Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress from when you were little or you’re the kind of person who hates clothes shopping with every fibre of your being, the chances are you’re going to need some kind of guidance when it comes to finding your perfect wedding dress.
Even if you think you have a clear cut idea of the dress you want, make sure that when you go to your first wedding dress appointment, you go with an open mind and try on multiple styles. Wedding dresses are unlike any other dress you’re going to wear, even if you’re a model or pageant girl, this is different! What you think might be perfect for you, in theory, might not match up in reality.
So, wherever you’re at with your wedding dress buying journey, we’re here to help you navigate the tulle, lace, petticoats, corsets, and silks so that you can really find the perfect dress for you. Let’s dive in!
For colour, a lot of you might be thinking that this is a no brainer – white, right? Well until you’re standing in a bridal shop surrounded by dresses, you won’t believe how many different shades and variations of white there really are. From ivory to shell to cream and beyond, not all wedding dress whites are the same, and you might find that pure white looks too bright and sterile – a lot of brides discover this and it can really surprise them in terms of accompanying colour palettes.
You might find that you want a bit of colour in your dress to set you apart from the rest or to tie your wedding look more cohesively into your wedding theme. This might be through a bit of yellow or cream vintage lacework, some shining beadwork, or some blush tones that come to life and peek out as you twirl the night away. There are plenty of colour options for you to try on, just saying white isn’t really a way to narrow down your choices anymore!
This is where a lot of people think they have their wedding dress vision set in stone. There are people who say, ‘I would never wear a ball gown’ yet fall in love with one once they try it on. Others think they want all the drama of a huge dress and find that a simple, elegant, flowing A-line dress is the perfect wedding look for them. Leave your preconceptions at the door of the bridal salon, if you don’t try them you’ll never know if they’re right or not!
We’ve got ball gowns, A-lines, mermaids, tea length, mini dresses, floaty silhouettes with trains, jumpsuits, suits – the list goes on and on – and consider the bodice styles! With sleeves to sleeveless, from sweetheart to high neck to plunging necklines, there are hundreds of dress combinations for you to try out and see what works best for you.
There is definitely some overlap between your choice of silhouette and the length of your dress. After all, it’s pretty difficult to get a short mermaid dress! However, there are some points that you might want to consider when you’re choosing the length of your dress.
First and foremost, are you having an outdoor wedding where the bottom of a train might get messy or ruined? For beach, field, farmhouse or mountain style weddings, you might want to look a little bit shorter or at least forgo having a lengthy train that’s just going to get destroyed.
Another thing to think about is the temperature and weather where you’re getting married. If you’re in the desert you might want something lighter and shorter so you’re not sweating out and having to consume jugs of water every ten minutes.
The main thing to think about is that if you’re having a shorter dress, you’re going to have to get some shoes that either match your overall wedding vibe or make a statement like cowboy boots or Chuck Taylors. You know the wedding looks we mean!
Secondhand or Vintage
Something that’s coming up more and more with the wedding dress conversation is sustainability. As much as we all say, “we can always shorten it and wear it again”, we all know that’s not likely to happen. Wedding dresses can be super expensive and to only wear them once is not great for our wallets or the planet.
It used to be that you could wear your mom’s or grandmother’s dress and, even if you altered it to suit your style, the base dress was passed down through the generations. Now, vintage dresses are a hot commodity, often costing a lot more than new dresses due to their rare nature and unique designs.
If you know what kind of dress you want and you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to go secondhand and then pay for alterations. Plenty of thrift and charity shops have wedding dresses as do online portals like eBay, Depop and Vinted. Just make sure you know what you want from your dress and you know what you’re buying. We’re talking condition, packaging, how it’s been stored, and more.
Let’s round things off with a final few wedding dress tips:
Always budget for alterations. Like we’ve said, wedding dresses are unlike anything you’ve ever bought and they’re certainly not one size fits all. Make sure you have some money put aside to get those little modifications that’ll make your dream wedding dress fit like a glove.
Don’t take a ton of people to your fitting. If we’ve learned anything from wedding dress shows, it’s that the smaller the entourage, the smoother the appointment. Pick a few trusted loved ones and make it clear that when it comes down to it, it’s your choice, not theirs. Honest opinions are great, and that’s what they’re there for, but there’s definitely a line that everyone needs to be mindful of.
10 Perfect Wedding Dresses
Known for their infusion of fresh new energy into the bridal boutique world, Breanna and Anna, owners of a & bé as well as iconic anna bé bring us yet another absolutely fabulous look book. Photographed beautifully by Levi Tijerina along with floral designs by Lalé Florals, this showcase of dresses is autumnal perfection with a delicious twist.
RUE DE SINE
BLUSH BY HAYLEY PAIGE
& FOR LOVE
CLAIRE LA FAYE
I would be SO hard-pressed to name a favorite – each and every one of these wedding dresses is perfect, and styled so well!
Credits: Photography: Levi Tijerina Photography // Wedding Dresses: a & bé // Floral Design: Lalé Florals // Stylist: Emily Smoot // Hair: Matthew Morris Salon // Makeup: Alchemy Mineral Blends // Venue: River Bend and Lyons Farmette in Lyons, Colorado.