6 Expert Tips for Selecting Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Talking style with Love & Lace’s Janna Frash.
Wedding dress.
Photo: Aria Studios, courtesy of Love & Lace 


Hitting the boutique with your best ladies can be one of the most magical parts of wedding planning, but it’s helpful to keep a few facts in mind before going nuts at the racks. We tapped Janna Frash from the Chinatown-based Love & Lace bridal boutique for tips when selecting your wedding dress.


Love & Lace specializes in intimate, one-on-one appointments and modern, unique gowns from brands you won’t find anywhere else in Hawai‘i, so Frash always has her eyes peeled for edgy, new trends and shopping styles. Her advice? Have an open mind and be honest. The attendants want to know what you really love so they can steer you in the right direction. Also, remember that most boutiques carry sample sizes with gown orders requiring three to six months lead time. Plan accordingly!


Love & Lace, 1127 Bethel St., #11


1. Trend alert: Mix it up!

“Some of the newer trends I’m seeing are the mixing of textures within gowns. Part of the gown may be lace, and another part may be chiffon. Combining different textures or fabrics can add movement or body, and can also accentuate certain areas of a bride’s silhouette.”


2. Lace is your friend

“Lace is always a popular option, because it can sometimes hide a bride’s area of concern. There are so many varieties of lace—soft and romantic, or bold and vibrant. Silk is also gorgeous, but not the most forgiving. Chiffon and tulle are great, because they add texture and movement to gowns, and look amazing in photos.”


3. Skip the heavy, embellished concoctions

“Girls getting married in Hawai‘i are aware that weather and outside elements can impact their wedding day, and therefore don’t want gowns that are too thick or heavy. Many also want to wear something they can be comfortable in the whole night—from the ceremony in the day, until dancing through the night.”


HONOLULU Weddings on the beach.
Photo: Christine Clark, courtesy of Love & Lace


4. Think outside the traditional ball gown

“Short dresses have become more popular in recent years, which I think satisfies the bride’s desire to feel comfortable. Two-piece gowns are also very popular, as brides can mix and match their tops and skirts. I also love the trend of nonwhite gowns. Many designers are now offering various colors of gowns—champagne, blush, slate … the list goes on. Colors are true game changers, and I love brides who go out of the norm to add color to their gowns.”


5. The importance of undergarments

“Undergarments are key to all gowns! Many girls purchase items to either accentuate or hide areas of their body. Corsets, push-up bras, body slimmers and double-stick tape are very common items. These can be purchased at most department stores. In the event that you cannot find something you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to consult with a seamstress to meet your needs.” Our pick: Nordstrom for underthings. Most bridal shops will help you with alterations when you purchase, but if you go rogue, try The Bridal Boutique for alterations, even on gowns not purchased in-store.


6. Celebrate details

“One of my favorite trends is the back details of a gown. Small details like a keyhole, low back, buttons or lace can really add to the gown. Family, friends and the photographer will be looking at you at all angles, so the back of the gown is just as important as the front.”


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