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Dress Shopping For Brides With Chronic Illness or Mobility Impairment

In this blog, we focus on helping brides with specific needs for chronic illness or mobility impairment.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Every bride deserves the day, and the gown, of her dreams! To make the most of your bridal appointment, think about any features of your gown that will allow you to focus on having a wonderful time with your loved ones on the day.

For brides who will be using a wheelchair:

Ask the bridal store if there are stairs or any obstacles that would be difficult for a wheelchair to move about.  When you try on dresses, you want room to maneuver so you can get a feel for the movement each dress provides.

Consider which silhouette will match your vision and also be comfortable.

What are the day to day struggles with your disability? Is a tight-fitting dress going to cause pain? Will a layered, poofy dress cause body temperature issues? Tell your stylist what your specific concerns are so she can guide you.

If you find the perfect “feeling” dress but think something is missing, consider adding a sparkly belt and jewelry accessories that would work for you.

Note:  Some of the headbands and tiaras are so beautiful and tight fitting.  These can easily cause headaches and migraines. Make sure if you have a head piece that you wear it before the wedding to test that out.

Also, you have choice in fabrics. Silks and satins are unforgiving and can be uncomfortably restricting. Many designers offer what’s called a “perfecting satin” which is a smooth fabric with a stretch. Lightweight, super comfortable, and ultra pretty, these are dresses you’ll love in various colors, silhouettes, and details.

Some beading and laces can cause skin reactions, or just be uncomfortable and scratchy. Make sure to note this and if you like the look, tell your stylist who can pull a different type of lace or one with beading that doesn’t come into contact with your skin directly.

While many gowns are easier to step into, consider whether you’d prefer a gown that you could put on over your head.

For brides who will be using a walker or cane:

Perhaps a gown with a detachable overskirt or train would work. That way, you get to keep the volume down the aisle with worrying about tripping or catching the front of your gown and then take it off for a light and easy look during your reception

For brides with hemiplegia/paresis or difficulty with manual dexterity, consider changing a lace-up corset back (or one with buttons and loops) to a hidden zipper, or even one with snaps. A good bridal seamstress can do this for you.

For brides with generalized movement difficulty (e.g., myasthenia gravis) or who may fatigue more easily:

Those who fatigue easily can often be more sensitive to temperature. The solution may be… layers! Add bolero jacket with sleeves to a strapless gown .


Or, add detachable sleeves to a gown with straps.

The bridal store you choose should have a good seamstress they work with,  one that knows construction and can offer you options to make your dress even more perfect for you. It will bring you more peace of mind and keep you feeling great and your stress level low.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Don’t let anything get in your way, including needing a little help getting down the aisle.  Visit us at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!

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