The Perfect Fit: 10 Tips To Choosing The Right Wedding Dress
From frilly to fitted, subtle to sexy, basic to bold, there are countless styles and choices for brides to be. As we make our way into the heart of wedding season, thousands of would-be-brides will be attending friend and family weddings only to be reminded of their impending wedding dress hunt. Finding the perfect dress is a daunting task and one that can be very overwhelming to a young bride already faced with planning the biggest event of her life. But never fear, MadameNoire is here to help. We serve up some sound advice for finding the dress that will make you the happiest bride ever on your big day.
Do Your Homework
We’re not saying that you need to hunker down and study like you’re prepping for the LSATs, but perusing some bridal magazines, getting a sense of wedding dress styles and cuts can be really helpful in making a seemingly overwhelming task seem a bit more manageable. You don’t have to decide on the dresses you want to try on, but having an idea of which styles you gravitate toward will allow you a nice starting point to build off of when you step into your first dress shop. But with that in mind, we also have to make another recommendation.
Be Open To Anything
As much as you might think that you know exactly what type of dress will be the cherry on top of your perfect day, trust us when we say that you don’t. Yes, doing your homework, researching styles is a smart move, but don’t let that deter you from trying on dresses that may not fit into that mold. Think you’d never want to don a princess-style gown? Try a big, puffy number on just once. Think a long train is totally not your vibe? Give a train with a handy bustle a go. Trying on a wide array of dresses is really the only way to get a true sense of what a) looks great on you and b) what makes you the most comfortable.
Keep Your Venue In Mind
This is an obvious one, but still worth reiterating. The adage “location, location, location” is as relevant when it comes to wedding dress shopping as it in real estate. The sexy, sultry Pnina Tornai gown might not be as appropriate for a stroll down the church aisle as it would be for a ceremony in a ballroom. Same is true for a big ballgown for a seaside destination wedding. While the location of your ceremony and reception shouldn’t completely dictate your wedding dress selection, it should be a consideration to make sure that your vision for a perfect day becomes a reality.
Try On As Many Dresses As You Want
We can’t recommend this enough: Try on as many dresses as you want! Hopefully, you’ll only be a bride once and this will be your one shot at living out your six-year-old-self, princess fantasy. So enjoy it! Try on dresses that you KNOW won’t work, but look fun anyway. That head-to-toe sequin number? Give it a shot. That ridiculously tulled-out ballgown? Let’s try it on. Part of wedding dress shopping is having fun throughout the experience, so indulge as much as you want.
Don’t Feel Pressured To Have An Audience
If you’ve ever watched “Say Yes To The Dress” or any number of other bridal dress shows, the overbearing family/bickering friends dynamic is all too common. So if you don’t take any other bit of advice from us, please take this one: Don’t let your friends and family run the show. The best way to do that might be to just limit the amount of people invited to the big outing at Kleinfeld’s or whatever dress shop you’re hitting up. Instead, consider divvying up the wedding dress trial fun and invite small groups to each stop so everyone feels included, but you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Buy The Dress For Your Body Today
As much as you want to believe that you’ll be able to shed those 10 or 20 pounds by this time next year, it’s not a gamble worth taking. With as much money that gets laid out for a wedding dress, you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t fit into it. It’s much easier to take in a dress than it is to loosen and add fabric to it. Plus, there is enough pressure surrounding a wedding that you don’t need the added stress of will it fit or won’t it added to the mix.
Be Open To Something Unusual
Very much in the vein of trying on as many dresses as you’d like (maybe even a few more than you’d like to), we also suggest keeping an open mind. As we’ve tried to explain, sometimes it’s not until you actually try a particular dress style on that you see how great it looks on you. Or vice versa: In your skimming through bridal mags you come across a dress that you think is the ONE. But when you try it on it doesn’t wow you the way you thought it would. Try on styles you never thought would work (feathers, sparkles, fringe, etc.) or colors that you never thought would be wedding appropriate (pink, etc.). You might be pleasantly surprised.
Give Yourself Enough Time
While it might seem like settling on a wedding gown 9-12 months a head of the big day may seem excessive, you’re actually right on time. Depending on the degree of customization and detail your dress requires, it can be quite a long wait until your first fitting. So make sure you give yourself ample time.
Set A Budget
A cardinal rule for any bride-to-be, but still worth mentioning: Set a budget … or at least a budget range. By letting your dress stylist and anyone joining you on your hunt know the price range you’re flirting with, they’ll be able to steer you toward dresses that you can reasonably afford and not fall in love with a $10,000 gown that just isn’t financially feasible.
If you have already purchased accessories or know exactly what pair of sparkly stilettos you’re looking to rock on the big day, then be sure to bring them along on your dress search. Having a sense of heel height and jewelry selections will allow you to choose a dress that doesn’t just look good in isolation, but fits into your overall look.