34 fabulous fine art wedding dresses for 2022
Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting parts of planning your day, or at least that's what we're led to believe. In truth, making this big purchase can be pretty anxiety-inducing for many brides, due to the huge amount of choice and expense. The pressure of finding 'the one' can make it the whole dress shopping experience quite overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be! We're sharing 34 fabulous fine art wedding dresses for 2022 plus some super useful tips to find your dream dress.
1. Keep an open mind
Whether you have an idea of your dream dress or not, try to keep an open mind when you start shopping. Bridal consultants frequently tell us that brides come in with a set idea of what they want, only to try it on and not love it as much as they thought they would. The dream dress often ends up being something you've never considered.
"Ideally start shopping for your wedding dress around 8-12 months before your wedding date to leave enough time for the the dress to be made, plus alterations," explains fine art wedding planner Nicole Natasha Goulding from Chic by Nicole. "Leaving it later may give you less choice, needing to buy off the rack or incurring rush charges. Speak with your local bridal salon to find out the turnaround time for the different designers you are interested in."
Yes, it can uncomfortable to talk numbers, but it will save you from heartache later on. Figure out who is paying for your gown and what is the budget. Will you top it up if you find a dress that exceeds it? Is there room in the budget for alterations? Does it include accessories such as veil, jewelry, and shoes? These are all important decisions to make before you start shopping to save stress and tricky conversations later on.
Don’t waste your time shopping at a store that doesn’t have the style, designer, or price range you have in mind. Always call ahead to get an idea of the inventory. This is particularly important if you are plus-size because there's nothing worse than excitedly turning up to a dress appointment to find that they only stock small size samples (which is sadly often the case). So check that the boutique has plus-size samples for the style and designer you want to try on, and if not, whether they can get some in before your appointment.
5. Be selective with your shopping tribe
Yes, you love your mom, sister, sister-in-law, maid of honor, and six bridesmaids but it doesn't mean they should come wedding dress shopping with you. "Keep your bridal dress squad intimate," advices explains fine art wedding planner Nicole Natassha Goulding from Chic by Nicole. "Having too many differing opinions while shopping may complicate the process and lead you to try on dresses that aren't your style."
6. Shop true to size
Shop for the size you are, not the size you want to be. Even if you plan on losing weight before the big day, shop for dresses in your current size rather than going smaller. It’s much easier (and less costly) to take a dress in than trying to work with one that’s way too snug.
7. Shop mid-week
Bridal salons get busy on the weekends, meaning you may get less personal attention or the dress you love is being tried on by someone else. It's worth using some personal time from work to have your appointment on a weekday when you may even have the bridal boutique to yourself.
In can be hard to appreciate the fit and overall look of a wedding dress if you have the wrong underwear on, so be sure to take along nude underwear and a strapless bra. Also take along shoes with the heel height you'd like to wear on the big day to get a better feel for how the dress will look.
If you are obsessing over a particular designer, attending their trunk show is a great way to get a sneak peek and try on the latest season collection before the dresses get released to the boutiques. "We have the most fun at our Galia Lahav Couture Trunk Shows," explains the owner of Australia's Eternal Bridal. "Set up in the penthouse suite of the Langham Hotel in Sydney and Melbourne or at the Palazzo Versace in Gold Coast, we invite brides and their guests to come through; champagne and nibbles are shared while the bride gets to try on Galia Lahav’s luxurious gowns, it’s a great experience."
10. Think about how you feel
Of course the look of your gown is important, but the gown that makes you feel the most beautiful is the one you should choose. A dress might tick all the criteria on your wish list, but unless you feel comfortable, content and like the very best version of yourself, it's probably not the right choice.
Walk around in it, dance, sit and also think about how it may photograph. "Opt for a dress that has some movement to it," suggests Denise from Denise and Bryan Photography in Idaho. "Dresses with fabric that flows like the wind definitely adds a whimsical element to your wedding images."
11. Try vintage
Lovers of vintage style should certainly look into vintage wedding gowns for unique timeless pieces that you won't see anywhere else. Buying a pre-loved dress is also a good way to find a gown you love at a more affordable price than buying new, as well as the environmental benefit of reusing over buying brand new.
Despite all the advice here and guidance you'll undoubtedly get from friends, family and bridal consultants on the best silhouette, style, and fabric, you don't have to listen to anyone. Follow your gut, choose what you love and don't let anyone talk you out of it. It's your day after all.