For 75 years, Alfred Angelo has been helping brides have the day of their dreams and now we want to share our best tips with you.
All about your dress
Gown shopping should be a priority on your ‘to do’ list. It takes months to make your dress, so give yourself plenty of time.
In our "do it yourself" world, you may be surprised by the high level of attention and care you will receive when shopping at a full-service bridal salon. Enjoy it! This is an important purchase and it should feel like it.
Wedding gowns tend to run small in size. You will probably need a gown that is a size or two larger than you are accustomed to buying. Do not panic!
When starting to shop, print out pictures of gowns that you like. This will help you explain to your bridal specialist what your perfect dress looks like.
It’s nice to have a second opinion. Bring one or two trusted friends or family members to shop with you for added support. Also remember, more is NOT merrier. Bringing too many people with you can get confusing. Everyone has an opinion!
Bring along a digital camera and have a friend take notes while you shop, to help you remember each gown.
Ask as many questions as you want, no matter what! You won't be the first person to ask and you definitely won't be the last. Depend on your experts!
If you're shopping for a strapless gown, make sure you bring a strapless bra to use while trying on. It will help give you a better idea of what the gown would look like.
Don’t be swayed by trends. Choose a gown that’s true to your style and your body.
Always try on your dream dress, but also try on styles you normally would not. You never know what will strike you and fully enhance the beauty that you are.
If you’re worried about a little last minute weight gain, choose a dress with a lace-up back. This is a gorgeous way to have a more forgiving and figure flattering dress.
The fabric of your gown needs to be one of the factors in making it ‘the one’. Lightweight fabrics like chiffon are the best choice for warm-weather weddings. If your nuptials will be in wintery-weather consider heavier fabrics.
Find a bridal shop that offers full alteration services or can recommend a seamstress they trust. They should be experienced in altering the gowns they sell.
Always start with good foundation garments - the right bra can make all the difference in your pictures and how you feel through out the day.
Foundation garments should be chosen in a shade closest to your skin tone.
If you decide to wear stockings, buy a few pairs because your wedding day is not the day to sport a run.
Thicker tights can stand up to the demands of your big day and are less likely to tear.
Bare legs are also perfectly fine for your wedding day!
Wearing a petticoat? To keep it full, turn it upside down, spray starch on it, and let it dry before slipping it on.
Your wedding may be the one time in your life you get to wear a veil. Consider classic styles in shoulder or cathedral length. If you’re leaning toward something more modern, bejeweled hair clips and combs are a perfect complement.
Doubling in uniqueness and sentimental value, an antique veil passed down from someone close to you is a special choice. Don’t dye an antique veil; it doesn’t have to perfectly match your gown.
Wearing gloves can add to the elegance of your look. But how will your wedding ring go on your finger without fumbling to take off your glove during the ceremony? Unstitch the ring finger on your left glove so that it may easily be slipped off when it comes time for the exchange of the wedding bands.
For your girls
First and foremost - Being a bridesmaid is hard work, make sure you thank your maids for everything they have done!
Remember to consider your bridesmaids' budgets. These are the most important women in your life - make sure they stay that way.
When choosing your bridesmaid style, keep in mind all the different body types you have in your party.
Just like your gown, have your bridesmaids professionally measured so the bridal salon can help you choose the best size. Sometimes dresses run smaller than you think.
Have a hard to fit bridesmaid? Separates may be the way to go. This will give you the most customized look and make your maids more comfortable.
Keep your bridesmaid dresses simple and complementary; it will help your dress be the center of attention!
Consider the weather! Shawls make excellent accessories for brisk weather weddings.
Color is still the best way to express style. Stick to one, two or three hues and carry them throughout your whole wedding story.
When choosing your bridesmaid color, consider the location of your ceremony and reception. The lovely lilac you had your heart set on may not go well with the deep red carpet in the church.
Don't be scared of trying something unique. Some brides choose to highlight their Maid of Honor in a special complementary color while other brides will do a color run of the same gown. Whatever you do, make sure the colors you have chosen work together.
A perfectly matching shoe completes the look of a colorful bridesmaid. If this isn’t possible or preferred, go one shade darker than the color of the dress or go with a nude, silver, or gold sandal.
Jewelry makes a great gift for your bridesmaids. Not only can they wear it on your big day, they have something special to remember it for a lifetime.
With the exception of your Maid of Honor, line your bridesmaids up from shortest to tallest.
Protecting your Dress
Use a padded hanger to hang your dress before it goes into a garment bag.
Transport your bridal party's dresses in garment bags. No need to hurry into your gown; it should be the last thing you put on before heading down the aisle.
Make sure your dressing area is free of anything that could stain the dress. If you need a caffeine pick-me-up before the ceremony, drink upÖ but nowhere near your dress!
Don’t dry clean your gown before the ceremony; you don’t want to risk any mistakes.
Carry a stick of white chalk with you on the day of the ceremony to cover any spots that may get on your gown.
Always check care instructions before steaming or ironing.
Iron your gown from the top to bottom; a steamer works better for the body of some gowns
Keep a spray bottle handy for small wrinkles. Spray the area lightly and use a hairdryer to dry the area wrinkle free.
If you decide to wear a veil, the bathroom is the best place to get out the wrinkles: Hang the veil on a hanger outside the shower rod, run the shower for 15-20 minutes to create steam. The steam will easily loosen up the wrinkles.
Lightly mist your veil with hairspray to keep it in place and off your face.
If your gown has a train, consider an alteration to create a bustle. This will give your gown a unique style and keep it from dragging on the floor during the reception.
Remember to talk to your florist about your bouquet. Some flowers have pollen that could stain your gown.
A little bad weather on the big day? No problem. Have your bridal party stand in two lines with large umbrellas and dash down the sidewalk fully protected.
Dry cleaning your gown after the ceremony may remove stains and spots but using a gown preservation company will remove spots, treat against discoloration and protect from fabric deterioration so that your gown can be passed on or perfectly saved as your most important piece of nostalgia.
From hair to shoes and everywhere in between
Your hands will be a big part of the day. Whether it is the champagne toast or posing for ring pictures, splurge on the professional manicure. You won't regret it!
Go with the classic French or American Manicure. Color trends for manicures change quickly and will make your photos look dated.
Set up a consultation with your hair stylist a few weeks before your wedding. Most stylists will meet with you for free.
Bring your headpiece, veil or anything you plan to wear in your hair. This will be critical information that the stylist will need.
Bring some pictures of updos that you like to your hair consultation. Also, bring along a picture of your gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. This could give her a little more inspiration!
Do not wash your hair before you go to the stylist unless she asks you to. You will need the natural oils in your hair to help get the best updo.
If you're going to take off your veil at the reception, remember to tell your hair stylist. She can design a style that will accommodate both looks.
On the big day, wear a button-down shirt that you can easily remove after your appointment. This will make sure your hair is not disturbed.
A little pale for the season? Go with a nice self tanner-- ask your friends for what they recommend.
If you go for self tanning, make sure you use plastic gloves! No need for orange fingers on your big day!
Any type of tanning will make your skin color deeper. Remember to get new foundation to match your tan.
You want your makeup to look perfect on your big day - but you also want to look like yourself! Keep makeup simple.
Watch your eye makeup. You may want to arm one of your bridesmaids with an emergency makeup bag complete with travel mirror. This will be perfect for quick touch ups.
Budget conscious on your makeup? Check out a department store and get a free make over. The sales person will also explain how to apply your makeup for the big day.
Lipstick can look great but is high maintenance because it rubs off quickly. Look for a no-rub off formula that will stay on the whole day. There are many drug store brands to choose from!
Shining star? Give your Maid of Honor a few blotting papers that are made to soak up any excess oil with a light powder.
If you cry at weddings, you will probably cry at your own. Make sure you invest in a good waterproof mascara.
Putting on your own eye makeup? With a big brush, dab a little loose powder under your eyes. This will catch any loose makeup that falls during application.
Getting married outside? Do not forget sunscreen. In fact, you may want to consider giving it as a cute favor for all your attendees.
If you're going to shoot some wedding pictures in black and white, remember to go a little darker in your makeup choices. Light makeup doesn't show up as well.
The type of jewelry you wear should depend on the style of your dress. Elegant earrings add to a strapless gown without taking away from the flattering neckline. With V-neck gowns, however, a necklace is the perfect choice. Jeweled hairpins are very flattering with a halter gown.
Always consider the color of your gown when selecting jewelry. Pearl and platinum jewelry best compliment a white gown while gold is best for an ivory gown.
Shoes a little too tight? Most leather shoes will stretch. Take a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and swab the inside of your shoe. Slip your foot into the shoe and it will stretch around your foot. Repeat until you're comfortable.
Going for heels? Make sure you practice walking in your shoes before the big day. Confidence is key when you're walking down the aisle.
You may want to consider getting two pairs of shoes for your big day. One pair for the ceremony and pictures and a comfy pair to dance the night away at your reception.
Scuff new shoes on the pavement to roughen up the soles. To make sure you have plenty of traction going down the aisle.