Formal or Informal: Choosing a Bridesmaids Dress
In Victorian times, formal wear for women included bustle, hoop, petticoat, gloves and a myriad of other accoutrements almost laughable according to todays standards. In the present, the line between formal and informal has blurred dramatically. Whereas, in the past, formal meant uncomfortable, todays fashion allows for a woman to have some proverbial breathing room while still looking her best.
For women, dressing formally or dressing for a black tie affair means choosing a gown that is floor length in formal fabrics such as silk or organza. The style of the dress does not matter so much as the length and look of the ensemble.
Straps, sleeves, neckline and beading are all details that can modified according to preference. In an affair such as a wedding, formal dress definitely conveys elegance and sophistication. However, the same feeling can be conveyed without dictating formal attire.
Setting the stage and ambiance for a wedding is an important part of the wedding planning experience. Bridesmaid dresses can contribute to the atmosphere that the bride wishes to create and can affect the entire look and tone of the wedding.
In wedding attire, formal dress consists of a floor length gown, while options for an informal bridesmaids dress may include a breezy knee length dress, tailored suit or even a jacket and pants combination. Generally, if a bridesmaids dress is not floor length, it is considered to be semi-formal or informal, no matter what the design.
There are several factors which may affect a brides decision to choose a formal or informal bridesmaids dress. Venue, climate and time of the ceremony can all play a part in the brides final choice. You want to consider the following:
Will the ceremony take place in an outdoor venue where a heavy, trailing gown may be ruined by grass stains and other outdoor elements? (You may want to take this into consideration for your bridal gown as well.)
If the weather is going to be warm, you may want to consider a lighter, shorter gown for your bridesmaids.
Will the wedding take place in the evening or in the afternoon? The rule of thumb for afternoon affairs is informal dress (although this is by no means binding) while evening weddings may be formal or informal. A light silk dress (knee length) is an excellent selection for a casual yet elegant afternoon wedding.
Choosing an informal bridesmaids dress may save you money on fabric and alterations if you are having your dresses tailored by a seamstress.
Do you prefer a traditional or contemporary wedding? Traditional weddings have certain restrictions about what may and may not be worn at certain times, while contemporary weddings have more flexibility.
Remember, above all, your wedding is a celebration of love and a reflection of your own unique design. After all is said and done, youll want an affair that will embody the spirit of the day and showcase your personal style and flair. Let your decisions be guided as much by your heart and soul as by your wallet and etiquette book.
About the Author
Andrea Pellettiere has been has been a freelance writer for a number of years. She is a new contributor to .
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