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A Bride-to-Be’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress

A Bride-to-Be’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress

Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most important and special days of your life. It’s when friends, family, and loved ones gather around you as you make the meaningful decision of marrying your perfect person. It’s a day filled with love, support, and memories that you will cherish for years and years to come. This is why the process of choosing the dress that you will look back on fondly is so crucial. We’re sharing a comprehensive guide on choosing the perfect wedding dress that is timeless, comfortable, and so uniquely you.

Tips for selecting the perfect wedding dress 

While half the fun of choosing a wedding dress is waiting until you get that butterfly feeling, there are best practices for the process. We’re sharing a few tips for how to choose a wedding dress that is perfect for you.

Determine Your Style 

Your wedding day is not the day to switch things up or try something new. It’s the day when you should look exactly like yourself in the dress that flatters your figure and makes you feel as confident as can be. Here are a few styles to consider when choosing which dresses to try on:

Classic and traditional 

Are you someone who usually wears modest, simple clothing? Do you consider yourself traditional when it comes to your values and how you dress? Fortunately, classic and traditional wedding dresses are often also considered timeless. These are gowns that don’t have a lot of trendy or modish details that may go out of style. They are simple and classic with a silhouette that has been worn and loved for years.
Examples of classic and traditional dresses: 

Bohemian

You probably see bohemian brides all over Pinterest with earthy elements, lace and linen details, and floral features. These gowns are designed to look effortless and chic. If you’re someone who loves to surround yourself with nature and beachy vibes, a bohemian wedding dress may be the best fit for you.

Examples of bohemian dresses: 

Glamorous 

Depending on your wedding venue, a glamorous wedding dress may be in the cards. If you’re going all out with lighting, theatrics, and decor, you need a dress to match that same energy. Glamorous wedding dresses are bold and beautiful. They have over-the-top elements and full skirts that make a big statement. If your wedding resembles that of a red carpet, a glamorous wedding dress may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Examples of glamorous dresses: 

 


 

Simple and elegant 

The last style is for our understated beauties. There is nothing wrong with choosing a wedding dress that is simple and elegant. If you’re someone who lives in basics and enjoys the simple things in life, your wedding dress should be no exception. Simple and elegant dresses are safe choices that will allow you to feel comfortable and confident. It’s a style you can’t go wrong in. 

Examples of simple and elegant dresses: 

Consider your body shape and comfort level 

The most important thing to feel on your wedding day is comfortable. You don’t want to take too many risks with your dress to risk feeling unlike yourself. Keep this in mind when choosing which dresses to try on. Consider your body shape and the styles that look best on you. 

Do you have more of a round or hourglass figure? Do you like yourself in strapless tops? Do you want your arms shown or covered? When questioning how to choose a wedding dress that flatters your figure, stick with how you feel in everyday wear, and then apply it when dress shopping.

How to choose a wedding dress style 

Because you have to make an appointment when wedding dress shopping, it’s important to spend your time efficiently. Jot down your thoughts and feelings about all of the information listed above so that you know exactly the kind of dresses you’re going in for. 

Let’s play a game of this or that to help you narrow down your options: 

  • Straps or no straps? 

  • Square neck or scoop neck? 

  • Tight bust or loose bust? 

  • Form-fitting or room to move? 

  • Pencil skirt or full skirt? 

  • White or off-white? 

Don’t forget to go into the day with an open mind because you just might fall in love with the dress you least expect! When you know, you’ll know. 

Accessories 

While the wedding dress is the main event, accessories shouldn’t be overlooked on your big day. The way you style your wedding dress can be what takes your look from simple to show-stopping. There are a few ways you can elevate your look on your wedding day: Jewelry, veil, shoes, and bra.

How to choose jewelry for your wedding dress 

When it comes to jewelry, you don’t want to wear anything that will take away from your wedding dress. Instead, you want to choose something that will complement it and give you added confidence. The jewelry you decide to wear should be simple, but meaningful. You want to be able to look back on this jewelry for years to come and remember all the special moments that go along with wearing them. Click here to view some of our jewelry that was designed to accompany our customers on their special days. 

How to choose a veil for your wedding dress 

Choosing a veil for your wedding day is another important decision that factors into your overall look. There are many veil options that award you with different silhouettes, depending on your preference. Do you prefer a short veil? A long veil? A veil with writing? No veil? You should trust your gut when it comes to selecting this monumental piece because you, again, don’t want it to take away from the other elements of your big day.

How to choose a bra for your wedding dress

The style of your wedding dress will determine the type of bra you need to wear. We would recommend talking with your wedding dress consultant to determine the best fit. The last thing you want is to walk down the aisle worrying about bra straps or a loose corset. Also, keep tanning lines in mind, too, when visualizing yourself on your wedding day. If you are rocking a strapless dress, avoid wearing bathing suit straps or anything that will give you an unwanted tan line leading up to your big day. 

Set a Budget 

Determining your wedding budget is often the first step in the wedding planning process. This number dictates all other decisions down the line and should be a realistic reflection of how much you can afford to spend. When it comes to purchasing your wedding dress, you must follow both your heart and your head. 

The average cost of a wedding dress 

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding dress in 2022 was $1,900. The article states that “Gowns continue to be a staple of wedding fashion, as 98% of our survey respondents who identify as female wore a dress for their nuptials. Buying a new dress remains the most popular option for to-be-weds, with 93% purchasing a new design.”

How to stick to your budget 

When it comes to finding your dream wedding dress, we recommend doing a little research ahead of time to find designers you like and dress styles that suit your body shape. Then, once you have an idea of which designers are in your price range, you can go into the fitting with a more targeted approach that will keep you within budget. Our recommendation? Don’t try on anything out of your budget to risk falling in love with a dress you cannot afford.

Tips for finding affordable options 

Many brides only wear their wedding dresses once– on the night of their wedding. While many brides are sentimental and keep their dresses neatly stowed away for memories, there are other brides who quickly turn around and sell their dresses if it’s in good condition. Consider browsing second-hand stores, sites, and apps for lightly-worn dresses as an affordable option. You can also browse through the sales racks of wedding dress boutiques to find options that are within your price range. We also recommend going the unconventional route and wearing a casual party dress for your big night. This route can guarantee that you won’t break the bank, and you can wear the dress over and over again. 

Consider the Venue 

After nailing down a budget for your wedding, securing the venue location typically comes next in the wedding planning process. The venue’s location and ambiance can help you determine the style of wedding dress that would best match the vibe of your big day. 

Did you choose a formal or casual venue? 

There are certainly different dress vibes that appeal to different venue settings. A formal, ballroom setting would inspire a different dress choice than an outdoor, barnyard venue. And while you shouldn’t let the venue completely dictate your wedding dress choice, you should let it guide your decision-making.



Examples of dresses for a formal venue: 

 Examples of dresses for a casual venue: 

Did you choose an indoor or outdoor location? 

Outdoor weddings require a few additional things to factor in that indoor weddings do not. For example, humidity, weather, and heat may deter you from wearing your hair down, or a dress that shows too much skin. Consider the location and all the possible what-ifs before saying yes to the dress.

Examples of dresses for an indoor wedding: 

Examples of dresses for an outdoor wedding: 

Examples of summer dresses: 

Examples of winter dresses: 

 Start Shopping Early 

Getting engaged is such an exciting time! You’re most likely filled with emotions and feelings that have you feeling eager to get started. Give into that feeling and get to shopping!! We’d recommend shopping for your wedding dress early for several reasons: 1) To give yourself enough time for alterations; 2) To give yourself enough time to decide on accessories; 3) To avoid rush fees and last-minute stress.

Allow enough time for fittings and alterations 

After you find your dream dress, you’ll want to schedule a few different appointments to ensure the dress fits you like a glove. The initial fitting will alter the dress down to your size, whereas you’ll want to also schedule a few fittings down the line to ensure your dress still fits you if your weight fluctuates. 

Allow enough time to decide on accessories 

Accessorizing your wedding-day look is an often overlooked part of the process. You’re not always going to find the perfect pieces at the first store you go to. Instead of settling for accessories that you think work, give yourself enough time to find accessories that are perfect. This includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even your veil. Wait until you find the pieces that are you to a tee. 

Avoid rush fees and last-minute stress

When you fall in love with a wedding dress early, you’re saving yourself a lot of stress that weighs on brides who don’t have the same luxury. Checking your wedding dress off your list is a huge accomplishment and can allow you to start to focus on some of the smaller details that don’t matter nearly as much. For the brides who choose to wait or find a new dress at the last minute, you may be faced with rush fees and the uncertainty of factors that are out of your control. We all know how the supply chain has impacted operations in previous years, so do your best to get your wedding dress purchased at your earliest convenience. 

Find a Good Fit 

It’s important to note that the wedding dresses you try on won’t fit you perfectly right away. Most of the time, wedding dresses are clasped to your figure to show you what it would look like on your body. This means you can’t rely on that perfect-fit feeling when shopping for dresses, so knowing the styles that flatter your figure ahead of time will help. 

Try on a variety of styles 

To ensure you leave no stones unturned, try on a variety of styles that intrigue you. And have fun with it! You’re searching for that aha moment, and sometimes you get it trying on the dress you took a risk on. Don’t leave the bridal boutique or store saying “what if.” See which style excites you the most and makes you feel like the ultimate bride!

Examples of dresses that are more modest: 

Examples of dresses that show more skin: 

Get a second opinion

It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion when trying on wedding dresses. Emotions for brides are often high, and it can be easy to get lost in the bridal abys. Bring the people whose judgement you respect and trust to let you know which dress they think you look the best in. And, of course, take their opinion with a grain of salt. Ultimately, it’s your big day and you can rock whichever dress you feel the most confident in. 

Trust your gut 

Listen to your gut– it’s always right! When it comes to wedding dresses, you want to chase that gut feeling that the dress you’re wearing was made for you. No one else in the room with you will be able to feel the way you feel inside. This is why it’s so critical to listen to your intuition and react authentically when trying on various different styles and designers. 

Take photos of yourself in different dresses 

Don’t feel like you have to make a decision in the moment. Sometimes, it takes a few sleeps to really know which dress is yours. To help with the decision-making process, take photos of yourself in the different dresses you try on to see yourself in all different angles. You want to make sure you like the way the dress looks in photos, so this will help you not only visualize yourself from other people’s perspectives but also how the dress photographs. 

Don’t Compromise 

Whatever you do, don’t compromise when it comes to your wedding dress. This special day should be all about you. If you do your research ahead of time and go into each shopping day knowing your budget and designer of choice, you won’t leave disappointed. 

Choose what makes you feel confident 

Feeling confident on your wedding day is half the battle. And when you look good, you feel good. Be sure that the dress you choose to wear makes you feel confident and fierce. 

Don’t sacrifice comfort for style 

Comfort is key when it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress. If you take a risk on the wedding dress style and end up feeling uncomfortable the day of, you’ll regret making that sacrifice. There is going to be a million things running through your mind on your wedding day, and you don’t want wedding dress regrets to be one of them. Make sure you feel comfortable in both your dress and your decision to wear it. 

Stick to your vision 

Our mind has a way of tricking us when it comes to making big decisions– and wedding dress shopping is no exception. Just because you love a really unique and out-of-your comfort-zone dress, doesn’t mean it’s the one you should invest in. When in doubt, always choose the dress that seems the most like you. Your partner wants you to be every bit of yourself on your wedding day, which is why it’s not the day to take risks. Stick to your vision and choose a dress that embodies all that you are. 

Is It Normal To Doubt Your Wedding Dress Choice? 

The short answer is yes. It’s not every day that you make a decision as big as this one. And with that comes waves of what-ifs and doubts. Give yourself a gut check every few months to see if you still love your dress. If you aren’t beyond excited to wear it, don’t stress. You can always resort to a dress change or two to help you feel better about your decision. We always love to see NJ girls change into short party dresses that allow them to dance and feel less restricted toward the end of the night. When wondering how to pick the right wedding dress, do whatever will make you feel like the most beautiful bride in the world!

 

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