Anyone who has taken a bridal appointment with me has heard the following, "You want to feel like a dressed up version of you, not like somebody else", because it's really easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices and feeling like you have a responsibility to look a certain way for people. If mom doesn't like the way you dress every day, she may not be your style consultant when you're dress shopping. Save tastings to share with her, and bring on the girlfriends who really get your look.
Here's a little help, a la your two favorite male style experts (Scott Schuman, better known as The Sartorialist, and yours truly) in learning how to analyze your wardrobe and find your wedding gown style:
Your favorite movie is Roman Holiday, you enjoy simple, clean, flavorful meals, and you look put together without ever looking over-styled. I'd recommend something with movement and refinement. A very clean neckline, slightly more fitted, and keep accents simple. Lela Rose and Augusta Jones are both going to have great options for something that looks fresh and timeless.
Minimalist + Pop!:
You know how to rock your color blocking, can easily name the five best cocktails in town, and may have a season of Gossip Girl committed to memory. You don't really need my advice, because you know what looks good, right? Well my reminder to you would be don't let anybody break your stride, if you've got it going on, don't let anyone drinking Hater-ade tell you they don't "get it". Vera's got your back and so do I, so you make sure you can work it in your dress. And if you've got a conservative crew who may want you to tone it down a bit, remember that accessories can make a dress from mild to wild in 2 sashes!
So, there's no need to get all fancy for the big day, you're not a super girlie girl, and the last time you wore a dress, there may have been acne and a bad wrist corsage involved. Never you fear, you don't have to drown in tulle to be considered a bride, and you're in good company in Colorado, the land of the casual bride. No matter what, every bride deserves to feel special, so choosing a relaxed shaped, not too shiny fabric, and finding some interesting element (a cool texture, unique color, interesting seaming) will help you feel special without feeling awkward. Nicole Miler is great if your thinking easy, breezy, sheathy; or you might actually enjoy a simple, soft shape in lace like Monique Lhuillier.
Sweet as Sugar:
Vintage cardigans, wacky handbags, candy wrappers. If this sounds like your closet, then whimsy is the winning way to go. And you don't have to go short (though with short dresses as perfect as Stephanie James and Ivy & Aster you may not be able to help yourself) for people to get your bubbly sense of humor on the big day. Strapless and sweetheart are going to give that young, fresh feeling, and don't be afraid to go big... a full skirt means highlighting that classic vintage wasp waist effect, and the texture/tulle/whatever your skirt has can look like sheer confection. Sweet!
Of course, everyone has things they love or don't about their body, and you should always feel comfortable. Just remember that masking something and flattering it aren't always the same thing, and you may be surprised by what you like. That's why we're here to help. To listen with our ears and eyes to what you like, what you're comfortable in, and what is going to fit your body AND your personality. Enough talk, can we play dress up now?