Pnina Tornai's Top 5 Things To Ask When Dress Shopping

Designer Pnina Tornai shares the biggest questions a bride should ask when buying her wedding dress.

pnina tornai

1. How long will it take for my dress to arrive?

The most important information you can start your bridal appointment with is the exact date of your wedding. If you don't have a date set yet, provide the earliest possible date that your wedding will be. This will help your bridal consultant narrow down gown options by what is available in that timeframe. Some designers may take only a few months to construct a gown, while couture and custom gowns (such as those that I create) can take up to a year! Overall, make sure that the dress you choose will arrive early enough for you to find a seamstress you trust and complete the alterations with enough time to spare for any last minute adjustments. At Kleinfeld, where my dresses are sold, we recommend about 6 to 8 weeks for alterations, which typically includes three separate fittings encompassing adjustments to the bust area, straps, side seams, and hem, as well as creating a bustle, pressing, and packing the dress for transportation.

2. What shape do you think is best for my body type?

A bride has envisioned herself walking down the aisle in a specific dress style her whole life; however, in reality, that style may not be the most flattering on her. In fact, many of my brides end up picking the exact opposite of what they had originally planned! Trust your bridal consultant. They are the experts and have a completely unbiased opinion. It’s their job to help brides of all shapes and sizes choose the most flattering silhouette for each body type. Remember to keep an open mind! Everything from the fabric to the placement of ruching details to even straps or no straps all make a huge difference.

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3. What color gown will look the best on me?

In today's bridal world, designers offer their dresses in a multitude of colors beyond the traditional pure white. Many brides aren't quite sure whether to buy their gown in pure white, off white, ivory, or even blush. Personally, I believe that an off-white gown flatters most complexions and often looks richer, depending on the fabric. Another tip I always tell my brides to keep in mind is that many designers send their gown samples to retail stores in the color that looks best on the selling floor. Don't be afraid to ask your consultant what other color options are available in any dress you love.

pnina tornai wedding gown

4. What are the best kind of undergarments to wear with my gown?

Today's wedding gowns are so complex, and often, brides aren't quite sure what to wear underneath. In fact, I believe that what you wear underneath the gown is almost as important as the gown itself. Many of my gowns have low backs, and for this, I recommend either going bra-less (if you can), purchasing a long line corset bra with a low back, or trying a backless adhesive bra. Other wedding day musts are a seamless thong that matches your skin tone and Spanx for a smooth foundation underneath a tight fitting dress. Luckily for brides wearing my gowns, most already have built in shape wear! But no matter what, try to find a dress that has a great structure and fit to it. Undergarments are the icing on the cake, but they can not disguise a poor-fitting gown.

pnina tornai

5. What if I plan on losing weight after I order my gown?

I get asked this question all of the time! So many brides, whether they are trying to lose weight or not, end up losing some pounds right before their wedding day. Remember, it is always easier to take in a dress than to let it out. Corset-style gowns are especially great if you plan on losing weight because the ribbons can be easily adjusted. Be sure to discuss your weight loss goals with your bridal consultant and an in-house seamstress, if available, to determine what size to order. Keep in mind; don't kill yourself trying to lose weight! Your fiancé fell in love with you just as you are.