Looking for the perfect wedding dress can be a frustrating, nerve-wracking experience for any bride. The pressure to look your best on your wedding day without compromising your personal style can definitely be overwhelming.
If you’re in the middle of the search yourself, don’t tear out your hair just yet. Here are some helpful pieces of advice from wedding experts and brides on finding the right wedding dress.
- Focus on finding the best dress silhouette for your body.
The details of a wedding dress are undeniably important; after all, even just the placement of ruffles, ribbons, or buttons can make or break the overall look of the dress. However, the first thing you should figure out is if a dress’ silhouette suits your body. Gown designers advise paying less attention to trends and putting more importance on your personal style and on the styles that flatter your body most.
- Try on as many wedding dresses as you need or want.
Don’t hesitate to try on any wedding dress that catches your fancy; in fact, it’s a must that you try on any dress you’re planning to buy. Celebrity wedding stylist Nicole Janowicz says that any dress can look beautiful or terrible on a hanger. “Once a dress is on a woman’s body, it takes on a different shape and look,” she says. So don’t feel bad about trying on ten or even twenty dresses at a boutique. It definitely takes time to find the perfect dress for one of the most special days of your life.
- Wear your best bra to your fittings.
Make sure you wear your best bra – or, at least, a gorgeous one – when you’re going out to look for wedding dresses. “Many women don’t realize the power of having well-fitted undergarments,” says Kpoené Kofi-Nicklin, the owner and designer of Mignonette Bridal. It can affect the way your body looks in a wedding dress and will definitely affect your confidence as well. Since you’re going to spend a lot of time in your underwear when you’re trying on wedding dresses, seeing your gorgeous bra between gowns can help you feel more positive, too.
- Bring your camera along to your shopping trips.
As you’re browsing around boutiques, don’t be embarrassed to snap photos of potential wedding dresses you’ll wear down the aisle. You need a dress that looks good on you not only in the mirror but also on camera. Richard O’Malley, owner of the O’Malley Project, a company that offers consulting services for event planners, says, “Mirrors are used to sell dresses—cameras don’t lie.” You’ll be spending a lot of time looking at your wedding photos in the years to come, so your wedding dress has to photograph well from any and all angles.
Make sure the boutique you’re planning to visit allows dress photography. Call ahead so you’ll know whether or not to bring your camera along.
- Ask lots of questions as you’re fitting wedding dresses.
Now is not the time to be shy about asking questions. Ask the boutique staff about the dresses’ material and their fit and if they can accommodate any minor modifications you might want. Boutique owners and stylists also recommend asking yourself questions to determine if the dress you have on is the perfect dress for you. You’ll have to know if you’re completely comfortable in the dress, whether standing, sitting, walking, or even dancing. The most gorgeous wedding gown in the world won’t be of much use to you if you can’t move in it at all.
- Schedule dress fittings in the afternoon.
Avoid scheduling your wedding dress appointments late in the day. You’ll want the bridal boutique staff to be energetic and fresh, not tired, stressed, and wanting to go home, like they are at the end of the day. If you schedule your dress fittings in the morning, the bridal store will usually be less crowded, too, and you’ll get the undivided attention of the staff and the consultant.
- Make sure the entire dress looks good on you.
One mistake some brides make when choosing their wedding dress is focusing too much on the dress’ skirt, train, or hem. Of course, the hem or the train is important, but keep in mind that dress’ top is what people will see and notice most. And it’s going to be the part that’s most visible in your wedding pictures and even in the photos that your guests will take. So make sure your dress’ top is equally as gorgeous and that it fits your body perfectly as the rest of the dress.
- Focus too much on trendy wedding dresses.
Trendy wedding dresses may look beautiful, but they won’t really stand the test of time. Just take a look at your grandparents’ or even your parents’ wedding album. Gown designers suggest going for a gown that is timeless, with elements that are both modern and traditional. More importantly, choose the dress that makes you feel best, like a better version of yourself, when you’re wearing it. Such a wedding dress will definitely never go out of style.
- Try on an excessive amount of wedding dresses.
You should try on as many wedding dresses as you want, but make sure you don’t suffer from wedding dress overload by trying on too many dresses. Trying on 15 or 20 different dresses from each bridal salon you visit is a little too much, not to mention stressful and time-consuming. Wedding consultants say that nine out of ten brides end up going to the first salon they visit to order their favorite among the dresses they tried on there. Bridal stylists also suggest doing a little research before trying on wedding gowns; find a bridal salon that features gown from the top three designers of your choice.
- Bring along too many family members or friends to dress fittings.
Believe it or not, you can feel pressure to bring along a whole bunch of female relatives and friends to your appointment at the bridal salon. Bridal stylists actually advise against bringing along too many people to dress fittings, as this can result in too many thoughts and opinions, which only confuse the bride and cloud her judgement. It’s perfectly normal for a bride to go on the wedding dress search on your own; in fact, it can be less stressful and even more fun that way.