Tuesday, December 8, 2009

4 Tips on Choosing the Fabric and Color of Your Wedding Dress

The same dress style can look and feel quite different in a different color or fabric. In the search for your wedding gown, you'll want to try on several different dresses so you can find the perfect fabric and the most flattering color to match your complexion. Here are four tips to consider when shopping for the gown of your dreams with particular emphasis on fabrics and color.

1. Consider the overall feel that you want your gown to create at your wedding.

Your dress will set the tone and theme of the entire wedding more than any other single thing. What do you see when you close your eyes and imagine your wedding day? Are you going to be walking down an aisle, getting married outside or uttering your vows by the soft glow of candlelight? How do you want the fabric to drape across your figure? Do you want the fabric to shine or shimmer? If you're not sure, try on several types of fabrics so you can find out what you like best.

2. Try on several different fabrics and find out what complements your figure and taste.

The fabric of a wedding gown is the basis for its overall look and feel and will influence cost more than any other single thing. Here are some of the more common fabrics that you will have to choose from as you search for the "perfect gown:"
  • Chiffon is a thin, transparent fabric that can be made out of nylon, poly, silk, or rayon. It drapes very nicely and has a soft, romantic feel to it. It is much lighter than the other fabrics and is a great overlay on satin dresses or skirts.
  • Organza is a sheer fabric that is crisper and heavier than chiffon. It shines and shimmers in the light and can make the dress "light up" in your bridal portraits. Organza is primarily used for layering and overlays on skirts.
  • Satin is a smooth weave fabric that has a sheen or lustrous gloss on one side. It is typically made from acetate, poly, silk, or other manmade fibers. The majority of wedding gowns today are made from some kind of satin. More expensive gowns will be constructed from Italian matte satin, duchesse satin, or silk satin.
  • Tulle is a machine made crisp, netting-like material that is used for veils, ball gown skirts, and underskirts. It is what makes dresses 'pouf' out. Most brides either love tulle or they hate it. You'll have to try it on for yourself to find out how you feel about it.
Other materials from which dresses are made include a myriad of fabrics such as charmeuse (smooth, semi-lustrous soft weave fabric that is similar to satin but lighter in weight), duchesse satin (smooth, glossy, lustrous weave fabric), damask (fabric with interwoven floral or geometrical designs), dupioni silk (silk fabric that is similar to shantung but has coarses fibers and glossy sheen), georgette (sheer fabric that has a crepelike texture), shantung (similar to raw skilk yet has a distinct nubby texture due to thick and thin threads and is lighter and more fine than dupioni), taffeta (stiff, crisp fabric that has a dull finish or sheen) and velvet (plush and thick weave felted on one side and plain on the other which is often embossed or patterned and is most often used as an accent - such as a sash).

3. Consider your complexion when selecting the color of your gown.

Even though whtie has traditionally been the color of most gowns, more and more gowns are being designed with color in the details. Many off white, ivory or rum pink/champagne colored dresses may be the perfect way to complement your complexion. Fairer skin tones look better in ivory or creamier tones since they often have a softer look against your skin in comparison with the stark contrast you may find with whiter fabrics. Many bridal stores will have the same dress style in either white or ivory and may have the dress with colors that are hand painted or woven into the fabric so you can get a sense for what you like best. Although having color in your gown may seem pretty fashion forward, consider that the colors on your gown can tie in corresponding colors for your reception or bridesmaid dresses.

4. Don't get so caught up in all the details that you forget how you feel and look in the dress.

There are so many fabrics to choose from. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed and confused. Just remember to choose a color and fabric that best reflects the mood you are trying to create at your wedding. Knowing the types of textured materials that are available can help you look for and create a special look for your dress. You will want to try on a variety of gowns to help you find what you like best as you bring "the perfect gown" into closer focus. As you decide on your gown, trust your own instincts. Ask yourself these three questions of the final dresses you are seriously considering: 1) Which dress do I feel the prettiest in?; 2) which dress accentuates my best feature?; and 3) Which dress most fits my personality or style? Try on each gown and go through this process until you have eliminated all of the dresses to the final one. Once you've found a gown that is everything you've imagined, smile and relax--you've done it!

Heather Butler is the owner of Arizona's Bridal & Formal--Arizona's #1 Factory Outlet for Bridal & Formal Wear, located at 2450 W. Broadway Rd., Suite 120 in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached at 480-517-0027 or via email at info@arizonabridal.com

Jessica's heartbreaking story...

Here is Jessica's heartbreaking story about buying a wedding dress online and why she advises you not to make this same mistake. Read the shocking and surprising details here.

If you've been thinking about buying a wedding gown online, read this first!

If you've been thinking about buying a wedding dress online, read this first!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Post-Engagement Mistakes You'll Want to Avoid

Assuming the wedding will just work itself out and not scheduling enough time to work on your wedding details.

Many brides find it very helpful to set up a specific day of the week when they'll focus on their wedding plans. If your engagement is not as long, you may want to spend a couple of days each week or plan several weekends where you can focus on what needs to be done. Staying organized and communicating effectively are essential to staying sane and getting it all done.

Forgetting how many people you can accomodate at your reception site.

As you put together your guest list, think about how many people you'll be able to accomodate for your ceremony and reception site. Your food and beverage budget may also be a factor in who you invite since more guests often means more money.

Waiting too long to choose bridesmaids and groomsmen.

The earlier you decide and ask, the more time you'll have to let them help you plan the details of your wedding. Think through and pick who you will choose to honor as your attendants. Choose individuals who have been your friends through thick and thin and who you'll enjoy spending time with as you plan and prepare. It is a good idea to let them know what will be involved and expected since many of them will be contributing their precious time (helping to plan the details) and hard-earned money (purchasing gowns or renting tuxedos, etc.). They'll be honored by your request and your friendship will grow deeper as they participate in your special day.

Forgetting to take time to relax.

If you find yourself getting stressed out, take some time to recuperate. Spend a day completely away from the planning. Have fun. Relax. Enjoy spending time with your fiance. Create special moments that will deepen and enhance your relationship. Forgetting to focus on what is important will cause you a lot more stress than it is worth. Don't feel like you have to do everything in one day. Pace yourself. Keep things in perspective. Don't forget the excitement that led you to your decision to get married in the first place. Make sure you spend time together and take care of each other in the process of planning your wedding.

Jim and Heather Butler

Saturday, August 29, 2009

2 More Common Mistakes Following Engagement and How You Can Prevent Them

Here are two more common mistakes recently engaged couples make and how you can avoid them:

Forgetting to create a wedding timeline and take action on the details.

Another common mistake made by many couples is that they wait too long before taking action on important details for their wedding. Don't be afraid to make decisions after weighing your options. Much of the stress of weddings can be eliminated or minimized simply by taking time to plan and act on the details. Get or create your own calendar or date book so you can set specific dates by which you want to get things accomplished. Most bridal magazines have a wedding timeline in them or you can ask the wedding vendors you've got in mind when things need to be set in order to be ready for your wedding day.

Trying to do it alone. Instead, divide up the planning and assign tasks that need to be completed.
Once you have completed your timeline, you should split up the tasks that need to be completed. Both of you should be involved in the planning of the wedding. This will help eliminate a lot of stress and the feeling that you need to do it all yourself. Your mother and bridesmaids can also offer invaluable assistance in the planning details. If you do divide up the tasks, be sure to communicate about what each of you will do. Once it has been completed, check it off together so you don't end up doing the same thing twice!

In our next post, we'll share two more common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

Jim and Heather Butler

Friday, August 28, 2009

Common Mistakes Following Engagement and How You Can Avoid Them

If you've just recently gotten engaged, congratulations! As you're enjoying the glow and excitement of your new commitment to one another, take a minute to read about two common mistakes recently engaged couples make so that you can avoid them as you plan for your perfect wedding. Doing so will help you minimize your stress, frustration and disappointment as you plan for your big day.

1. Not taking the time to envision the details of your wedding.
Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and often involves quite a few people. If you're not sure exactly what you want, it may turn out a lot differently than you originally anticipated. It is your wedding so take time now to think through the details and envision how you've always imagined it would be. Take time to really think through the following questions:
  • When will the big day happen?
  • Where should it be?
  • Who will be there?
  • How formal will the event be?
Neglecting to think through how much time it is going to take to plan all of the details of their wedding, many couples can quickly get overwhelmed, especially in the area of finances (which can cause some disagreements).

2. Neglecting to decide on a budget and failingto keep track of all of your expenditures.
Very few people like budgets or budgeting but not having one (especially now) can add a significant burden to your present and future financial situation. There are literally endless option to a wedding and unfortunately, how elaborate many of the details are comes down to how much money you are willing to spend. Many brides are so excited to finally be planning their wedding that they start booking vendors and spending money without having a budget in place. Very quickly they realize that all of their money (or their parent's money) is spent and they don't even have half of what is going to be needed.

Don't let this happen to you. Your wedding will likely be the most elaborate event that you've ever planned to this point in your life. If you haven't already discovered, weddings can be quite expensive. Your budget may fluctuate as you decide on the actual venue and find out who has committed to help you cover the costs but it is critical that you begin with a dollar amount in mind. Many couples are choosing to scale back their wedding today since in many cases they are paying for it themselves. Other couples choose to have a longer engagement so they can save, plan, and have the wedding they really want. Decide together on what is most practical for you. There are likely some things you both won't want to compromise on - but there are other areas where you can cut back and still have a stunning and wonderful wedding.

Tomorrow, we'll post two more common mistakes couples make when they get engaged and how you can avoid the stress that comes with them. Stay tuned....

Jim and Heather Butler
Arizona's Bridal & Formal

A Brief Introduction to Arizona's Bridal & Formal

Check out this video introduction to our store:


We look forward to seeing you in our store soon.

Jim and Heather Butler

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Video Featuring Our Gowns

Check out this video of a few of our wedding gowns:


You can view more of our dresses at www.arizonabridal.com. New dresses are arriving every day so come into our store to find your perfect dress. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Jim and Heather Butler

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why Buying a Dress Online Won't Save You Money

Many brides today opt to buy their dress online after visiting numerous bridal stores. Since you may be considering this, here are several things you should consider that will likely cost you more money than originally anticipated and cause the savings you thought you were getting to completely vanish. We could tell you that you are making a mistake by choosing to buy online, but we won't. You'll realize it as soon as you open the box.

Here's what you'll notice:
  • The dress will have wrinkles all over it which you will have to pay extra to have pressed out. Many bridal salons offer a free service to have this done with the purchase of a wedding gown. You may pay $60 to $80 or more to have this same service done at a dry cleaner or bridal salon.
  • There may be loose beading or missing beading as a result of shipping which you will have to pay to have fixed (most shipping companies aren't as kind to your box as you would like to think they are).
  • There may be spots or stains on the dress that you likely won't be able to properly remove without damaging the delicate fabric and beadwork on the dress.
  • The dress may come in the wrong size (and you may not be able to alter it to fit your figure).
  • And lastly, you may order the dress and even if you get it, it may look completely different than the picture you saw online. Many brides have experienced this much to their shock and horror and then come to us in tears hoping we can fix the problem. Many times repairs can be made, but often at a great expense.
We recently had a bride come into our store who had purchased a wedding dress online. She was in tears because the dress she received looked completely different than the picture she saw online. The lace was different, the seams were loose and crooked, there was no boning or support, and the dress bulged in certain areas. The company she purchased the dress from wouldn't refund her money and she was left to either fix what she had (which didn't give her a lot of options) or buy a new dress. She ended up buying a new dress at our store and wished she had done that in the first place.

When you buy a dress from a full service bridal salon, you'll notice that:
  • Your dress will be perfectly altered to your figure and pressed so that it is wrinkle-free and looks absolutely stunning on your wedding day.
  • Any beads that may have come loose during shipping or the alterations process will be tightened at no charge.
  • You can be assured that there won't be any spots or stains on your dress when you pick it up.
  • Your dress will be perfectly altered to fit your figure and you'll know that it will come in the right size.
  • Lastly, your dress will look like the sample you ordered it from and you won't have to worry about any of the details.
With all that you have to worry about with planning the wedding of your dreams, you really don't need the extra stress and hassle of worrying that your dress may not come in correctly or be perfect for your wedding day. Why take the risk? When you order your gown from a full service bridal salon, you can be assured that we'll take care of all of the details. You'll be glad you did because you won't have to stress about the mess that could have happened with your dress.

Jim and Heather Butler