As with any body shape and size, a bride should choose a gown that accentuates her positive features and flatters her figure. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a style to show off your curves in the right way:

•    The Princess- or A- Line dress style will add height to your figure and make you look taller as it pulls in at the tummy and gently flairs out at the hips creating a lengthened silhouette. Avoid styles where the top and skirt are separate pieces as this will “cut you in half” and make you appear shorter.

•    The Empire Line, which flows elegantly outward from below the bust, is ideal for a pear-shaped body type as it stylishly conceals a larger bottom and hips. Reminiscent of Grecian goddesses, this style is very ala mode for the 2011 wedding season as it follows the current romantic trend of soft layers of graceful fabrics like chiffon.

•    A rouged bodice immediately has a slimming effect. It is also a good idea to invest in a gown with a fitted corset for that extra support and definition of your waist.

•    Choose fabrics that move and hang on the body, rather than clinging to it. This will give you some grace in terms of rolls and lumps, as they will be skimmed over, not accentuated. Avoid heavy fabrics like satin and organza.

•    Be careful that your dress is not too tight as this will also make you appear larger, for example if your breasts or back bulge over the seam of the dress or through the criss-cross lacing on your back. Rather choose a slightly bigger size and be comfortable on the day; no one but you will know the exact size of the dress anyway!

•    Accentuate the top and bottom edges of your gown with beading and embroidery to draw attention to these areas, away from a wider waistline or tummy. Other than that, keep your dress simple and avoid too much lace or ‘puffiness’.

•    Stay away from detail or sleeves on your arms, and off-the-shoulder necklines that will add volume to your shoulders and arms.

•    Go for low, wide necklines, such asthe scoop, sweetheart, keyhole and V-neck, all of which emphasize your cleavage and décolletage, and draw attention away from your waist.

•    If you choose to wear a veil, opt for a long, sweeping veil that will elongate your body, neck and face.

Have any more tips to add? Share them below.

Lani Butler is the owner of Lady Marmalaide Collection, a nationwide bridal studio group and has been in the industry for about 6 years. She visits the annual European bridal fair each year to keep ahead of all bridal trends. For more information, you can visit the Lady Marmalaide website here.