How to choose a wedding dress

25th October 2021

How do you choose a wedding dress? Have you dreamt of your wedding dress since you were small or is this a much more recent consideration? Either way I hope my research helps you on your way to finding the perfect dress for your wedding day. 

My wife tells me that finding the dream gown can be stressful as there is so much choice! Often a bride to be has taken at least one person for advice and support. As an experienced wedding photographer I have spoken with many brides, my advice to you is choose what you love, whilst advice is important remember it is you that will be wearing the wedding dress. Ultimately this is likely to be the most photographed outfit you will own so trust yourself. Sometimes it is ok to be a little selfish.

Research, research, research

As with everything do your research and create a dream board. Buy lots of magazines, search the Internet and feel free to pop on sketches of ideas. What about adding beautiful fabrics? Use these to help you choose a wedding dress. Consider what is currently the trend with celebrities and decide if any of these trends light your fire. Finally, try to draw your ideas together and take them with you to your first bridal appointment. 

Remember to be openminded 

Having said the above there is a BUT! My wife, Clare, had a very set idea as she had created the dream board and felt confident in her choice. However, when trying on the style of dress on her dream board she realised that it wasn’t for her. In Clare’s words, “The dresses, whilst beautiful, just lacked the showstopping quality I wanted.” Fortunately, the bridal consultant was used to seeing this in clients. I’m told by many brides that they bought a wedding dress that was nothing like what they thought they wanted. So be prepared to be flexible and keep an open mind.

Visit several wedding salons & find your style

Research several different bridal salons and check out their feedback from previous clients. Ask any married friends and family for recommendations. So you have a list of salons to attend, next check their stock. Which designers and styles do they stock? There is no point in going to a salon that doesn’t stock a style you like. Once you’ve done this then I’d recommend booking an appointment. Wedding dress shopping isn’t like ‘normal’ clothes shopping where everything is out on a rack. You need the help of a consultant to select dresses and they will assist you in trying them on. Trust your consultant as they have seen all body shapes and sizes. If they say, “it looks better on”, please give it a try. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience so use it. They will often advised on which silhouette suits you best. Is it a fit and flare which is both traditional and contemporary, or a simple sheath? Do you choose an eye-catching ballgown for lots of drama? Try as many wedding dresses on as you can. Use this time to discount styles as well as finding that perfect dress, this is an important part of the process. Try not to get frustrated if you can’t find anything you like. Remember there are many wedding dress designers out there. You and I want your wedding album to be perfect.

Give yourself time

Allow yourself a whole day to go shopping. No one likes to feel under pressure, and this is when people often make mistakes. Give yourself permission to spend at least one whole day on wedding dress shopping. Please don’t feel guilty, we live in a fast paced, high pressure world which often makes us think that we must behave like this all the time. We don’t need to. This is your special day I want you to be happy in front of my camera. These wedding photographs will last forever.

Finally, I wish you success on your wedding dress search and look forward to seeing you looking radiant on your wedding day.

Dresses supplied by Abigail’s Bridal Boutique