5 Ways to Customize Your Wedding Dress

wedding dress

PHOTO BY KT MERRY

The day you’ve been dreaming about forever has finally come: It’s time to choose a wedding dress! If you’re like many hopeless romantics, you have probably had this idea in your head for years. But shopping for a dream dress might not be as easy as you fantasized. While figuring out the right silhouette is the most important (and a great starting point) it’s the minor details in a gown that make any dress uniquely yours.

If you’re unsure how to choose the right details in a dress, pause for a moment, and think about your personality. A bubbly, exuberant personality may call for extra crinoline and beading, while a quiet or conservative person will lean toward something more simple and elegant.

Ahead, five easy ways to make any dress your own without taking away the integrity of the original design. You’re the bride, so all eyes will be on you no matter what.

Neckline

Depending on the structure of the gown, it can be as easy as one, two, three to customize the decolletage. For example, taking it from a straight neckline to a sweetheart.

Beading 

We all have a vision when we are going to pick out our wedding dress, but it’s the small details like beading that make these visions come to life. When it comes to beading, you either fall under the category of “more is more” or “less is more.”

For a bride seeking a simple design (either without beading or with very minimal beading) adding a beaded belt will add just enough pizzazz. Let the lace of the gown be the star or choose a satin dress with no lace at all for a gorgeous minimal aesthetic.

Sleeves

I always had a vision in my head of a wedding dress with beautiful lace sleeves, and ironically, I chose a strapless wedding gown. That’s often how it goes, though—we fall in love with a style completely different from what we envisioned the moment we hit the boutiques. The best thing about a strapless dress is that there are endless options.

For a fall or winter wedding, or a modest bride, add a long sleeve or three-quarter sleeve. You can opt for minimal coverage with sexy lace or optimal coverage with thicker satin and shoulder pads. For a spring or summer wedding, try any of the below:

  • Halters are great for showcasing shoulders and can fit a small or fuller bust, while strapless gowns are beautiful for ladies with hourglass curves. 
  • Spaghetti straps are great for replacing imitation straps, as they give minimal coverage while still adding support so you don’t have to worry about pulling your dress up.
  • A cap sleeve is beautiful on any body type but offers just enough coverage to the underarm to make you feel the most comfortable on your big day.
  • Off-the-shoulder is universally flattering. Depending on how it falls, the sleeve can be very subtle and add an elegant and feminine touch.

Buttons

When you picture a traditional wedding dress, you may picture buttons flowing from the top of the gown to the train, creating exceptional detail and practicality for a bustle. Bustling your gown makes it so that can move around easily after your ceremony and not worry about anyone stepping on your dress.

Buttons can add exquisite design and are an easy add if they outline a zipper. If you aren’t a fan of the buttons that come on your dress, you can easily replace them with a different style as well.

Crinoline

Think of crinoline as the base of your dress. Crinoline is a dress lining that can be removed or added to make a dress the exact fullness you are trying to achieve. You may fall in love with a gown and then think to yourself, “the skirt is too much of a ballgown for me.” Crinoline can be added a little bit at a time to reach your desired stiffness or to make the skirt of your dress stand out. In other cases, it is just as easy removing that extra layer to create a more slinky, form-fitting dress.

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