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Tips on Finding Your Wedding Attire

Picture your amazing wedding dress—what do you see? A haute couture gown with elegant embroidery, a breezy bohemian dress, a classic tulle ballgown, or a glamorous gown dripping in crystals? The options are endless for today’s brides. Identify some of your favorite styles as a starting point, but keep an open mind when you arrive to the bridal salon. Try on a little bit of everything to determine what you truly love. 

Measurements will be taken after you’ve made your final decision on the gown. Have the gown fitted to your current size, even if you are planning to lose weight. It will take several months to construct your gown once your order has been placed. After that time, the salon will call you when it arrives.

Finally, you’re ready for your first fitting, which usually occurs nine to ten weeks before your wedding. However, let the salon know if you need the gown in advance, such as for a formal portrait sitting. At the first fitting, it’s very important to bring your accessories and all undergarments so that you can get an idea for how the entire ensemble comes together. 

Wearing your shoes to the gown fittings will ensure accuracy in measuring to your height, while also giving you a chance to break in your shoes a bit before the ceremony. 

The average cost of a wedding dress in Minnesota is $1,500, but can range upwards of $5,500. Alterations are made between the first and second fittings, so when you go back to try on the gown, the fit will be very close to the final result—minor changes may need to be made while you wait or before the final fitting. The cost of alterations can add a few hundred dollars to the total cost of the dress, depending on exactly what is needed. 

Wedding attire, including hair and makeup, will require roughly 10% of your budget. 


Silhouette Styles

BALLGOWN — For the princess in you! Fitted at the bodice and a waistline that leads to a full skirt. Flattering on hourglass and slender body types.

A-LINE — One of the most common shapes. Fitted at the bodice and angles out to the ground (resembles the outline of an A). It’s the most universal silhouette because it tends to look great on every body type. 

TRUMPET — Hugs the hips and then flows out in an A-line around mid-thigh. It tastefully accentuates a woman’s shape without being confining. 

MERMAID — Fits closely to the body to the knees, then flares out to the hem. This style looks good on women with more of a straight shape. 

SHEATH — Usually semi-fitted from top to bottom with a straight skirt and no waist. Can be very flattering on most shapes.

GODDESS — A new shape that seamstresses use to describe any shape that flows freely from the bust line. Most of the time, this dress has an empire waist so the dress can flow freely. It also complements most body shapes.



Neckline Styles 

STRAPLESS — Clean line across the chest. Simple neckline that works great on small busts.

SWEETHEART — The most common neckline for strapless dresses. Dips in the center with rounded edges like the top of a heart. Looks great on both small and larger bust lines.

V-NECK — Very common on dresses with sleeves or halter tops. It can be very dramatic and low-cut, or higher to accentuate the bust line. Looks great on small and large busts, depending on coverage.

SCOOP — A very basic U-shaped neckline. Completely rounded from shoulder-to-shoulder as if the dress were smiling. This looks great on both small and large bust lines.

BOAT NECK OR BATEAU — Similar to a scoop neck, this rounded neckline is cut straight from shoulder-to-shoulder with a slight dip in the middle. This neckline looks great on small bust lines.

OFF-THE-SHOULDER — Sits below the shoulders and accentuates the shoulders and collar bone. Great for large bust lines.

HALTER — Straps that wrap around the back of neck. Great for broad shoulders.


Types of Men’s Formalwear

BLACK TIE — This is a dinner suit and can be accessorized however you like. Popular accessories include braces and shirt studs. The suit type is any suit that has a satin lapel finish. The color can be whatever you prefer, and Instagram and Facebook are loaded with images. The satin color can contrast or match the suit, but most dinner suits have black satin lapels.

FORMAL — Refers to any suit with a matching trouser. The lapel finish matches the suit fabric and buttons. Accessories like vests, bowties, colored shoes, and ties bars are popular with this suiting standard. 

WHITE TIE — Strictly Tails coat, with a white marsala vest, and matching white bowtie. Optional wing tip shirt, but must be a dinner shirt, optional marsala finish also. Generally worn with black patent leather shoes. This dress standard is rarely worn but the most formal. Think, White House wedding, or Buckingham Palace dinner. 

*These dress standards will help you select a suit but remember to think about where you are getting married, what you want it to match or blend with. As a general guide, the suits will provide base for your photos and a stylist or photographer will understand how to use the suits to maximize the look for your venue, flowers, and individual looks.



Tie Options

STANDARD NECKTIES — A standard, traditional or regular necktie measure 3.25- to 3.5-inches wide and about 57-inches long. This is your classic wedding look. 

SLIM AND SKINNY NECKTIES — For a more modern look, consider ties 3-inches wide or slimmer. A skinny tie is 2-inches wide and a trendy look. A slim tie is 2.5-inches wide and becoming the norm for millennial weddings. Keep proportions in mind. On more full-figured men, these slim sizes can look disproportionate. Alternatively, a 3-inch wide narrow tie is a great in-between width any groomsmen can wear.

EXTRA-LONG NECKTIES — The tip of a tie should sit at about the belt line. Big and/or tall groomsmen (typically 6 feet or taller) might find a standard 57-inch long tie too short and require an extra-long tie (an extra 6-inches longer).

BOW TIES — The most formal tie style available. But how do you decide between self-tie or pre-tied bows? Self-tied bows must be tied by the wearer. Don’t assume your groomsmen can tie a bow tie, most men can’t. And every self-tie bow tie will look slightly different. If you prefer your groomsmen looking uniform, try a pre-tied bow tie. Pre-tied bow ties come in band collar or clip-on styles. Band collar bow ties have an adjustable band that expands to fit most adult neck sizes. Clip-on bow ties attach to both sides of the shirt collar. 

Check out the best bridal + menswear shops in Minnesota

Minnesota Wedding Guide is honored to work so closely with some of the best bridal and menswear shops in the state of Minnesota. We have now made the hunt for the perfect vendors easier for you! Get your FREE copy of our Minnesota Wedding Guide to search over hundreds of vendors or view bridal and menswear shops here on our website!


With love,
Minnesota Wedding Guide

Main blog image by Nicole Ashley Photography

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