Your Dream Wedding Dress Guide

Picking out your wedding dress can be one of the most important things you do as your plan for your wedding day. Decisions such as what style of wedding dress to select, what color should I choose, should I have the dress custom-made, are just some of the many questions every bride has as they plan for the big day.  Picking out a wedding dress doesn’t have to be stressful and can be very enjoyable if you go into the process with the right mindset and a solid plan.


I mention budget first because I believe setting a budget for your wedding dress can work against you rather than to help you during the process of selecting and purchasing your wedding dress. If you’ve never purchased a wedding dress before, it’s hard to know how much a dress will cost. If you set a budget too low, you’ll end up wasting your time looking at wedding dresses that don’t meet your criteria.  If you set a budget that is too high, you may end up spending more on your wedding dress then you need to or may end up with a wedding dress that does not accurately depict your personality and style. I highly recommend starting your wedding dress shopping with an open mind on pricing. Don’t look at price tags but rather start looking at dresses that you feel would be appropriate for your wedding day. As you browse through wedding dresses and try on a few, you will get a more accurate feeling as to the style, fabric, and other options that are most important to you in your wedding dress.  Only then will you want to look at price tags and adjust your budget accordingly.


The next main consideration when selecting what type of wedding dress to buy should involve a consideration of your wedding location. If you’re getting married in a cooler climate, indoors with a formal ceremony, your dress selection should be different than if you’re getting married outdoors on a warm day on the beach. Selecting a dress that is appropriate in both style and functionality is paramount in creating a wedding day that is enjoyable from the beginning of the ceremony to the end of the wedding reception.  Often times, we have brides reach out to us and ask about how different styles of dress will best photograph on the wedding day. Imagine a large print love you and your spouse hanging on a prominent wall in your home for years to come. Does your dress complement your spouse and your surroundings?


As you plan your wedding day, I recommend creating a Calendar based checklist. You want to have your wedding dress selected many months before your wedding. You’ll want to allow plenty of time for fittings, unexpected alterations, and the selection of accessories once your dress is ready for the big day. This is an area where you want to give yourself plenty of extra time, so you don’t feel rushed during the process. It is very common for most brides to purchase their wedding dress at least one year prior to the wedding day.  In many cases, customization and alterations may take several months and you will want to have your wedding dress finalized no less than three months prior to your wedding day.  Using the calendar base checklist can also come in handy as you schedule your engagement photographs with your photographer, pick out your dinner reception selections, and even pick out your wedding cake flavor and details. Sticking to the calendar as closely as possible will really help keep stress to a minimum and enjoyment to a maximum.


Selecting wedding dress accessories can be just as important as selecting the dress itself. Selecting a wedding veil is popular for about 50% of brides in the United States. Other accessories such as a belt or shoes are the perfect way to complete your outfit and keep you glowing from head to toe. A quick word about shoes is to make sure that you select shoes that will keep you comfortable for the entire day. Some brides select a different pair of shoes for the reception than the actual ceremony. If you do so, make sure to select shoes that consider the length at which your wedding dress has been hemmed. Being both comfortable in your address and accessories is just as important as looking fabulous on one of the most important days of your life.


In modern weddings, you have plenty of options on fabrics and even the color of your wedding dress. Long gone is the steadfast rule that your wedding dress needs to be white. We constantly see wedding dresses in different shades of white, ecru, blush, and even blues, reds, and greens.  You should feel empowered soul to select the color that best matches your specific wedding.  

Two Dresses

Another popular dress option is actually two dresses. Many modern brides purchase a wedding dress for their ceremony and then another dress for their wedding reception. Often times the wedding reception dress is not as formal as the dress worn for the wedding ceremony. Reception dresses can be full length or even something above the knee. Reception dresses can also reflect your more modern wedding day style. You can go with a dress of a bold color, a sequin dress, or a dress that may be more formfitting. Having options with your dress selections also vastly expand the variety in your wedding day photos.

Your Dream Wedding Dress

Most importantly, your wedding dress reflects you. Your style and your vision should be reflected in the wedding dress, or dresses that you wear. Getting married is one of the most memorable days of your life and a celebration of who you are. Feel free to try on and explore many options as you shop for your wedding dress.  You may end up eventually going back and selecting the very first dress you tried on or you may find yourself going in a completely new direction selecting something that you had never first envisioned. Most importantly, it is important that the dress is a reflection of who you are. Your wedding day is just that, it is your day.  Who knows, you and your wedding dress might become a trendsetter and the next new “must have” thing in weddings.

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