Unfortunately, every contest must have rules...so here are ours...
1) Please note: The rules for the annual contest are different than the rules for the Dress of the Month Contest. This is the second year that the annual Dress Contest does not require that its applicants be members of the Newlywed Ring hosted by RingSurf. However, in order to vote in the finalist and "top 3" rounds of the 2002 Dress Contest, you are required to be a member of the Newlywed Ring. This is not optional in order to keep voting fair. We will be adding in a "popular vote" polling feature this year for the first time. The winner of the popular vote will count as one "judge's ballot" towards the semi-final, final, and top three rounds.
2) 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 Dress Contest Winners, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists are not eligible to compete in the 2002 Dress Contest. Contestants that competed in more than one of the 1998, 1999, 2000 and/or 2001 Dress Contests, are also ineligible to compete in the 2002 Contest. Annual Dress Contest "Honorable Mention" recipients are eligible to compete in the 2002 Dress Contest as long as they have not competed in more than one of the annual contests.
3) If your dress has been previously selected as a "Dress of the Month" or chosen for the "With Honors Circle", you ARE eligible to compete in the annual Dress Contest! The Dress Contest and Dress of the Month Contest are separate contests with different rules.
4) Images must be tasteful in nature and adhere to Newlywed Ring guidelines.
5) Only one image per applicant will be used in the contest judging. However, the image may contain more than one photo of the dress (see entry examples and click on the individual images for more detail) in order to show off the back, front, train, etc. In some instances, professional proofs will arrive after an applicant's initial entry. In this case, a replacement image will be accepted (only before the contest deadline) as a substitute for the applicant's first submission. However, submitting more than three total images will result in immediate disqualification. Again, there is no limit to the number of dress-shot photos contained within a contestant's single submitted image -- there is just a limit on the total number of images/entries submitted. Contact Robyn with any questions.
6) Images must be no larger than 150K each and they must be in .gif or .jpg form. Period. No exceptions. Submissions larger than 100K will result in immediate disqualification. (If in doubt, see Rule #8.) We have image editors to help you reduce the total image size. Please contact Robyn if you'll be needing editing assistance.
7) All images will be judged using "400"x"500" or "500"x"400" pixels exactly. If possible, please submit your image in these dimensions. If not possible, your image will be altered slightly by Robyn (keeping your dress shot intact) to fit the above dimensions for judging. (If in doubt, see Rule #8.)
8) If you are unable to edit your image to fit the contest specifications ("400x500" or "500x400" pixels, under 150K, and/or multi-shots within one image if desired) -- contact Robyn. You may upload your 1-3 unfinished photo(s) at the submission page, and Robyn will help you edit them into one image in order to adhere to the contest rules. Remember, no more than 3 photographs/images per applicant are accepted! Thank you! Instructions on how to link your site to The 2002 Dress Contest can be found here.
9) The dress image/photo(s) that you submit must actually show you in the dress! No supermodel magazine cut-outs or "on the rack" shots, please. We're looking for real people in real wedding gowns. If you have not had your wedding photos taken yet -- or have not received your candids and/or professional photos -- please consider entering the "Dress of the Month Contest" instead when they arrive, and wait for the 2003 annual contest.
10) Contestants may submit a mini-essay description of their dress (no more than 150 words). This optional description can include the dress style, fabric, details not visible by photograph, etc. Please see these past examples for more ideas. Designer names are not allowed in this description. If the dress was handmade by a friend or by a relative, mention of that is acceptable. These descriptions are not to be submitted with the entry image -- but rather to the essay editors. This year you can submit your essays with your photos(s) at the submit page. After editing, the descriptions will then be paired with your official image for the judging.
11) Please make sure you include your URL and primary e-mail address with your photo and essay entry! This will help us make sure they are paired together. These fields are required.
12) All images and essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) October 31, 2002. After that date Robyn and a panel of judges will select ten semi-finalists (out of all entries submitted). The images submitted for contest judging will not be viewed by the panel of judges until after November 1, 2002, and will not be made public until the semi-final winners are selected. The Newlywed Ring members will then vote on the ten selected semi-finalists and narrow those down to five finalists during the week of November 10 - November 16, 2002. After that, the top three dresses will be chosen by the Newlywed Ring members from the five finalists. The "top three" dresses will be selected during the week of November 17 - November 23, 2002. The submission date and judging dates are subjective to change. All contestants will be notified of any date changes, should they become necessary.
13) You cannot be a contest judge and a contest participant.
14) In order to vote for the "five finalists" and "top three dresses", Newlywed Ring members must be a part of the new Newlywed Ring on RingSurf. Members of the old Newlywed Ring on Webring will not be eligible to vote in the 2002 Dress Contest. Unfortunately, this is necessary for two reasons: in order to match the website and e-mail address specific to the member's Ring ID on the ballots. The WebRing system no longer makes it possible to do this -- all such information is "hidden" from the ringmaster. (Ineligible e-mail addresses and URLs will result in a voided ballot. Period.) Newlywed Ring members and contestants may vote only ONCE during these semi-final and final rounds. The five Dress Contest Finalists are ineligible to vote during the Final round. (Sorry...but fair is fair...)
15) If it should become necessary to amend the rules or update/change them, all applicants will be notified immediately of these necessary changes via e-mail.
Last but not least...don't forget to link to the Dress Contest, and join the Dress Contest Webring!