It was Valentine's Day 2019 at Disney World, where portrait sessions must take place prior to the theme park's opening hours. That explains why I put on a faux fur collar and a pair of opera gloves to keep myself warm in the early morning.
If you go there for wedding photography in summertime, then you probably won't need to dress warm. However, no matter when and where you get your outdoor wedding pictures taken, the following tips can help you look slimmer in the photos.
1. Select a sleek A-line gown. The fit-and-flare silhouette works best to create the illusion of a smaller waist.
2. Cinch your waist with a jeweled wide belt. If you have a proportionally short torso like mine, you may want to define your waist with a wide belt. The belt has to be two to three inches wide to tighten the bottom of your rib cage and show a tapered torso. This is a good enough reason to rule out all thin belts. It's equally important to stay away from soft satin belts, which are bound to wrinkle after body movement. A belt with horizontal creases would look very unflattering. So, your wide belt must be made of sturdy material, preferably embellished with flat rhinstones that won't add volume but will further stiffen the belt. The stiffer your belt is, the leaner your waist will look.
3. Keep the front hem about half an inch above the ground. Outdoor photo shoots require a lot of walking, so you need low-heeled shoes (my choice was ankle boots with cushioned footbeds and one-inch heels). Then the front panels of your gown should be hemmed accordingly to prevent tripping. Plus, a front hem that stays a tiny bit above the ground will make you look perkier and therefore seem a few pounds lighter, but the side panels and the train should definitely drape over the ground to exude elegance.
4. Consider getting two gowns. In case you prefer wearing heels higher than three inches during the wedding ceremony, it may be worthwhile to purchase a second bridal gown that looks similar to your first one but costs less. Then the second gown can be hemmed an inch or two shorter in the front for outdoor photo shoots. You can also bustle the train of the slightly shorter gown and wear it for your reception. A shorter front hem would be more convenient for dancing as well.
5. Add a bolero with ruffle armholes to a strapless gown. You may have noticed that your upper arm always appears thicker in photos taken from the side. A bolero with ruffle armholes can solve the problem. The ruffle fabric will partially cover your upper arms and make their profiles look thinner.
6. Choose an off-the-shoulder gown as an alternative. If you would rather do without a bolero, you can opt for an off-the-shoulder gown to flatter your upper arms. Off-the-shoulder sleeves usually cover the thickest section of each arm, respectively, and hide armpit fat, but reveals relatively bony shoulders. What can be more figure flattering?
7. Use a color accent strategically. I had the sweetheart neckline of my bridal gown trimmed with pink satin and then matched it with a bouquet of pink roses. You can borrow the idea and pick another color instead of pink. The key is to place the color accent in a high position to draw attention up so you will look taller even without high heels during your outdoor photo shoot.
8. Don a chapel-length veil. Whether you are getting married in church or not, a chapel-length veil that extends beyond the train of your gown can visually lengthen your stature. Why not have it do wonders for your wedding portraits?
Hopefully, these tips will work as fantastically for you as they did for me. Enjoy!