How To Choose a Wedding Dress that Fits your Needs

Every bride has a vision of how she will look while walking down the aisle. However, with the plethora of styles, designers, color and fabric choices, it can be an intimidating experience to choose a wedding gown.

Your wedding dress will be photographed at all angles, so it has to look flattering on all sides and show you off at your finest. Allow at least 6 months or longer when ordering your gown to give the designer time for adjustments. Here’s how to choose a wedding dress that fits your needs.

  1. Set your budget first and stick to it. Before you even look at a wedding dress, decide on how much you are willing to spend. It’s difficult to get attached to a dress and find out you can’t afford it. A machine-made off the rack wedding gown costs about $500 and up to $8,000 for a custom-designed gown in silk . The budget will determine how elaborate your wedding gown will be and will also set the tone of your wedding.  Be prepared to put a 50% down payment for your dress when buying in a bridal salon. The more specialized and detailed the dress, the more expensive it will be.
  2. Consider the season of your wedding.  The style of your dress will be influenced by the season. You can go with heavier fabrics and jackets in the fall and winter, whereas spring/summer weddings usually use lighter fabrics.
  3. Determine the time and venue of your reception. Your dress will have to be appropriate to the type of wedding you will have. For a daytime wedding, you may opt for a shorter and simpler dress. An elaborate wedding dress with a  6 foot train will suit in a cathedral wedding with a five star hotel reception but not in beach wedding or courthouse.
  4. Look at bridal magazines and online sites. There are numerous publications in the market to give you an idea of what’s available. An excellent online resource is which has an extensive collection of dresses available online and in their stores. You may choose to order through their website or it will provide a store locator so you can go to one of their salons directly.
  5. Go to a wedding salon and try and try again. A dress consultant will show you the variety options aligned with your vision that is within your budget. Bring pictures from magazines so the salon will have an idea what you are looking for. They may also advise on what designs would be most flattering for your figure. Wear a nude strapless bra and bring a digital camera. Bring on shoes with approximately the same heel that you will wear on your wedding. Also, don’t purchase your wedding shoes before you have chosen your dress as they may not match.
  6. Don’t forget about your accessories. Every bride is a total package so decide how you’ll accessorize your dress with gloves, jewelry, a veil or headpiece. It has to go along with the style of your dress.

Whatever cut, length, trim, fabric or design of your dress, just remember that you should have fun and you should be comfortable. Finding the right dress just takes some time and savvy.


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