As experienced Wedding Coordinators in the Bay Area and recently married themselves, Dawn Rigney and Amber Silva of Kinsley James Couture Bridal saw the need for a high-end bridal salon in the East Bay Area. During their engagement and specifically the search for “the one” they ran around the earth, traveling to San Francisco, the South Bay and even to other states to try on some of their favorite designers. They were so excited to bring exactly what they were looking for to the Bay Area, and have done exactly that by opening their gorgeous couture bridal salon in Walnut Creek. We talked about dresses and discovered a few tips for you when thinking about that perfect gown.
Consider your shape before considering a trend.
Rather than getting caught up in the latest fad, focus on your personal style and what flatters your body shape the most. The most critical aspect is to figure out the silhouette that works best for you. When you feel like a better version of yourself when you are wearing it, then you know you’ve found your timeless gown. Talk to your gown consultant about your style and let her pull out a few dresses for you to start with, and then discuss your likes and dislikes so she can hone down what you are looking for.
Try on as many dresses as you need to. Almost any dress can look gorgeous on a hanger — or worse, a mannequin. Once a dress is on a woman’s body, it takes on a different shape and look. Allow yourself to try on as many dresses as you need to in order to see how each one fits and shapes to your specific body type, but don’t overwhelm yourself with choices. Don’t feel compelled to try on 20 dresses at every shop.
What Kind of bride are you?
Do you want to dance, move around, and shake your booty? A smaller dress might be more appropriate in allowing you to be mobile. Do you want to be a princess for a day? Then maybe something extravagant might be your pick. Or do you want to be the bell of the ball and have it all?… Then get two! Something gorgeous for your ceremony and something sassy for your reception.
Also, consider the photos! Most of the images your guests will take of you will be from the waist up, so consider the top half of your gown as you choose that perfect dress. If a boutique will allow you to photograph the dress, take as many photos as you can! You will be looking at photographs of this dress for years to come — you want to see how it photographs from all angles.
Tips for the Bridal Shop
Wear well-fitted undergarments, and pretty ones too! You’ll be spending a lot of time without your clothes on, so it might be a good idea to find something pretty to wear. Plus a well-fitted bra will help you in your search as you try on dresses for your body type.
Don’t worry about the size! Bridal gowns tend to run larger than regular sizes… be more concerned about how the gown fits you than what the number is on the back.
Be aware of impulse buys. Most bridal gown purchases are final, so take your time when making your decision. Don’t buy accessories until you’ve purchased the dress to make sure that it all works together. You might love that $100 hair clip but it might not go with the vintage gown you found.
Custom gowns typically take between 6-9 months to order, so give yourself a good window of time before the wedding day.
DON’T schedule your wedding dress appointment late in the day. Going earlier in the day ensures a fresh bridal store staff that hasn’t dealt with the concerns of a million clients already. The store is less likely to be crowded, and you’ll get the full attention of the staff. Also, don’t feel like you need to bring your entire bridal party — sometimes too many opinions can be daunting. Often taking one or two trusted confidants is the better way to go.
Get something fun to make a signature statement. These hangers are fun for the day and make a great photograph. Remember too, details are important—even the smallest detail on a dress can transform it into an amazing work of art, but also how about considering colors, shapes, straps, strapless, to make your gown uniquely you.