I know a lot of women fantasize about the wedding gown, and stop at that. I get it: it’s the one red carpet moment of your life. Often, a gown is the first thing chosen in our minds; even before a concrete date, venue…or even the groom. Riiiiiiiight?

I can’t be the only person who periodically goes through gowns in magazines and saves them for future reference.

So, with all the fuss and mess that goes into your wedding gown, from the actual choosing of the dress, to alterations and the last-minute steaming…one key ingredient is so often overlooked.

You took into consideration your body shape, your personal style, the tone and setting of the wedding, the season (believe me, I’ll go into a lot more detail on each and every one of these subjects. Who’s excited!?). You’ve worked out harder than you have your whole life, actually keeping those appointments with the trainer and waiting for the treadmill.

But it’s all for naught, if you don’t make sure you have the best possible posture.

Not a good look.

Oh yeah, we kinda forgot about that. Huh. This is the bald, naked truth: sure, people want to look at the gown. And they will. But that will last about five seconds, and for the remainder of the day, they will be looking at you in the gown. This means, that it doesn’t matter how beautiful the detailed beading is, or how gorgeously structured the gown is, or the how exquisite the lace is…if your posture isn’t the best it can possible be, the effect will be lessened. It’s you who is beautiful, and the gown is your greatest accent. Not the other way around.

Most of us are out of alignment due of a lifetime of stressors: car accidents, too much time spent seated in poorly supported chairs, bad habits learned from childhood, etc. You can easily find out how good or bad your posture is by seeing a chiropractor for a consult. Most of the time they don’t charge for this, and they will be able to tell just by looking at you and your movements if there are some underlying issues. You can then choose to correct your posture, if you want.

If you are already pretty confident in your awesome posture, then just try remember a few key things:

Shoulders back and down

This is important for every gown and figure. If you have a strapless gown, your shoulders and upper back are on display. If your gown has straps or sleeves, then the whole thing literally hangs from your shoulders and the way it looks will be determined by how your carry your shoulders. Practice keeping your shoulders back and down whenever you can: seated at your workstation, standing in line at the checkout counter, etc. Also, remember that pulling your shoulders back and down automatically raises your chin and chest, which makes your waist look smaller (from the profile), pulls your abs in and minimizes any double chin syndrome.

Wear shoes you can actually walk in

The test is whether your head moves when you walk in your heels. High heels serve to lift your butt, give you added height (duh) and increase the sway in your hips. In other words, they’re designed to add sexiness. Only, you don’t look so sexy if your whole body has to move and compensate for the shift in balance. It won’t matter how tall you look if you head is bobbing at the top. So take the heels down an inch or two if needed, okay? If nothing else, your feet will thank you at the end of the day.

Walk slowly

When you get a free moment alone to indulge your wedding fantasies, check out theknot.com’s video section. This is, literally, my favorite way to kill an hour on a Sunday. There are always videos of this season’s runway collections. Note how slowly the bridal models walk, in comparison to regular haute couture models. This is because wedding gowns are specifically designed for flow and movement. I don’t care what the shape, style, length or fabric is: these are gowns that are designed to make an entrance on the aisle. Unlike a lot of other fashion, they are actually meant to be worn instead of photographed. All that gorgeous craftsmanship will go to waste if you move too fast. Take your time, especially going down that aisle. It’s also much harder to trip when you move at a slightly slower pace.

These easy tips are the best, fast way to make sure you look like a queen. They are subtle in that no one will notice what you are doing, but they will absolutely appreciate the effect.