Some thrill-seeking newlyweds are redefining the honeymoon by opting for an adventure- of-a-lifetime vacation. Nature calls as these daring duos celebrate their union on an African safari, a trek up a famous mountain, or while sailing off the shores of Hawaii. Others with a penchant for excitemen and wanderlust explore the far corners of the Earth, taking in exotic locales such as Fiji, Costa Rica and Bali.
Twice as Nice
With the increased number of citizens serving abroad, many of today's couples are getting married in small, intimate ceremonies before a loved one departs for a tour of duty or while they are home on leave. Upon their return, some of these couples have a second ceremony, which is larger and more lavish, before heading off on a honeymoon. One of the best ways to ensure that you
look your best on your wedding day is to work closely with the professional fashion gurus in the industry. With their expertise, resources, and reassuring guidance, working with the pros to find the perfect wedding day ensemble you and your betrothed should be a piece of cake.
For a lot of brides-to-be, moments after that beautiful engagement ring is slipped on, euphoria turns to panic as they think, "OH NO, I SHOULD HAVE ORDERED MY GOWN MONTHS AGO!" After a few days of fielding well-wishers' wellintentioned questions ("When are you getting married? Have you picked out a dress yet? What are you wearing? What color is your dress going to be?), they know they are doomed. All the good dresses are gone now and there's no time left to find another one. While it's tempting for many brides-to-be to rush into the nearest bridal boutique right after their engagement and scream in a frenzied voice that they need help and they need it now, it's important that they take a deep breath and back way from the situation. Time is certainly of the essence when ordering a wedding gown, but so is having an organized plan for finding just the right one. The first step of the plan should be to get a feel for what kind of dress you want. The Internet, bridal magazines, and trunk shows are good places to start. Once you've identified what you're looking for in a gown, you're ready to onsult with the experts. When doing so, be sure to:
Make appointments. If you want to try on gowns, make an advance appointment. Typically each appointment lasts between one and two hours.
Be prepared to share. Let your sales person know what designers you are interested in, the time of year and day you are getting married, your wedding's theme, etc. The more ideas you have about your vision for your dress, the better your sales person will be able to help you find it.
Bring backup accessories. Your salon should provide you the necessary accessories for trying on gowns, as well as a robe to wear in between dresses. However, for a more accurate fit, it's best to bring your own undergarments and shoes.
Keep an open mind. Try on all of the dresses that your sales person brings to you. Gowns usually look more flattering on a person than they do a hanger.
Bring a consultant. Ask a fashion savvy family member or friend (but no more than two as an array of conflicting opinions can be counterproductive) to accompany you on your appointment. Their feedback may be instrumental in helping you find that perfect dress.
Shop around. When you find the dress that you a b s o l u t e l y adore, keep looking for another week or two (unless time is of essence). Not only will this ensure that the dress is "the one," but you'll sleep easier knowing that you left no stone unturned in your quest for your dream gown. When deciding what salons and boutiques to visit, choose those that are respected professionally and which come well-recommended. Qualified boutiques should:
Assign a sales person to you. Your sales person should be friendly, experienced and helpful. If you don't feel a connection with the person who has been assigned to you, politely request someone else for future appointments.
Make you feel comfortable. Whether it's with a reassuring smile or some muchneeded professional advice, the staff at your bridal boutique should make you feel relaxed and at home in their store. If they don't, select a new shop.
Bring the dresses to you. Most bridal salons don't have a showroom full of gowns for you to browse through. Instead, your sales person will bring carefully selected dresses to you from the boutique's storage room.
Provide swatches. Once you've selected a dress, the boutique should give you, upon request, a swatch of the gown's material and color. These swatches will come in handy when you're shopping for wedding accessories, shopping for flowers or trying to coordinate the wedding party's attire.
Require a deposit. When you're ready to order your gown, your bridal salon will most likely require a non-refundable deposit another good reason why it's important to do some comparison shopping before you commit to one dress.