Whether you’ve dreamt of the perfect wedding gown since you were a little girl or you’ve just got engaged and have no idea where to start when choosing a wedding dress, my team and I are here to guide you through this essential part of your wedding preparations!
Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on your engagement! As you embark on this exciting journey of wedding planning, you’re likely to encounter a myriad of decisions and emotions. For the last 20 years, I’ve been working with clients on all of the fashion elements of their weddings. I know firsthand that as a bride today, you’re faced with many difficult decisions and lots of complicated feelings. But remember, this is a very special time in your life, so enjoy it!
In this blog, I share my top 5 tips to help you choose a wedding dress that you’ll adore.
1. Keep it Simple
When it comes to selecting your dream wedding dress, simplicity is your friend. Consider your venue and wedding date when making your choice. A dress appropriate for a black-tie event at The Plaza will differ from one suitable for a formal garden wedding. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been in an appointment where a client loves a dress, but can only envision it working in another type of wedding than what she’s having, and she doesn’t buy it. To avoid this, err on the side of simplicity.
Why simplicity? It’s incredibly versatile, allowing you to dress it up or down with accessories and you can add and subtract over skirts and jackets very easily to create different looks. You’re much much less limited in what will work with a simple dress than you are with an embellished one. Simple and chic works in various settings and remains timeless – there really isn’t an environment that I can think of that it doesn’t work for. And also it will never go out of style. Moreover, simple dresses usually have shorter production timelines, making them a practical choice if you have less time.
2. Choose a Dress That Fits You Today
My second tip is to choose a dress that looks good on you today. I’m speaking from firsthand experience, but I think that the last thing you need is the added pressure of fitting into a dress that requires you to lose weight to look good in it.
Now that’s not to say that I don’t think that you should work on looking your best on your wedding day, because I do. I know you’re going to do it anyway, I’m talking about the pressure that comes with choosing something that you won’t feel comfortable in if you don’t reach your fitness or weight goals. We have enough stress in the world right now and this should not be one of them for you. So do yourself a favor and find a dress that you love and feel beautiful in today. If you lose weight, or you tone your arms, it’s just a bonus. Remember, a dress can always be taken in, but it’s a lot harder to take it out. Be sure to bear that in mind when you’re shopping.
3. Start Shopping Early
Early birds get the best options! I recommend my clients order their dresses at least 9 months before their wedding. You are always going to have options, but you will have more options if you start shopping early. If you have less time, don’t worry, just be prepared to either pay for a rush fee or have less time for alterations, or just have fewer dresses to select from, none of which are ideal. Planning ahead definitely gives you more flexibility and peace of mind.
4. Consider a Rehearsal Dinner Look
My fourth tip is something I used a lot with my clients during the pandemic who had to postpone their weddings. It is to consider a rehearsal dinner look that can double as an intimate wedding outfit. A lot of my clients ended up wearing what we purchased for the rehearsal dinner or to a different party, and even an intimate small wedding.
I love a good backup plan and to me, this is a great idea. So many brides today love the idea of wearing something white to their rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, so when you’re looking at outfits, just have in the back of your mind how you could repurpose it for a small ceremony if you decide to.
5. Think Twice About Wearing Your Dress Again
That leads me to my final tip, which is a little extension of my fourth one. While the idea of wearing your wedding dress to multiple events may seem tempting, it’s essential to understand the challenges. I can understand the temptation because a wedding dress is a huge investment of both time, money, and emotion. However, wedding dresses can get dirty, even with the utmost care. It can get really dirty just from walking around — the hem gets filthy and the train is often dirty before even walking down the aisle!
Our Wedding Day service provides you with expert stylists who take care of everything you need on your wedding day—from steaming the dress, taking care of the bustle, and removing any stains, to ensuring the train is lifted and picture-perfect. Regardless, you can of course take your dress to a dry cleaner afterwards that specializes in wedding gowns — and that’s very important — but this is not a cost-effective option. Sometimes, purchasing a different off-the-rack dress for your intimate wedding and keeping your original gown pristine for the big celebration is a more cost-effective and practical approach. Usually after dry cleaning, nothing looks exactly the same as it did when you first purchased it. The fabrics get a little bit more limp and some of the proof comes out of it.
Ultimately, choosing a wedding dress you’ll love involves keeping it simple, selecting a dress that suits your current body, starting your shopping early, considering a versatile rehearsal dinner look, and carefully deciding whether to wear your dress multiple times. By following my tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect wedding dress that suits your style, your special day, and your individuality. Enjoy this magical time in your life, and may your wedding dress journey be filled with joy and excitement!