Cathedral length veil
            The first piece is the flair. It can be anything from a tiara, headband, ribbon, feather, flower, or just a simple clip. You wear this throughout the entire ceremony and reception –that way even if you take everything else off after the ceremony, you’ll still have something that sets you apart as the bride.
            The next piece is the Chapel/Cathedral length veil. This veil flows all the way down the back of the gown to the floor and is worn only during the ceremony. Depending on your train length, it will either hug the trim of your gown or flow past it, creating the illusion of a longer train. This piece holds a lot of significance in it. It traditionally symbolized the formality of the event, often times signifying royalty. Today, any bride can wear this stunning veil. It adds a grace and elegance to any style of wedding gown. Cathedral veils also depict unity. Couples often wrap it around their chairs at the head table or take pictures with it intertwining the two. Traditionally the veil is wrapped around the couple’s first child’s baby bassinet as well.
2 tier fingertip veil 
            On top of the cathedral veil the next piece is placed – the fingertip/shoulder length veil. As you might have guessed from the name, this piece ranges in length from anywhere between your fingertips and top of your shoulders. This is the most traditional veil seen on most brides. It not only ranges in length but also in style. Some are covered in sparkle, some are lined with pearls, some cascade with ribbon, and others retain a simple elegance with no added accessories. They can have anywhere from one tier to three tiers, making a large variation with “poof”.
1 tier fingertip veil
            Fingertip/shoulder length veils are traditionally what you would pass down from generation to generation. You wear it during the ceremony and then depending on your style and preference, some brides wear it for the rest of the time and others take it off before the reception.
            The last piece is the most significant to many brides – the blusher. It has no beading, no edging, no sparkle of any kind. This is because its significance lies in its symbolism. It is placed on top of the other two veils and is brought over the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle. Once she reaches the end of the aisle, dad lifts it up over her face and it disappears into the rest of her veiling. This is that last moment you have with your father. His lifting the veil up over your face is a picture of him unwrapping you like a present for you groom and presenting you to him. Traditionally it symbolizes dad passing his authority over his daughter over to the groom.
Traditional Veiling
 Those are the four piece of traditional veiling. It may seem like a lot at first, and to some brides it is too much, but you never know until you try it! Each bride is unique in what she likes so take away any elements you don’t like and see what you’ll be left with is just your style.


The Veil

Wedding veils can be a little tricky. You don’t walk around in everyday life with a flowy white thing dangling from your head so how are you supposed to know what you’ll like? The best thing to do is just try some one. Once you’ve found a dress that you like, not necessarily “the one” but one that you would consider, ask your bridal consultant to show you a few different veils.

As a bride, I was a veil hater. I didn’t want to be one of those brides whose head got yanked back every time someone swooped in for a hug and looked like a giant cupcake in all her pictures. The only thing I would even consider was a birdcage veil. Three of the four boutiques I went to while dress shopping didn’t even ask if I was interesting in veiling so it wasn’t really an issue. Once I found my dress I decided to try on the birdcage veil and was immediately hooked.

A few months later I started working at a bridal salon and was trained in what each style of veil meant and what it was used for. We were instructed as consultants to make sure every bride we saw tried on at least one veil, preferably three. I hated the idea. What if my brides were like me and didn’t really want a veil? But, it was my job so I did it.

The more brides I helped, the more times I explained the meanings and purposes behind each veil, the more I fell in love with veiling. I made sure every bride had the opportunity to see what she would look like in a veil. That way, even if she hated it, she would at least know what she was saying no to.

I loved my birdcage veil and wouldn’t have changed any piece of it. However, I wish I would have been able to see what I would have looked like in traditional veiling. Whether you decide to wear a simply flower or go with the complete traditional look, veiling is one of the most important parts of your wedding attire. After all, a veil is the difference between a pretty girl in a pretty dress, and a bride.
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