Tips for Choosing “the” Dress

Alright so besides maybe tasting the cake, deciding on your wedding dress is probably one of the most fun filled parts of planning your wedding.  Yes, it can be stressful at times and you may wonder if you are ever going to find the prefect dress, but it is still SO much fun.

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Photographing weddings gives me a unique perspective to many different styles and kinds of dresses which is great because I can share that knowledge with you. Being with the bride and her dress all day allowes me to witness the pros and cons of different styles, fits, fabrics and dress details you may want to consider.  So here are 5 considerations to think about when trying on wedding dresses and deciding on which one is perfect for you!

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Try on a variety of styles!

I think this is the biggest hurdle, we can’t help but kind of pigeon hole ourselves into thinking that a certain fit is best for us. Whether that means just trying on ballgowns, mermaids, sleeveless or lace dresses until you are blue in the face and wondering why you don’t really love anything you are putting on. If you have gotten to that point, have a trusted friend or sales person pull a dress that may be totally out of you comfort zone. Even if you don’t love it, trying something different may open your eyes to other possibilities or lead you to a style you never considered before.

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Be aware of you fabric choice!

Not only do you want the fabric to be season and location appropriate but there are also a few slightly stranger considerations to be aware of. I have the privilege of shooting weddings in beautiful locations where the best photographs are off the beaten path… or pavement. This means we are walking through the woods or a field and there are going to be leaves or little twigs and grass clippings. If you just love those types of photographs and locations be aware that certain fabrics attract those little bits of leaves and grass more than others. The smoother the fabric  when you run it through your hands the less likely it is to have things cling to it. I adore lace dresses but they do attract little bits of leaves like a magnet so if you are appalled at the idea of a leaf being struck to your gorgeous dress the fabric is something to consider : )

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This dress is made from a really “smooth” fabric that tends not to have the cling factor

Consider straps or sleeves!

Sleeveless gowns are the number one choice in wedding dresses and they are beautiful but consider a dress with straps or sleeves for a few reasons. Straps or cap sleeves can add dimension to your close up portraits. Especially if you don’t think you will be wearing a necklace with your dress. Dresses with sleeves or straps tend to look more seasonally appropriate at winter or fall weddings too.

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Get the bustle right!

This one is so important for your comfort on you wedding day. Trains are just stunning but I am sure when you start dancing the night away you don’t want your train tripping you up! I have seen bustled done poorly and it really makes for a frustrated bride and maid of honor when she is trying to bustle the dress. Make sure your alterations specialist attaches  multiple points of contact where the train is being attached to the dress. Just one button or loop 90% of the time is not going to be able to hold the weight of the train. The dress should have at least 3 buttons or hooks, the more the merrier.

Also practice bustling your dress at home. You don’t want to waste 20 minutes of your cocktail hour messing with your bustle, I promise! It is a great idea to walk around inside you house with your wedding day shoes and dress on. I can’t tell you the amount of times my brides have put their dress on the day of their wedding and realize the length isn’t quite right, a problem easily fixed just not on your wedding day.

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Stay on budget and go with your gut!

I think staying within your budget for every aspect of you wedding is important. Choosing what is important to you both is also a must. I whole heartedly believe that photography should be at the top of that list, but deciding if food, music, the dress or flowers are important to you and then go from there. Once you have your budget try to stick with it and know that if you love a dress than that is the one. I have never seen a bride unhappy on her wedding day because of her dress, so know that no matter which amazing dress you choose I am sure you are going to have an amazing wedding day with the person who loves you and your friends and family.

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