Modest Wedding Dresses (An Overview)How to Choose a Modest Wedding Dress
If you've set foot inside of a formalwear department store or a nationwide bridal retailer lately, you know how difficult it is to find wedding and bridesmaids gowns that come anywhere close to satisfying higher standards of modesty. Modest brides need to eliminate a lot of dresses from the running at first glance. So how do they select the best one from the remaining acceptable choices?
Contrary to what a lot of fashion designers seem to think, there are thousands of flattering styles and designs of modest gowns for brides and bridesmaids. It all depends on your budget, your wedding colors and theme, and of course your body type. Learn which modest wedding dresses fit you best and how to find a gown that is both modest and stylish. Then pair them with just the right veil, shoes, and accessories to wrap it all together into your perfect bridal ensemble for you.
Where to Find the Perfect Wedding Dresses
Even in the dead of winter, it's truly difficult to find even one modest dress in the formalwear or bridal section of most retailers. Most women's formalwear is strapless or backless with a plunging neckline. The irony is that dresses with a little more coverage are actually more flattering for the majority of body types out there! Regardless of whether or not it makes sense, the fact is that any bride is going to have a difficult time finding a modest bridal gown - so she might as well know what to do about the situation.
Wedding Dress Specialty Stores
LDS brides who live in areas with a large concentration of other Latter-day Saints usually have an easier time finding dresses that suit them for their Mormon wedding. Specialty LDS weddings retailers cater solely to Mormon brides who don't want to bend their standards of modesty for their wedding day. Even brides who don't live in Utah often make a special dress-shopping trip to Provo or Salt Lake City, including the travel cost in their wedding dress budget.
Non LDS brides seeking to find modest wedding dresses, or modest wedding gowns, will have to search for the Modest Wedding Dress Specialty Stores near them. The modest, non LDS, bride can save themselves time by shopping in dress store catering to the need of LDS brides to find modest bridal gown stores with a good selection of beautiful, yet modest wedding dresses.
Online Formalwear Retailers
Even if you live in an area with little modest selection and don't want to travel, you're not completely out of luck. The Internet can be your best friend in shopping for modest wedding gowns and bridesmaid's dresses. LDS specialty stores may physically reside in Utah and Idaho, but they have an online presence everywhere in the world. Regular formalwear stores also have a larger selection online than you see in the showroom, so you may want to check those out, too.
Chain Formal and Bridal Stores
Don't discount the possibility of finding a dress at a non-LDS formalwear or bridal store. You may luck out and fall in love with a modest wedding gown that they carry, or you may find a gown that can be altered for modesty by adding sleeves or a chemise underneath. Talk to the salespeople about your needs and see if they can help you. It may be that they carry "less popular" dresses with sleeves in the warehouse and just need to order them in your size.
LDS Temple Ready Dresses
Even if the wedding gown you ultimately select is modest, it still might not be "temple ready." A dress that can be appropriately worn inside the temple for the sealing ceremony is:
• High necked (no collarbone showing)
• No train
If you don't want to wear a long-sleeved wedding dress, don't panic. You can always wear a dickie or faux sleeve inserts provided by the temple underneath your dress for the sealing, or you might opt to change into a plain white temple dress for the sealing. Brides without a temple ready dress can still get married in the temple, and have lots of options for what to wear during the sealing ceremony.
Temple ready rules only apply to the bride's dress. The wedding party is not a part of the temple sealing ceremony. If the bridesmaids will be attending the sealing, they will be attending only as guests, wearing either their bridesmaid's dress or changing into their "Sunday best" for the ceremony.
Setting a Bridal Gown Budget
On average, brides who shop retail stores and buy an off-the-rack dress can expect to spend between $500 and $1,000. Wedding gowns of all different styles and cuts have an enormous variation in pricing, though: brides could get lucky and find a dress for less than $100, but you can easily spend as much as $4,700 or more!
It's normal to feel overwhelmed by sticker shock the first time you browse a selection of wedding dresses and check the price tags. It can be hard to part with so much hard-earned money for a dress that you'll probably only wear for 8 hours of your life! But remember that you will only have one wedding dress, and you will be seeing it in your wedding pictures for the rest of your life. If finances allow, you shouldn't feel guilty about splurging on this special once-of-a-lifetime expense.
If you've gone over your finances and still feel nervous about taking on the cost of a wedding dress, seriously consider money-saving wedding dress tips like renting a gown or buying a pre-owned dress. Traditionally, the bridesmaids pay for their own dress, shoes, and hair.
By Rosanna Haller