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buying bridal apparel

Buying Bridal Apparel

While fishing around for ideas that could uphold the bulky weight of wedding planning/shopping, we decided that it was too cliché and repetitive to do one more of those make a list articles that are so often spotted glossing the pages of bridal magazines and publications (Yes, we did one too!).

With their do it right tips and what to avoid strategies, we felt that our readers were far too aware of the developments and knowhow of wedding shopping to be told of the same again; in fact, we are certainly sure that it is you who know more than we do! That is why we decided that come each new issue of Bride & Groom, we will discuss solely one aspect of bridal shopping and encompass everything that goes into it, keeping in check the three major culture belts observed here: Arab, Asian, and Western.

This issue we have picked up bridal wear shopping for the marital season. Now keep in mind that there is a lot more to the wedding than the gown itself; you will have a number of pre-wedding ceremonies that you will need to pick outfits for (if you’re an Arab or Asian bride), some semi-formals for the myriad number of dinners and outings you will be invited to, your honeymoon wear, and of course, last but never the least, lingerie, to which we have dedicated an entirely separate feature as well!

No matter where you’re from, we’re fully positive that our pointers will help make your bridal expenditures a little more relaxed and hassle-free, giving you the time to fully unwind and indulge in making yourself look the best for your wedding day! So read on, note down whatever catches your eye, and watch out for our next edition where we will discuss another aspect of wedding shopping.

The Wedding Gown
When to Shop: At least 6 months before the big day.

  • You can never put off buying the most important aspect of your wedding to the last minute! That is a definite no in the world of bridal shopping; you need to set a target of at least 6 months before your big day for choosing your gown. Over here it becomes necessary to consider important factors such as the culture you belong to, and (since the fad of destination weddings is booming here in the Middle East) the country you’ll be marrying in.
  • If you’re a modern Arab bride, your choice of wedding gown will mostly coincide with that of a Western wedding: that is, white designer dresses or pastel ones in tulle and lace. If you would like to keep it traditional, you might have to pay extra attention to the colours and theme of the function so as to have your gown complement it. This goes for Asian brides as well who typically wear heavy, bejeweled gowns that are spectacular.
  • If you’re getting your dress stitched by a tailor, remember that you will be the one responsible for sourcing the fabric. On the other hand if you’re placing an order for one, remember to include all charges that will go into the customization and fittings. Keep trying gowns, as many as you can, before you settle on the final one. Do not commit to your dress until you have settled on the date of the wedding and the location.

    The Ceremony Dresses
    When to Shop: At least 6 months before the big day.

    You can never put off buying the most important aspect of your wedding to the last minute! That is a definite no in the world of bridal shopping; you need to set a target of at least 6 months before your big day for choosing your gown. Over here it becomes necessary to consider important factors such as the culture you belong to, and (since the fad of destination weddings is booming here in the Middle East) the country you’ll be marrying in.

    • If you’re a modern Arab bride, your choice of wedding gown will mostly coincide with that of a Western wedding: that is, white designer dresses or pastel ones in tulle and lace. If you would like to keep it traditional, you might have to pay extra attention to the colours and theme of the function so as to have your gown complement it. This goes for Asian brides as well who typically wear heavy, bejeweled gowns that are spectacular.

• If you’re getting your dress stitched by a tailor, remember that you will be the one responsible for sourcing the fabric. On the other hand if you’re placing an order for one, remember to include all charges that will go into the customization and fittings. Keep trying gowns, as many as you can, before you settle on the final one. Do not commit to your dress until you have settled on the date of the wedding and the location.

The Ceremony Dresses:

When to Shop: At least 2 months before the big day

Okay the thing about ceremonial dresses is that these are typically reserved for Arab and Asian brides, unless of course you are a Western bride looking to have an Arab or Asian wedding with all the rituals and customs included! The first thing you need to decide on is how many functions you will be having, and the dates and venues for each; this always assists in picking out the dresses you’ll be wearing.

  • Arab weddings are now typical of the henna night, a tradition that got popularized by Bollywood. Most brides splurge on Indian gowns for this function, but remember to not go for a heavy one. The henna night is all about practicality and comfort so you can be relaxed and enjoy yourself to the fullest while your arms and legs are being adorned. Choose a dress that is free flowing, colourful and sensible. This goes for all brides from South East Asia as well.
  • For your Nilkah, you would mostly want an authentic Arab dress to maintain the feel and realness of tradition and long followed customs. Since this is an important occasion, you may want to settle on a designer for this one, but do remember that your dress shouldn’t be as hefty as your wedding gown. Incorporate all customizations and fittings at the earliest so you do not have to pick an outfit right before the function!
  • If you’re an Indian bride, your wedding will feature some more functions such as the Sangeet and the Mangni/Saga’i (engagement ritual). As mentioned above, try not to overbear on your actual wedding gown when choosing outfits for these events. Keep them more practical, but do have them match your theme. A good rule of thumb is if you’ve set aside 2000 OMR/- for the wedding gown, all of your other dresses should be bought entirely within the same budget or even lesser.

 

 

Semi-formals, Bridal Shower Dresses, and Honeymoon Wear

When to Shop: At least a month before the big day

Once you’ve made your big announcement public, you’re bound to be invited to a number of dinners and formal gatherings, as well as have people come over to your house to congratulate you. Keep a small yet elegant collection of some evening dresses that are smart and sophisticated (black ones are timeless). Shop for these if you must, but more often than not you might have something in your wardrobe that will work just fine; with the right amount of flair, you can never get it wrong!

• Of course your friends will throw a surprise bridal shower for you especially if you’re having a Western wedding or just want to incorporate the element into your celebration. Bridal showers are supposed to be casual, informal, with a lot of fun and enjoyment, so settle for a simple yet chic light coloured dress that is not too much of a hassle and keeps you looking feminine and pretty as you indulge in all the gifts you receive.

• When shopping for your honeymoon, keep a mix of clothes that are modern as well as traditional to the place you’ll be holidaying in. A few evening dresses and casual frocks should be thrown in as well for late nights out and partying; if you’ll be jumping into pools or hitting the shore, some designer swimsuits are a great choice to go. All of this should be settled 3-4 weeks before your big day so that it is ready and out of the way.

Lingerie When to Shop: One – two weeks before the big day

We’ve covered this topic in another article, so be sure to check it out for in-depth information when it comes to bridal lingerie! To keep it in a nutshell, as with everything else, lingerie buying should never be kept for the last moment because it in itself is a cohesive task that includes understanding your body shape, choosing the correct kind of fabric depending on the weather and locality of where you’re tying the knot, and ultimately comfort above all. The right kind of lingerie allows you to relax and move freely in your bridal wear; settle for nude shades if you’re unsure of what colour to pick since they work fabulously with almost everything, and remember, choose classy over trendy!

 

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