So what makes a destination wedding dress a destination wedding dress? Well, the truth is, it's simply being the wedding dress you wear at your destination wedding (because seriously, this is your day - wear what you love.) That being said, there is a reason that so many designers and retailers separate out the "destination" wedding dress into a little niche all it's own - namely, that by virtue of being a destination wedding, this has to be a dress you can transport easily and wear, well, almost as easily in some exotic locale.
1. Location, Location, Location. Obviously, where your wedding will take place is a key factor in picking a destination wedding dress. A beach wedding, for one, requires some definite "pros and cons" thinking - a full tulle skirt could actually work visually on a beach but more so perhaps in an editorial photo shoot than in real life. Beaches are home to wind, sand and water - all of which combined might quickly transform your gorgeous fantasy tulle ball gown into a sand-catching, heavy-when-wet, wind-sail nightmare. Whatever your location - mountain, city scape, wooded wonderland - make sure to take stock of ALL of the environmental and situational factors that will impact just how beautiful you look and feel in your dream wedding dress (and don't forget to think about the whole train issue - if you MUST have a train, think about how that will work wherever it is you're going!)
2. Getting There. So you've determined what kind of dress will work in your location, but there's one more factor to consider - getting it there. Now, you can move any wedding dress from point A to point B (it's only a dress, after all) but the trick is considering the condition it will be in when you get it there, and how much time (and resources) will be required to restore it to a pristine wearable state once you do. Trying to pack light and don't want to spend time and money on restorative measures? Chiffon is always a winner for a low-maintenance destination dress - light, easy to pack, and eminently steamable (even with the hotels cheapy loaner steamer or, worse come to worse, hanging in a steam-filled bathroom). Organza can work (similar to chiffon, with a bit more structure and therefore requiring a bit more effort in the steaming department), and lace is also quite forgiving in the crease department. Charmeuse is slinky and sexy, but will need a little more time and love - much like satin or taffeta.
3. Bridal Style. Of course, it's your wedding, so this is THE most critical factor. The truth is, as long as you've taken into account points 1 and 2 above and are willing to make any necessary adjustments and preparations, whatever dress you pick is the perfect wedding dress for your destination wedding. It's a myth that you have to give up some truly bridal elements (lace, bling, ball gowns) to do a destination wedding - the truth is, you just may have to think creatively to have them. Doing a beach wedding but love that aforementioned romantic tulle ball gown? Consider a short or tea length version - you'll still get the princess vibe without dragging in the wet sand. Doing a destination wedding but still want to sparkle, like, a lot? Do a simply flowing silhouette with a fully blinged out beaded bodice - it won't weigh you down but will still make you feel sufficiently, well, fabulous. Still not sure? No problem - check out our picks for destination wedding dresses that run the gamut from the expected to the different but totally doable:
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