We all know that popular reality show, Say Yes to the Dress. In it, brides-to-be and their companions cry and coo over a bunch of gowns, working with the hosts, who are actually professional bridal salespeople, to find their dream dress.
Some participants had been looking for months, even years, for the ideal fit. Are you like them? Are you longing to say “Yes” to your dress?
Getting your bridal style right is a tricky business. After all, many brides see their wedding as one of the most important days of their lives. What you wear matters since the photos—and memories—are ones you’ll keep for a lifetime.
If you’re struggling to find the perfect dress, read on. We give you a chronological list of tips and tricks to guide you to your “Yes.”
Bring Supportive Companions
You might be tempted to bring your entire family, your bridal party, and your fiance to your try-on days. Resist the temptation!
Instead, select family or friends you trust to provide kind, constructive feedback on the dresses you like. Choose people who:
- Know your style
- Understand your personality
- Are genuinely invested in your happiness
Start Your Research Early
Your start for a wedding dress should begin the minute you get engaged—and undoubtedly well before you step foot in a bridal shop.
This is because you want to allow yourself ample time to:
- Browsing different styles and trends
- Trying on said styles
- Make alterations
Starting early means you won’t feel rushed or stressed, something no bride wants (or, more importantly, needs) to feel as their big day looms.
So what does this process look like? Start by browsing online bridal magazines. They usually have dress designer intros, celebrity dresses, and even lists of things like bridal dress alternatives or budget dresses.
You could also join bride groups on social media (mainly Facebook) or forums. There, you can chat with other brides about their dress fashion trends and designer choices.
Consider The Venue and Your Wedding Theme
Venue and theme can greatly influence wedding dress choices.
A princess gown with a miles-long train looks incredible in a formal church wedding setting. The same dress would look entirely out of place—not to mention be incredibly impractical—in a breezy beach wedding.
Of course, another way to do things is to find your perfect wedding dress and set the theme of your wedding around that. But in this case, you’ll need to settle on a gown early in the planning process.
Comfort Is Key
Gone are the days when women suffered for fashion!
Most brides wear their dresses for hours—some keep them on well into their reception. This means you need to prioritize comfort.
Look for dresses with:
- Comfortable fabrics
- Supportive structures
- Lightweight designs
- Freedom of movement
When you try on dresses, walk around, or even try dancing in them.
Do you need to lift the skirt to climb the stairs? Do you feel as though you may topple over in heels? Is the waist too tight, making you feel faint, or hurting you?
Set Your Budget
Another of our top bridal fashion tips you need to do ASAP is working out how much you want—or can afford—to pay for your wedding dress.
In 2022, the average American wedding cost the couple $30,000. Determining how much money goes into the dress is up to you.
If you’re keen on designer bridal fashion, expect to pay low to high thousands for your dress. This is especially true if you want bespoke additions or need extensive alterations.
Are you on a Budget?
Online wedding dress shopping can help you save money. Often, you can find better deals online than in stores—even on designer brides’ dresses.
However, you’ll need to have your exact measurements handy and be prepared that you might need to take the dress to a local seamstress for alterations.
Another option is to look for second-hand wedding dresses. You can find a wide selection of bridal attire online. Or, if you’re a passionate thriftier, head to the thrift stores near you and see what treasures you can find!
Oh, and don’t forget to budget for accessories—think shoes, jewelry, a veil, a belt, hair adornments, and fun extras like shawls, sunglasses, or a wedding garter.
Define Your Body Shape
Not all dress silhouettes look good on everyone. You might love a mermaid, but it just doesn’t flatter your body shape.
Don’t worry! There are so many silhouettes out there that you’re guaranteed to find what looks and feels fantastic. The trick is knowing your body shape—hourglass, pear, athletic, or more—and what silhouettes suit that shape.
This will also help you narrow down your selection, saving you time.
So, avoid following bridal style trends blindly. Instead, look for dresses that draw attention to your most flattering features.
Some brides-to-be have kept wedding scrapbooks since childhood, full of cut-outs of their ideal dresses, themes, table settings, and more.
If this is you, we urge you to say open-minded when finding your dress. Yes, you can let these plans guide your research. However, when trying on dresses, be open to other styles the sales assistants might suggest.
After all, bridal consultants and dressmakers are seasoned professionals. They have a keen eye for what works on different body types—including yours!
Finding Your Bridal Style Is Hard Work—But Worth The Effort
Planning for your dress is necessary if you’re concerned about keeping up with bridal style trends. We recommend starting early by researching what kind of dress you want.
Don’t forget about the accessories. Once you’ve settled on that, you can start shopping around. This could involve online shopping or visiting stores with your trusted bridal party.
When trying on dresses, keep a few vital things in mind: your body shape, how comfortable the clothing is, and being open to new styles.
Do all this, and you’ll stride down that aisle with all the grace and confidence you imagine.
Are you looking for more wedding planning advice? Then, head back to our website to browse our other helpful articles on this subject.