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Weddings Blog

Trains (the gown kind, not the choo-choo variety)

Having worked in the wedding industry for over 12 years and at a variety of venues, I can tell you with absolute conviction that the gown you select needs to match the venue you have chosen. Getting married on the beach? A 12 foot train gloriously decorated with beadwork is probably not the best idea. Do you really want to be tightly corseted and covered in stays while traipsing like a wood nymph in a forest glen? A dress style that doesn’t fit the venue or is uncomfortable because of your surroundings is a bad idea.

Here in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge we often have wind. Can you imagine standing at your altar in front of all your friends and family and you’re fighting to keep your veil from blowing in your groom’s face? Or walking the 200 yards down the grassy aisle feeling the entire way as if you are lifting weights because you are dragging a 20 pound train behind you? Or realizing right before you walk down the aisle that the hem and/or train of your gown is filthy with dirt, grass, etc. from being dragged all over the property while you took pictures. It happens. All…the…time.

Other things to consider are temperature. If you have a summer wedding outside, it might be hot. Selecting a gown with a jacket, long sleeves, or of a very heavy fabric (or a long wool tuxedo with vest and jacket for the groom) might lead to unattractive sweating. Really, who wants to look back at wedding photos and see underarm sweat rings or trails of sweat on everyone’s forehead. Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it!

Sometimes the best intentioned bride or groom chooses attire for their wedding day that is completely unsuited to the location of the wedding or weather. My own brother did it – his bride selected a beautiful gown in a heavy satin with a long sleeve overcoat that had a 2 foot train and he selected a wool tuxedo in a long length with a vest, for an August wedding in the Midwest in a church that did not have air conditioning and a reception location that had poorly working A/C. It was around 90 degrees that day and in the pictures everyone looks like they were – hot, sweaty and cranky. Had it been a December wedding their attire would have been perfect.

Think about the time of year and typical weather in your location, how you will be moving throughout your event, what sort of space you will need to navigate in and out of and keep these things in mind as you select a wedding dress, or any of the wedding party attire. You want to look, and feel, beautiful on your wedding day. If you find your perfect gown first, then choose a venue that fits the style and feel of the gown. If you find your venue first, then look for a dress that fits it. You will be happier for it, I promise.

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