Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were five and know the exact specifications you want for it down to the last sequin, or you’ve never thought about it until your future spouse’s mother nagged, “You still haven’t gotten your gown,” we’ve got you covered on how to choose a wedding dress.
Finding your dream gown can be stressful. After all, you’ve likely never tried one on before, and it’s the most expensive garment many women will ever own, so it can feel like the pressure is definitely on while wedding dress shopping.
It may also feel like there’s a whole new language to decode—tulle, A-line, fit-and-flare, organza, sheath, etc. Not to mention, more brides are doing multiple dresses—a more formal one for the ceremony and a party-centric one for the reception—which can make shopping even more stressful.
Rip pages out of magazines, click through bridal boutiques online, explore on Pinterest, and check out what celebrity brides are wearing to compile a visual file of your favourite dresses.
Then look for a connecting theme—are they all very embellished, lacy, or voluminous? Do they all have open backs? Find a couple of commonalities of styles you like and bring your ideas to your first appointment.
Consider The Mood Of Your Wedding
It’s important to set the mood and feel of your wedding before you start dress shopping. You don’t want your bridal style clashing with your wedding style. This includes choosing the venue, deciding whether you want daytime or nighttime wedding, and the time of year.
Do you want to be a boho goddess in a garden setting or a glam princess in a ballroom? These factors will affect your purchasing decision. Having a good idea of the vibe will help you choose the perfect dress that matches not only your personal style but also the backdrop.
Doing this will make narrowing your dress choices down that much easier, whether you’re searching solely for a strapless gown for a July wedding or an airy chiffon A-line for beach nuptials. Plus, finding a gown in tune with your personal style and vibe will make you that much more comfortable on your big day.
Colour Is A Big Deal
Another element that will get you feeling confident and beautiful is the colour of your dress. Just as silhouette enhances your shape, the hues of the fabric can do the same for your colouring.
Dresses these days vary greatly in terms of colour, from a brighter white to creamy ivory to even bold pink. The right colour can nicely accentuate and complement your skin tone. For example, whiter dresses may wash out those with fair skin, so those brides might look for something with a warmer ivory tone.
Be sure to try on multiple shades of white or even colour to see what looks and photographs best on you. Also, look at it in both natural light (if the salon has a window) and in indoor lighting, as the lighting will change how the dress colour looks.
Think Of Your Budget
Yes, it’s uncomfortable to talk numbers, but it will save you from heartache later on. Before your first appointment, figure out who is paying for the gown (your family, your partner, you?).
Remember, your dress needs to represent you. Begin by putting your best foot forward during shopping. If you feel your best in curls and makeup or clear lip gloss and flats, then go for it.
Buying your dream dress is an emotional decision, so you should stop feeling like the best version of you. This way, you can truly assess how you feel in the gowns. It will also help you picture how you’ll look in the dress on the big day.
Once you’re at the salon, stay true to yourself by considering what fashion you lean toward on a daily basis. If you favour clean lines and solids, look for a minimalist gown, or if you love quirky, retro styles, beeline for vintage-inspired designs.
Listen to your inner style and voice, which can also mean limiting the opinions. Ward suggests confining the entourage to one or two trusted pals or family members with great taste.
Of course, you want someone to point out that puffy sleeves are a thing of the past, but you also want to not be overwhelmed. In the end, it is your gown, so stick to your gut and feelings.
And, as one final note, when you’re finally ready to say yes, don’t be afraid to do so. As long as it feels right and you feel like the best version of you, then go for it. It might feel like the long-anticipated search is over, but you have found your dress soulmate. Hey, you will now have more time to figure out the countless other details of the big day.