Select a Shape
“When you’re choosing a wedding dress, the most important thing is knowing what looks great on your body and what you feel comfortable in,” Posen says. To do this, he recommends getting in a dressing room, even if it is not in a bridal salon at first. Try on a wide variety of silhouettes and start taking notes: That kind of neckline looks good on me, this kind of skirt bottom looks right, this is where volume works for me or doesn’t work for me, and so on.
Find Your Fit
Once you pick the dress, Posen stresses the importance of taking the time to do the fittings. “No shotgun fittings!” he warns. If a dress is properly fitted, it will support you in the right way. “That’s when you’re going to have the time of your life,” he adds.
The understructure of a gown is key to pulling off a head-turning look, no matter your body type. “When we dress performers and actresses, there is serious construction under the pieces,” he admits.
Commit to Your Look
“Just like a marriage, it’s about commitment,” Posen says of choosing your big-day outfit. If you have found a dress, stick with your decision and then build upon it to create perfection.
Show Off the Back
For Posen, the front of the dress is just as important as its back. “It’s about how the whole piece looks all the way around and what that experience is going to be—the entrance and the goodbye,” he explains. To make the back of a gown more of a focal point, the designer suggests looking for button, lace, or embroidered detailing or playing with accessories, like beaded sashes. Not sure how to tell if the back of the dress is having the impact it needs to? “Have friends take photos of it during your fittings,” he recommends.
Play With Color
“Color is expressive and emotional,” Posen says of why it should not be overlooked in the process of selecting your gown and the outfits for the bridal party, as well. “Every single person has some form of creativity within them. I believe this deeply, and you only find that by trusting yourself and going for it.” Posen recommends creating a book of inspiration and ideas that you’re drawn to. “Then start building that color story that feels expressive to your union,” he adds.
Choose Comfortable Shoes
Posen says even his client Glenn Close has been known to wear comfie platform sneakers on the red carpet. “If you’re wearing a big gown, you’ll really hardly even see the shoes,” Posen says. “You have to be comfortable.”
Appoint a Trained Handler—or a Best Friend
“Remember, on the red carpet, people have publicists who are there laying out their dresses and getting them picture-perfect,” Posen says. He recommends hiring your own version for the aisle, such as a maid of honor who can adjust the skirt, train, or veil for maximum impact.
Make It Your Own
In the end, your bridal look should express who you are. “There’s something wonderful and beautiful about tradition, but there’s something amazing about making your own traditions, as well,” he says.