8 tips to choose your wedding dress and not regret it
So you just got engaged? Hooray! We're so happy for you. You're in the right place for all the advice and inspiration you need to plan a fine art wedding full of style and sophistication. Along with finding a fantastic wedding planner and choosing a beautiful venue, finding a dress that makes you feel like your very best self is high on the list of priorities for most brides. Wondering where to start? Read on for our 8 tips to choose your wedding dress and not regret it.
1. Set a clear budget
Setting a budget or price range before you start wedding dress shopping is key. It will help to narrow down your designer options and depending on who is paying for it, avoid any awkward money conversations later on. When working out your budget, consider the cost of alterations and whether accessories are included in the amount too. When you attend bridal appointments, tell the consultants your price range so they can steer you in the right direction.
2. Start early, but not too early
Finding your dream dress is often the first thing brides think about after getting engaged, but believe or not, there is such a thing as starting too early. It is not uncommon for brides to think they've found 'the one,' only to change their mind or find another style they prefer, which is more likely to happen if you buy it much more than 12 months in advance.
Remember, new styles and trends get released every season so we recommend allowing yourself around 10-12 months. This gives you plenty of time to research designers and visit several boutiques, consider your choices, and have alternations made if necessary.
3. Visit trunk shows
You might already have your eye on a particular designer and attending their trunk show is a great way to view their latest collection. Typically, a trunk show is when a bridal salon has a more complete or full range of gown samples on hand from a specific bridal designer for a short period of time, like a weekend.
Styles can usually be purchased at a discount (average is 10%), and there are often champagne and nibbles to make it a fun shopping experience. Contact the salon directly to see if you need to make an appointment for the trunk show in advance.
4. Stay true to your personal style
This is a central part to choosing a timeless dress that truly complements you, and you'll still love when looking back on wedding photos for years to come. A dress that makes you feel like your most natural, comfortable self should be the goal when trying on dresses. Don't change yourself or step too far outside your comfort zone just because its your wedding day and you feel like you should look a certain way.
Saying yes to the dress isn't an Instagrammable moment for most brides, so don’t get disheartened if you don't get the instant excitement or tears of emotion. Your yes moment will come, and it might come the next day after you’ve had a night to think about it. Take that extra night before saying yes if you need it and once you do, a huge weight will be lifted.
5. Choose your shopping companions carefully
We all like to shop differently so keep this in mind when choosing who to accompany you on your bridal dress appointments. Are you happy trying on dresses surrounded by a gaggle of your best girls, or does the idea stress you out? Perhaps you prefer just one BFF, or your mum, or sister? Or perhaps you prefer to shop alone? Do what feels right for you but ultimately, bring along the people that are going to offer most helpful advice and lift you up.
6. Bring the right underwear
Comfort is key on your wedding day and it all starts with your very first layer. We recommend shapewear as it helps create a smooth silhouette of your body and avoids all underwear lines. It is helpful to take your shapewear along to bridal appointments so you can get a true sense of how dresses fit and flatter your body.
7. Consider your wedding destination
Your wedding destination will have a big influence over the dress you choose. It's not just about choosing the right dress for the climate and vibe of the venue, you'll also need to consider how you will transport your gown and accessories on a plane.
From a photography point of view, it is very important to choose a gown looks harmonious with the environment. For traditional cathedral ceremonies for example, pick a dress with a train and embellishments to help it stand out in such a grand setting. For garden weddings, consider lace or floral appliqué dresses that echo the natural surroundings, whereas ethereal gowns in light gauzy fabrics look fabulous for coastal weddings.
8. Choose your shoe heel height and take a pair to your appointments
Before you start searching for a gown, decide what heel height will be most comfortable to walk down the aisle and dance the night away. For your dress appointment, make sure to bring shoes with right height heel, or choose something suitable from your bridal salon. This will help you visualise which gowns will look the most flattering, especially if you are petite or are planning a beach wedding where you can’t wear heels.
Photographer: Ditto Dianto | Film Lab: Rewind Film Lab | Stylist / Planner: Suzanne Hanley | Floral designer: Vo Floral Design | Dress designer: Atelier Des Modistes | Accessories: Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry | Venue: Legion of Honor | Hair and make-up artist: Adrienne Paradise