THE dress

Finding right bridal gown is labor of love

Front, back, train, veil -- every detail about the bridal dress is an important one to the bride.

Front, back, train, veil -- every detail about the bridal dress is an important one to the bride.

For most women, finding the perfect wedding dress is like finding their soul mate. Just like there is one true love, for most women, there is one perfect wedding gown.

“I encourage our brides to try several styles,” said Julie Smith, wedding consultant and part owner of The Bridal Gallery in Maryville. She said sometimes brides have a definite style in mind, but are pleasantly surprised when they try a different look that turns out to be gorgeous.

For as many brides who marry in a year, there are that many wedding dresses to choose from and with each wedding season, there are hot trends to look for.

“A style that is big now is the fitted look,” said Lori Thomas, manager of White Lace and Promises, a bridal shop in Knoxville. This sophisticated mermaid style is fitted through the bodice and hips and flares at the knees.

Another popular and stylish gown is the drop-waist dress. According to Thomas, the drop waist gown can be straight or asymmetrical which is a good selection to create an illusion of height. Thomas said drop waist gowns with random pick-up skirts have become quite popular.

A traditional gown that flatters any figure is a dress with a full A-line skirt. This style features a fitted bodice with a flare that either starts at the waist or slightly higher.

According the Thomas, another wildly popular and fashionable gown is one with an empire waist with all-over lace and features a colored band under the bust line. “The lace gives it a vintage, glamorous look.” Thomas said gowns that have a floral pattern in the lace are growing in popularity, especially for spring weddings.

Color is being used more and more, according to Smith. She said many brides are selecting gowns that use color in the sash and also in the back of the dress.

“This use of color is very elegant, very formal and draws the attention to the bride,” Smith said. She said the sash color on the gown is used as a wedding theme color and is seen in the bridesmaids dresses.

While looking for the perfect wedding gown, a lot of emphasis is placed on the neckline of the dress.

“Strapless is still the most popular along with a sweetheart neckline,” Thomas said.

When trying on wedding gowns, some experts suggest to wear or bring a strapless bra. Also, if you plan on wearing your hair up for the ceremony, pin it up while trying on dresses. Bring a friend or family member who will be perfectly honest, experts say. This is the biggest event of most people’s lives, it is imperative that you look your best. A trusted friend will ensure that you are buying the perfect dress for your body type.

To see a sample of The Bridal Gallery’s selection, try visiting their web site, They are located in the Wiley Boring Center at 1827 W. Broadway. They offer a wide variety of wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, formalwear, tuxedos and accessories.

For more information about White Lace and Promises, visit their web site, They are located at 10001 Kingston Pike and offer a wide variety of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, menswear, accessories and invitations.

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