Once you've found the perfect gown, you'll want the lingerie to give it the perfect fit. Keep in mind that what you choose depends greatly on your body type and the style of the dress you have chosen. The options are pretty much endless, depending on whether you want to slim your body or lift up your bust. When choosing, remember that you are going to be in this all day long. Sure, you may not be as comfortable as you'd like, but if you find that you can barely move around or are so constricted that you can't breathe, consider a different type of undergarment.
Before your first gown fitting, make sure to go bra shopping. Pick out several different styles that fit well and leave the tags on. Verify the return policy before buying them so that you can test them with the gown. When selecting styles, make sure that the bra feels comfortable and that it offers enough coverage and support. Many women want their bridal lingerie to look sexy and seductive and forget that they'll be wearing it all day. If you want something sultry, but it doesn't suffice for an 18-hour bra, get it anyway and switch into it AFTER you take off your gown. Also, many wedding dresses have boning, underwire, and other support structures built right into the dress, so that you don't really need much else to look good. In fact, wearing extra lingerie might make you look overly padded and be downright uncomfortable.
Sexy sheath and mermaid style gowns leave you and your shape out in the open. To cover up any minor flaws and to give a seamless line under your gown, try a body slimmer. A body slimmer, otherwise known as a girdle, is a great tool to smooth out your belly, hips, and thighs. Choose tummy control or a body briefer to target specific problem areas or a full-coverage model to get sleeker all over. Just make sure that the piece gives you enough coverage, but isn't so tight that it stifles your breathing. Try it on by sitting, bending over, dancing, and walking -- you'll be doing all that and more the day of the wedding. If it pinches anywhere or makes you feel uncomfortable, try a similar style with lighter support.
Be sure to stick with white or nude panties, otherwise, darker colors may be seen right under your dress.
Not everyone needs hose, however, they offer warmth, a barrier between your feet and your shoes, and make your legs look nicer. They are also essential when it comes time to removing the garter, if you choose to do so.
* Knee Highs: Ideal if you are wearing a big ball gown. They are also nice if you plan to kick off your shoes after the reception because they are so easy to take off.
* Silk Stockings: When used with a garter belt (or a corset with garters) they can be very sexy and work great under sheath dresses or gowns with a dropped or basque waist. Nonetheless, they must also be functional. If you buy the wrong garter belt and your stockings are sagging around your knees all night, you will you be quite uncomfortable. Test out this style of hose before investing in a fancy getup.
* Stay-Up Thigh-High Stockings: Give you the ease and comfort of stockings without worrying about a garter belt sagging. Avoid lace-top stay-up stockings if you're wearing a slinky gown; the lace will show right through!
* Pantyhose: These can transform your legs and even help hold in your tummy, lift your bottom, and smooth your thighs. Choose from light support to control top with built-in tummy support. Also consider how you will appear to your groom when you remove the wedding gown; brides of all shapes and sizes look sexy in a garter belt and stockings, while just about no one looks sexy in control-top hose!
* Footless Pantyhose: Gives you the support of a control top around your middle but allows your pedicure to shine through; great for summer brides and beach weddings!
* Fishnets: Can give a flirty look to shorter gowns when they are nude and worn over another pair of skin-tone pantyhose. If you're very daring, try a pair of retro seamed stockings. Just make sure to keep your seams straight!
* Don't be afraid of color. Just because your dress is white, it doesn't mean that your stockings have to be white too. You can even stray from nude and ivory. Simply choose something sheer and not opaque, since it looks heavy and doesn't help flatter your lines. Don't wear black, though, as it doesn't look right with a white/ivory dress. Pink, blue and lavender are all popular choices for daring brides.
* Consider the shoes you are wearing. Will they be strappy sandals or closed-toe? Sandaltoe stockings are the choice when you are wearing open-toe shoes, but they are also the most prone to runs; buy several pairs to have extras on hand! Closed toe shoes, or intense barefoot dancing will probably need a more durable pair of hose, one with reinforced toes.
* Finally, don't forget to buy several pairs of the hose you choose. You never know when you'll get a run, and it's better to have extras than be caught off guard.
Garters and Garter Belts
The garter toss is an old tradition for the groom to toss away his old bachelor ways and begin life as a married man. To the bride, the lack of the garter toss in the reception might be a relief, especially when you consider they cost $20 to $30, and she won't even get to use it again. Either way, it is only the couple who decides whether or not to include the event. If you do decide to play, you'll need a garter, which is often the item that brides use for their "something blue". Other than that, a garter can be of any design or color that you like. Just make sure that it stays on so that it doesn't slip down in the middle of the first dance. Also, don't confuse garters with garter belts; the two have similar functions but are not the same!