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Vera Wang's Rules for Saying 'I Do'

There’s no question this wedding gown designer knows what works fashionwise for that trek down the aisle.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang

Photo By Thomas Iannaccone

Vera Wang’s design portfolio spans far and wide into 40-plus categories, but her reputation as the go-to wedding gown designer is far from waning.

There’s no question she knows what works fashionwise for that trek down the aisle, and here are Wang’s Top Ten Wedding Day Dos.

1. “Feeling comfortable in your appearance is incredibly important. If you feel comfortable with the way you look, you will radiate the most confidence.”

2. “Determine what kind of wedding you are having. The volume, silhouette, proportions, amount of adornment, tailoring and other elements of the dress should have a lot to do with not only where you have your wedding, but what time of day it is being held and what the temperature is. [The dress is] not only about how it looks on your body.”

3. “It’s really important to see the whole look — the dress, the headpiece, the size of the bouquet and the shoes. I would even go so far as to include the makeup. A lot of girls put a tremendous amount of effort into the dress, but they don’t give a lot of thought to the headpiece, tiara, barrettes or other accessories. Very often they are an afterthought.”

4. “Go easy on the bouquet. Bouquets that are too large or too loud will detract from the dress.”

5. “Hem lengths are very key. You have to make sure you don’t see the shoes. The dress should definitely be floating above in the front. If it is too long in front, it’s treacherous. In order to make a wedding a success, the bride should not have to lift the dress. Someone tripped in my most recent show. It can be a particularly long walk down the aisle.”

6. “Makeup is another thing to think about. I’m not crazy about strong red lipstick with a white dress. If you never wear blue eyeshadow or purple eyeshadow or glitter, why wear it on your wedding day? You want to avoid any makeup that makes you look disguised or that makes you no longer look like yourself. That is huge. It should be the same with the hair. Sometimes stylists can get too elaborate with hair styles and colors. Wearing [hair] accessories and [bobby] pins are very much about editing.”

7. “I have to say I prefer a shoe on the quieter side whether it is a fashion shoe (though it doesn’t have to be) or something with a bit of a wedding feeling. I like a shoe with a tapered toe box. I’m not someone who is into a full-on Swarovski-covered glittery shoe. I don’t think you want that much attention. A little kitten heel is nice if you are marrying someone shorter than you, or a platform if you are marrying someone taller.”

8. “It is just as important to have black-and-white photography done as it is to have color. Black and white is chic and timeless.”

9. “Step into your dress whether it is large or narrow. There are things no one can compensate for. I once had a bride get red lipstick on the front of her dress when she pulled it on over her head. Keep anyone with colorful drinks, beverages or makeup away from you.”

10. “Savor the moment. There’s a tendency when people get married to rush down the aisle as soon as the ceremony has ended. I’m not sure if it’s relief or what. But you have to remember the guests spend most of the time looking at your back during the service. So much work goes into planning. Take your time when walking back down the aisle. Let them see the dress.”