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Tips on finding your dream dress.

  |   By Alison McGill

I recently played bride for a day and in my opinion picked the plum part of the job—shopping for the gown. I made an appointment at the chic bridal boutique White Toronto, for a tour and bridal collection review with owner Andrea Anastasiou (Monique Lhuillier, Anne Barge, Carolina Herrera and Jenny Packham are just a few of the big designer names White stocks). Andrea is delightful—one of those perennially perky, sassy, fashionable girls who, even at eight months pregnant, effortlessly glides up and down the stairs of White’s three floors with a spring in her well kitten-heeled step. Andrea has been a prominent fashion stylist in Toronto for years and was the fashion editor for the US-based bridal magazine WeddingChannel before opening the doors to White last April. She certainly knows bridal style—here are five tips I picked up from her to help you put together the perfect look for you, and your wedding party.

Be a smart shopper. When it comes to finding your gown, Andrea says these are the top three things to keep in mind: your venue, your budget and, most importantly, an openness to try different things. Entering into the wonderful world of wedding gowns with a willingness to try on a bunch of designs you may never have thought you would wear, can actually make the process more fun and surprisingly efficient. You might find the one on your first time out!

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Tips on finding your dream dress.

Veils: a definite do. If you are sitting on the fence, Andrea says take the plunge. Veils are white hot (Katie Holmes, Marcia Cross and Nicole Kidman all wore dramatic full-length ones for their recent weddings) and trust me, the moment you try one on, you’ll be smitten. They make you feel and look ultra-feminine and dead romantic. Pick up the current issue of Weddingbells to see some of the prettiest veils of the season.

Timing is everything. Does it really take all that time to get a wedding dress? Yes. Andrea stresses shopping six months in advance is a must, eight to 10 if possible. At White, it takes four to five months for the confection to arrive in Andrea’s hands, and then come the fittings, alterations, tweaks, etc. The more time the better—this is certainly one dress you want to fit absolutely perfectly.

Shop with a buddy. Should you bring along a friend or two when you go dress shopping? Definitely, but keep it to a maximum of four. Any more and you’ll get too many opinions and nothing accomplished. Is it still taboo to bring your beau along? Andrea says she is seeing more and more couples in her store, shopping for the gown together—if he’s your best friend and sounding board, why not bring him along? Guaranteed you’re going with him when he picks his gear.

Mix up your wedding party. Rich chocolate brown and plum tones are huge for bridesmaids right now, with many brides choosing different styles of dresses in the same fabric to suit each individual. This is a fabulous way to put your party together because that way everyone gets a dress that suits their body, one they feel comfortable in and look amazing in. Trust me, your girls will love you for this.

This article was originally published on May 10, 2007
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