Choosing Your Wedding Dress

The Search For The Elusive Perfect Wedding Dress

Congratulations on your impending nuptials. The excitement of shopping for a wedding dress is probably how you found yourself here. Whether you have a date set for the big day or not, it's never too early to start shopping around! It also depends on your preferences in terms of the wedding dress style as well as where your search for THE DRESS will take you.

Shopping for the perfect wedding dress isn't a one-size-fits-all process. The experience is very different for each bride due to varying circumstances. For some, it means altering a gown handed down to them while most women have to pour through bridal magazines as well as wedding boutiques in search of their dream dress.

The well-tailored gown you have in mind might be hanging on a bridal store rack somewhere or you might need to engage the services of a seamstress to craft your dream dress. There's so much more to learn about the wedding dress shopping process, and here's a rundown on the basics you should know.

What Suits You Best?

In the process of shopping for a wedding dress, you'll come across various terms that might confuse you even more. Off-the-rack, bespoke, made-to-order, and made-to-measure are some of the buzzwords you'll hear when talking about wedding dresses.


Perhaps off-the-rack is the term that most women are familiar with because it refers to how you'd normally shop for clothes at department stores and discount outlets. In the case of bridal stores, they often stock samples from other boutiques or ready-to-wear wedding dresses from various designers.

While they might carry bulk inventory, which gives you endless selections to choose from; the problem with off-the-rack stores is that they usually only have a limited number of each dress in stock. What it means is that you might fall in love with a particular gown but won't get it in your size until the store makes their next bulk order.


Bespoke refers to creating a one-of-a-kind design that's unique to your specific requirements. The result is an outfit that's specially made for you, and that in itself makes it a costly affair. It works for brides with an unrestricted budget to spend as well as the time to go through the design process as well as multiple fittings and adjustments.

The average timeline for getting your bespoke gown ranges from two months up to eight months. You'll save a bit more if you have a design sketched out and only want a seamstress to tailor the gown.


In the case of made-to-order, the store carries sample designer gowns. Once you've settled on a dress you like, they place an order on your behalf based on the designer's size chart. Standard made-to-order wedding gowns take anywhere from four to six months to process. You'll also need to squeeze in at least three fittings and leave enough room for custom alterations.

Sizing is the first issue most brides face with this option because we are all built differently and won't necessarily fit into the mold. If you must go this route, be prepared to spend extra money on alterations.


Made-to-measure uses the same concept as bespoke gowns only that it's the size that's customised to your liking. The process involves selecting a wedding dress style from the designer's collection. They'll then take your measurements and tailor an outfit that specifically fits your frame.

This option is more affordable than bespoke gowns and the processing time is often between three to six months. It's the best option for women whose body proportions don't fall under the standard sizing guides.

Why Go For Custom-made Wedding Gowns?

Bespoke and made-to-measure wedding gowns fall under the custom-made umbrella. The two categories of wedding dresses focus on individuality, and you are also assured of walking down the aisle wearing an outfit that everyone will say was truly made for you.

Custom-made bridal ensembles are also tailored to conceal your problem areas while accentuating your best features. There are often fewer alterations needed when you get your bridal attire specially tailored to your specifications. In general, it’s the best option if you have enough time, the budget for it, and most importantly, if you have a specific wedding dress design in mind.

Why Opt For Ready-Made Wedding Dresses?

Off-the-rack, and to some extent made-to-order, wedding dresses fall under the category of ready-made gowns. This is a great option for brides who don’t exactly have four to six months to wait for a custom-made gown. Shopping off-the-rack gives you the opportunity to browse through what’s available at different bridal stores and also make comparisons. There's also a possibility of finding your dream dress at a discount store.

The uniformity is the downside with off-the-rack gowns and even the stores that only stock each outfit in one size still pose a challenge. You'll often have to spend more money on alterations and as the wedding date inches closer, it could mean settling for a gown instead of saying yes to a dress that checks all the right boxes.

Work with the Experts

Whether you decide to settle for a ready-made wedding dress or get one custom-made; you should work with the experts. A bridal consultant can help you easily navigate the store and also narrow down your options.

They are also resourceful in terms of discussing potential alterations needed, particularly if your eyes are set on getting a dress that's only available in a bigger size. However, it's worth noting that you shouldn't buy a wedding dress that's at most two sizes bigger than what you normally wear.

Ask the store if you can get the dress that's caught your eye ordered in your size. If it works for your timeframe this would be the best option rather than buying a dress that isn’t your size. In any case, bridal consultants can always recommend a skilled tailor who can masterfully work on any needed alterations.

World Premiere: Glittering Gowns from Truvelle

I’m so thrilled to be sharing the very first look book shoot from newly launched travel with you today! Gaby, the creative force behind this brand, has a fresh approach to wedding dresses and creates effortlessly beautiful gowns that are made-to-order and made from scratch.

Travel’s mission statement sums up their aesthetic perfectly: “We don’t make dresses that where the girl, but instead something that dresses up an already beautiful individual.”

Sequin backless wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dresses / Blush Wedding Photography
Sequin wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Sequin backless wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dresses / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dresses / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dress / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dress / Blush Wedding Photography
Backless wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Natural bridal makeup / Blush Wedding Photography
Gold shoes and crown / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dresses / Blush Wedding Photography
Truvelle Wedding Dresses / Blush Wedding Photography
Sequin wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Sequin wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography
Sequin wedding dress from Truvelle / Blush Wedding Photography

The cosy feeling and styling of this entire shoot are oh so perfect, and those glittering sequin gowns are too. Die. For. Plus, did you see the little hedgehog in the video? He’s too cute. Gaby just signed a lease for a gorgeous new studio space for travel so be sure to follow along in the adventure on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

Credits: Photography: Kristy Ryan of Blush Wedding Photography // Dresses: Truvelle // Styling: Chiara DeMutiis of Kailey Michelle Events // Assistant Styling: Kelly Harnett // Videography: Caner Celenk // Hair & Makeup: Felicia Bromba // Floral Design: The Flower Factory // Model: Sophia Dishaw of Lizbell Agency // Jewelry & Set Props: Brick and Mortar Living // Location: Arundel Mansions, Vancouver, BC // Lookbook Design: Madison Hope of Hope & Co.