Tue | Aug 22, 2017

The wedding dress of your choice

Published:Monday | December 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMSara Stanford
A dress perfectly suited for a church wedding, photographed at Terra Nova All Suite Hotel by Fern Elise.
A dress for a garden wedding, taken at Terra Nova All Suite Hotel by Fern Elise.
The photo shows a dress for a beach wedding, taken at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort by Marcia E.Roberts.
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One of the first things I ask a bride-to-be when she calls the boutique for an appointment is 'Have you decided on your venue?'

Before you decide on a style of dress, you really need to decide what style of wedding you and your future husband want. Have you always dreamt of a relaxed beach wedding with your toes in the sand? Or is your idea of the perfect wedding a classic black-tie event held in a fancy ballroom? Your gown really helps to set the tone for your big day. So let me guide you through the overwhelming world of wedding-gown styles.

Beach Wedding

The perfect beach gown will typically be made of light, cool fabric like silk or chiffon. Most brides that have a beach wedding usually prefer a dress with little or no train. Remember you will be out in the sun all day and you will want to be comfortable. Keep in mind, however, that just because a beach wedding is less formal doesn't mean it's a casual affair. If you want a bit of sparkle and fluff, go for it. Just remember, comfort at a beach wedding is key.

Garden Wedding

A garden wedding is a great mix of the formality of a church wedding and the more relaxed vibe of a beach wedding. A gown made of light organza or lace works perfectly for this venue. Both fabrics are still light enough to be comfortable while still giving a more formal feel. Some brides choose a gown with a chapel-length train rather than no train. Stay away from the cathedral length trains as that is usually reserved for a more formal affair.

Church Wedding

Now a wedding held in a church is where you can go all out. From a full ball gown to a fitted mermaid gown with an elaborate skirt. Most ball gowns will have many layers of tulle, satin or organza fabric. If you are a fan of sparkle, then here is where you can go crazy and find the gown with the most sparkle in the entire store. Ball gowns usually come with cathedral trains and look fabulous when you are walking down the grand church aisle.

All this being said, keep in mind that it is your big day and you should wear the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful. Don't allow anyone (not even me) to dictate the dress that you should were. This is only meant to be a guide. Think of the look and feel you want for your wedding and then choose accordingly.

Whatever your wedding venue, Bliss Bridal has a wide selection of gowns.

• Sara Stanford is the proprietor of Bliss Bridal Boutique.