The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Wedding Dress That Will Leave Everyone Breathless


Apr 9, 2019

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You’re wearing the engagement ring of your dreams, you’ve cried and celebrated with everyone you know, and you’re excited to walk through the rest of your life with the person you love. But there’s one thing that you need to figure out, darling.


What dress deserves your yes?


As a wedding and engagement photographer, I’ve seen hundreds of gorgeous gowns on beautiful women, but what always makes a gal look her best is a dress that makes her feel like herself.


Read on and learn how to find a wedding dress that will capture your special magic.


Choose an ivory wedding dress.


What? Say no to classic white?


Yes, my sweet friend.


Ivory photographs better than white, which often has a blue tinge in photos. Ivory also has a warm, sentimental tone to it, just like you. And lest you be worried that your gown isn’t traditional enough, know that wedding dresses have a storied history.


Why not write your own chapter?


Consider your location.


A dress that works for a 1920s ballroom won’t work if you’re headed to Morocco for your destination bash. If you haven’t chosen a location yet, settle in for a minute and visualize. Do you see yourself making vows to each other at the base of a mountain in Iceland like my second half and I do, or is having a black-tie affair more your jam? Let your location inform your dress choice.


Hone in on your style.


Are you a classic kind of girl? Bohemian? Romantic? Vintage? Let your style out to play, because this is your big day and you get to set the tone.


If you’re more of the eclectic sort like me, consider the overall vision for your wedding. Put down your phone and tune into yourself. Look around.

What are your favorite things? How do you want your wedding to look? You’re the star of this romance, and it’s time to let yourself think big.


Look beyond wedding trends.


There are so many magazines, websites, blogs, and ideas when it comes to weddings. If you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone!


Trends are fun, but what matters most is that you have the best day ever and make memories that you’ll cherish. Let your unique style and lovely heart be your guides, and you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect day.


Think of how you want him to see you.  


Close your eyes and envision your partner seeing you on your wedding day. Is there an outfit that gets a sparkle going in those eyes? Does one particular look get the compliments flowing? Although the dress is mostly about you, it’s also about him. Think about what would make your lover fall head-over-heels all over again, and head in that direction.


Find the perfect silhouette.


This is probably your first time shopping for a wedding dress, but you’ve been dress shopping for a long time. Take a look at your closet. Is there a particular dress that makes you feel amazing? Identify what silhouette it is, and you’ll know what wedding dress to reach for first. If you’re still feeling unclear about what shape looks best on you, be sure to try one of each.


Get creative with your budget.


Getting married is expensive. Did you know that the average couple spends $30,000? Luckily, with some ingenuity, you may be able to get two dresses—one for the ceremony and one for the reception— for less than the average cost of one.


Instead of shopping at big box bridal shops, be adventurous. My dear friend Kit makes the most glorious gowns inspired by Norse mythology, and there’s always BLDHN, which will surely help you realize your wedding dress daydreams.


Shop with your inner circle.


Too many opinions will only overwhelm and confuse you. Grab a few besties and maybe your mom if she’s sweet like mine and let the rest of the bridal party focus on getting their own dresses. Remember, this is about you, and if the first few sessions leave you bewildered, you might have to go it alone.


Take photos.


I’m a wedding photographer, so of course I would suggest this! But the real reason you need to take pictures is that they allow you to see yourself objectively. Mirrors lie, and visions differ. You’ll be looking at your wedding photos for the rest of your life, and you want to be able to enjoy them, so give yourself a preview.


Go with your gut.


Saying yes to your dress should feel just like saying yes to your man did. When you know, you’ll know.


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