How To Choose a Wedding Dress and Not Regret it
If your friends are also recently engaged or recently married, you might have heard stories about them choosing their dream wedding dress, then as time went on, prior to the wedding day, doubts crept in about whether they truly made the right decision in choosing it. We always say, information is key so in the essence of all doing our research together, we have our wonderful Fine Art Curation member Anastasia from Serenity Photography and bridal store Eternal Bridal on the blog today to go through their key points on choosing your wedding dress so you don't regret it...
- Dress budget
Having a dress budget or a price range is a great idea and essential. It’s your starting point for the search for your dream dress. When thinking about your budget also consider how much it would be to complete your alterations and add that in too. Let your consultants know your price range so they can steer you in the right direction.
- Shop early but not too early
There is no such thing as too early. Once you get engaged the excitement of finding YOUR dress is what every bride experiences. Before booking appointments start your search online, through social media or bridal magazines. New styles and trends get released every season. We recommend allowing yourself 10 months before your wedding is perfect, it gives you time to visit all your boutiques on your list without having to rush to make a decision.
3. Trunk Show
You might already have a designer that you are obsessing over. 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. 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.
4. Fit & Size
You may think you have found THE dress; you love everything about it from the beading to the lace used but maybe you are unsure of the fit because the sample dress is either too big or too small. Don’t stress, always ask your consultant if there is a gown with a similar fit and shape in your size to try on, it might not be the dress but this might help you visualise the dress you love and help you say YES to the dress!
5. Sticking to Who You Are
This is such a central part to deciding on a dress. We have always said to our brides to stick to who they are and stay within your personality. Don’t change yourself just because it’s your wedding day. At the end of the day it is your wedding and looking and feeling like your most natural comfortable self is the best thing to do. Saying YES to the dress doesn’t come straight away to most bride’s and don’t get disheartened by that. 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.
6. Whom to Bring to the Appointment
When it comes to inviting people, choose wisely. Bring along the people that are going to give you the most helpful advice and lift you up. For most brides we see coming through Eternal Bridal it’s their mum, sister or best friend. Don’t bring too many people, because you still want to keep the dress a surprise for everyone, not just your partner.
7. Right Undergarments
At Eternal Bridal we believe that comfort is key, this is what we always tell our brides, and it starts from your very first layer. We recommend shapewear as it helps create a smooth silhouette of your body and avoids all underwear lines.
8. Have a Professional Take Your Measurements
Having a professional take your measurements is essential. All our consultants are trained in taking full body measurements and most of our consultants have a fashion background. It is good to trust your consultant when taking your measurements especially when they know the fit of the dress you have chosen.
9. Consider Location of your Wedding Ceremony
Once you’ve decided where to have your wedding ceremony it is time to start looking for a perfect dress. From a photography point of view, it is very important to choose a gown that would look harmonious in the environment. For traditional cathedral ceremonies pick a dress with a train and embellishments. Cathedral/church spaces are usually grand and so should be your dress. For a garden ceremony: A-line or mermaid silhouettes with lace details would look elegant and timeless.
Australian brides are lucky to have so many beaches at their disposal for wedding ceremonies. For a beach wedding remember the wind and the heat and choose a gown that is light and flowy. And if you want the wow factor, I would go with a gown like Galia Lahav Aelin with a shimmery silk tulle skirt that would look stunning on a sunny day. Remember that most wedding gowns are fitted at the top and layers of fabric won’t let your body breath. If you are planning an outdoor summer wedding, make sure to take weight and fitting of the dresses into consideration. Last thing you want is to be uncomfortable and too hot.
10. Travelling in the Dress
One very important factor to consider is how far you will have to travel from your “getting ready” location to the ceremony. Ideally you want to get ready in the same venue where you are getting married. But if you do have to travel, choose a fabric that can travel well. Remember that your dress might get wrinkly while you are sitting in the car and it might ruin your photos. Comfort is another factor. Often wedding gowns are fitted like a glove and are impossible for long distance travel. My advice would be to either choose a dress that is comfortable to wear or change into your gown once you arrive to the ceremony location.
11. Choose Heel Height Before the Dress
Before you start searching for a gown, decide what heel height will be appropriate and comfortable for you to wear. For your appointment, make sure to bring shoes you picked for the wedding 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.
12. Traditional or Fashion-Forward?
I see many brides going for “safe” and more traditional wedding gowns. But remember that your wedding is a very unique day and an opportunity to wear something over the top. It is your red-carpet moment. Colour, dramatic overskirt, semi sheer fabric, 3D embroidery - there are so many ways to express yourself while staying elegant. Don’t be afraid to be bold and to be yourself.
13. Pose in your Dress
The photography aspect of a wedding gown is very important. Remember that you will be photographed from different angles. When trying on gowns make sure to practice your “aisle walk”, “first dance”, certain poses you are planning to use during your photoshoot. For instance, off-the shoulder dresses can be restricting if you are planning to pose or dance while wrapping your arms around the groom’s neck.
14. Practice Sitting, Walking and Dancing in your Dress
Some gowns can look spectacular when you are standing still in front of a mirror. But remember that your wedding day is when all eyes will be on you. And it is important to find a dress that will allow you to gracefully step out of the car, comfortably sit at the reception, stay up on your bust while dancing, and make you look like a goddess while walking down the aisle.
15. Plan your Hair and Makeup Beforehand
Your wedding dress, makeup, and hairstyle must complement each other. Before you start shopping for the dress, think what hair style you like and what make up looks flattering on you. When you go to a bridal salon to try on dresses, do your hair and makeup similar to your wedding day. This way you will be able to visualise the full package and make the best decision.
16. Details Matter
Look for a dress with details that will draw attention to your best assets. Wedding gowns with details on the back, long sleeves, unique embroidery, a bow, sparkles – these elements will take your wedding photographs to the next level and will make close-up photos of hands or your loving embrace much more interesting.
17. Veil or No Veil
Modern brides often can’t decide if they should wear a veil, and there is no right or wrong answer here. From a photographic perspective, and in certain locations, a veil adds an element of drama to your wedding pictures. As an alternative there are dresses that come with capes, overskirts, and oversized sleeves; so there is plenty of “drama” you can choose from.
18. Front of the Dress is Important
If you can’t decide between two dresses, remember that all memories of your wedding day will eventually fade and all you will have left will be your wedding photographs. As a matter of fact, most photos you will frame and hang on the wall will be taken from the front and will show only the top of your body. Family portraits, the first kiss, the ring exchange, close up shots of bride and groom – will most likely be taken from the front and often from waste up. If you are choosing between a gown that doesn’t do much for you from the front but has a spectacular back, and a dress with a less remarkable back, but that makes you look radiant from the front, consider the photography aspect to make the best choice.
19. Confidence is Everything
All brides are beautiful in their own way. There is no need to try and look like someone else or be upset because you don’t look a certain way. Your partner loves you and is marrying you because of you. When you choose a wedding dress, look for something that makes you feel beautiful, makes you feel like yourself, and makes you feel comfortable and confident. If you feel confident and beautiful it will show on the photographs, in your smile, and will make the entire wedding day experience magical and unforgettable.
Photography, Planning & Creative Direction: Serenity Photography | Wedding Gowns: Galia Lahav | Bridal Boutique: Eternal Bridal | Florals & Styling: Miss Fleuriste | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Stationery: House of Modern Letters | Makeup Artist: Kellsie Bain | Hair: Deelush Hair | Silk Ribbons: Feathers and Stone | Tableware: Pretty Pedestals