How to Choose Your Wedding Dress
Congratulations! You’re getting married! What is one of the first things you thought about? The dress I bet!!
Your wedding dress is very likely to be the most important dress that you will ever wear, so you want to get right! In this blog I will give you all the guidance and help I can on how to choose your wedding dress.
Many of you may have dreamt about your wedding dress and know exactly what you want, but for some it can be a real challenge. Whatever your thoughts on it I would recommend doing research. The wedding dress is one of the most critical aspects of your big day (apart from your Spouse of course!) and you want to look your best, so research is very important.
The first thing I would do is go on Pinterest….it will be your best friend that is full of ideas! Start looking at styles, shapes, colours and fabrics and create a board. As you go through this process you may discover there are things you never would have considered.
Bridal websites and magazines are also a great way to research wedding dresses. Another inspirational tool is to look through my portfolio and other blogs on weddings while you are here on my website.
A good way to figure out what styles and colours you like is to look for models that represent your body type and skin tone. This will really help you when you come to try dresses on, because you will already have an idea of what is likely to suit you.
Research bridal boutiques and try and narrow it down to 3-4 boutiques that you’d like to visit. Look at the boutiques websites and their social media before booking appointments, this will give you an idea of what the experience will be like and should hopefully make you feel more prepared, knowledgeable and confident.
When you choose your wedding dress you have to consider the venue, and the kind of wedding you’re planning, before rushing off and paying a deposit or even purchasing something that might not work. The dress should be able to stand out and make a statement and remain cohesive with your style of ceremony and reception venues. Your dress and wedding theme should complement each other.
The location will help with your vision when choosing your dress, for example, if you are getting married on the beach you might want to choose a long gown that is more flowing ( great in the pictures blowing in the breeze) or if you are having a church wedding followed by a big country house reception, a ball gown style might be more in keeping. If you like to kick your shoes off and dance….why not ditch tradition for a short wedding dress!
Ask yourself questions like: will it be held indoors or outdoors? Is it going to be an intimate or grand reception? Are we feeling glitz and glam or festival vibes? The answers to these will play a great part in short listing the kind of dress you should wear. It’s your wedding day and you have the right to wear anything you want, but I’m sure you will agree that a dramatic, heavy ball gown won’t fit at a hot destination beach wedding.
The weather will have a big impact on the style of dress you choose. Think about the time of year that you are getting married or maybe you are getting married in a hot climate. You don’t want to be wearing a strapless, backless dress in the snow!……and if you are you will need to think about things like a fur coat or a shawl. Additional removable layers are a perfect accessory for flexibility with changing weather conditions. They can also make great props for your newly wed portraits, changing your look throughout the day.
It’s important to consider the design, the fabric and when and where you will be wearing your wedding dress. The temperature and humidity will vary depending on the time of the year. Thinking about this will help you decide, for example: a strapless dress in the Summer or a long sleeve dress in the Winter. Also consider your skin and its sensitivity to the sun. For those that easily burn, long sleeves in a light, floaty fabric may be your ideal choice to protect you from the harsh summer sun.
No one knows better than you what style of dress you like and feel comfortable in and your style is one of the first things to consider when choosing a wedding dress. You may feel more comfortable in a traditional dress or prefer something more modern and different. Whichever you choose, your personality will reflect in your choice of dress.
Consider some of the following when you choose your wedding dress: Do you like to wear bright colours? If so maybe you fancy doing something not so traditional and wearing your favourite colour? How would you feel in a fitted dress or would you be more comfortable in a loose fitting gown? Is there a part of your body that you like to show off….like your sexy legs?! Then maybe consider a short dress or a split? Do you have a favourite fabric or texture? The feel of your dress is a key part of the style.
A mermaid-style dress might look perfect on your favourite celebrity, but it might not fit your figure or make you feel comfortable. You can check out body shape guidelines online to get you started, I will also share some useful links at the bottom of the blog.
If you are considering working out or going on a bit of a health kick in the lead up to your big day, I have written another blog on heath and fitness for your wedding, go check it out here for some tips and tricks : How to prepare to look and feel your best
However gorgeous the gown is, make sure that you ask yourself whether you feel like you in it. It’s got to suit your figure, your personality and personal style.
Start Trying on Early
Starting to look early enough will mean you can take your time. It’s surprisingly time-consuming to put a wedding gown on and off, let alone three or four, you definitely don’t want to feel rushed to make a decision. Keep an open mind while wedding dress shopping. You may find your dream dress in something you didn’t expect.
Many gowns can take time to be made, and once they arrive, you still have to factor in more time for alterations and accessorising.
I would suggest going to try dresses on with just one or two trusted friends or family members. This really helps, especially because you can only try on so many dresses in an hour long appointment, too many people will mean too many different opinions and this can often lead to confusion and pressured decisions.
All that being said, if you’re having a long engagement then don’t start too early! If you immediately start shopping for gowns, the one you end up buying might be out of style by the time your wedding comes around, or you might find one you like even better closer to the date.
Your budget is one of the most crucial considerations when choosing a wedding dress. It will determine how much you can spend on different aspects of your wedding, and is very likely to be one of the things that you will want to spend a fair bit of your budget on. Financial constraints can play a major role. I would not recommend anyone to get into debt for their wedding, however some vendors may offer payment plans to help spread the cost.
Decide how much money is realistic for you to spend on your dress. Browse through similar dresses in stores and online and use that as a guideline for what to expect when it comes to price. Something to also consider when setting your dress budget is alteration fees.
An extravagant wedding gown with hand-embroidered beads and lace will not come with a cheap price tag. However, if you are on a budget then there are other options that mean you can still wear the wedding dress of your dreams. You could wear a pre-loved dress, rent or even do it yourself if you are handy with a sewing machine! Is there a family heirloom that has been worn through generations of weddings?
High street stores offer some stunning dresses at great prices. You might find your ideal dress in John Lewis, Phase Eight or Coast and many more.
You may even find timing your search with the sales can net you a super bargain! My perfect dress was found in a half price sale rail at a bridal boutique. I’d expressed my ideal style to the sales assistant (omitting my ideal scarlet colour choice). Armed with a handful of dresses that I’d been encouraged to also try, I walked past the sale rail and saw a flash of scarlet. There it was… the EXACT dress I’d described, but in the colour I hadn’t dared to mention!!!
You will be wearing your wedding dress all day and all brides want to be comfortable. When you are trying on dresses, sit down in them to see how they feel around your torso…….and don’t forget you want to be able to dance the night away without your dress tripping you up or weighing you down! Many dresses have options or adjustments for layers to be lifted and secured for the evening, or even a longer layer removed to reveal a shorter dress! You definitely don’t want a dress that makes you feel uncomfortable as the day goes on.
Wedding gowns are often made with stiff materials and may include boned bodices or corsets which can be distracting if they don’t fit your body well. Avoid going for a dress that doesn’t feel right even if it looks good on you. Being relaxed, comfortable and still looking a million dollars is possible with the right dress.
I hope this blog has helped you with your exciting adventure to find your dream dress. I have added some useful links below to give you that extra bit of help!
If you are still looking for a wedding photographer than take a look at my portfolio here on my website, I would love to hear from you.
Xx Fiona Xx