Category Archives: Picking A Wedding Dress

Avoiding Dress Duress -Pick The Location And The Dress Will Follow

Remember that great 1989 movie Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner, the one that had the baseball player called Shoeless Joe Jackson in it? In the movie, Shoeless Joe kept telling Kevin Costner’s character, over and over, “build it and they will come.”  I remember while watching that movie I felt like saying to Shoeless Joe, “Jeepers, give the guy a little time to take a few rows of corn down will ya, and then he’ll get to making your ball field.”

Right about now you are probably wondering why am I talking about a baseball movie in a wedding blog?  Well, ironically, corn, baseball and choosing your wedding dress do have some things in common.  What I’ve discovered is that Shoeless Joe’s advice can be of use during the wedding planning process too.

Let me explain what I mean. Once you and your fiancé have had a chance to sit down and mutually define how you want your wedding to look, your wedding dress shopping, which should be the next step, will very naturally fall into place.  And that, my friends, is exactly what Shoeless Joe Jackson was trying to tell Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.  He was basically saying, take down the corn first, then create the ball field, then we’ll all come play ball in your backyard.  I just wish he would have just come out and said that, but then the movie would probably have been 20 minutes shorter.

Here’s a couple of examples to back up what I am saying:

1.  If you and your beloved decide on a destination beach wedding then, as you know, you can then eliminate lots of different dress styles that wouldn’t be appropriate for a hot, sunny beach ceremony.  Just like oil and water don’t go well together, neither does 90 degrees, a silk dress, and a perspiring bride.  Perhaps a flowing cotton dress would be be better.

2.  If you and your beloved decide to have a grand affair with lots of guests, let’s say, at St. Paul’s Cathedral where Princess Diana was married, then a sleek understated gown might look a bit out of place.  Perhaps, just as Diana wore, a more voluminous gown with lots of tulle and taffeta to take up space with a 25 ft long train for the walk up the aisle might be a better fit.

Many brides search and search for the dress first and then choose their venue.  What can happen here is the dress doesn’t fit the venue, then unfortunately there is the unforseen cost of purchasing yet another dress that feels more appropriate for the occasion and “voila!” dress duress takes over.

Avoiding dress duress can be as easy as 1-2-3.  Here’s how to do it:

Have a conversation with your fiancé early in the process to define the following items:

  1. The size of your guest list.  Do you want a grand affair or an intimate occasion?
  2. The location of the wedding and reception.
  3. Your dress buying budget.

So let’s go dress shopping you say.  STOP – not yet.  You as the bride have a bit more refining to do once those three decisions are made between the two of you.

Here’s what you as the bride can do to save yourself time:

  1. Now that you’ve decided on the size and location of your wedding you can comfortably choose your dress style to complement and match the essence of this blessed occasion.
  2. Clearly define the appearance and message you want your dress to convey. For your dress is part of your wedding story.  Some items to take into account should include:  Your personality, style, color of dress, long train or short, long veil, short veil or no veil, and whether you are a first or second time around bride.
  3. Stay focused on keeping within your dress budget.

A great example of a dress that was chosen to perfectly complement the bride and the venue was the dress designed by Narcisco Rodriguez and worn by Carolyn Bessette for her 1996, wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr.  Their evening ceremony took place in the wood-frame Brack Chapel with just 40 guests in attendance.

Simply Chic Dress Tips:

Save the ozone layer, gas and time by starting your dress search online to narrow down the styles you love.  Make sure to only look at styles that work for your particular body type. I know it’s not fair, but if you don’t have a figure like Jessica Alba, then perhaps rule out the Mermaid style dress altogether :).  Let the Simply Chic bride tell you this in love so your friends don’t have to.

When you do venture out to the dress shops state your specific price range at your first appointment so you’re not looking at dresses you can’t afford.

Compile, print out and bring photos of the dress styles, colors and  fabrics you like with you on your dress shopping search. This way the shop attendant doesn’t have to be a member of the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network, for she’ll be able to see on paper exactly what you want and she won’t even have to read your mind!

History note: 

Princess Diana’s dress is currently on exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan through Febraury, 2011.

Click here to see the video of Diana’s dress and train being uncrated for the event.


Do any of you brides out there have any dress shopping stories to share?  We’d love to hear how you have refined your process to find your perfect dress with no stress.  Please email us your stories and photos!

Simply Chic quote:

“Simplicity carried to an extreme becomes elegance.”

~ Jon Franklin



The Simply Chic Bride


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