How to Pick The Perfect Wedding Dress for You

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By: Amanda Frittz

Admittedly, this blog was not pre-planned. The other day I saw a last-minute model call for a wedding dress boutique in my hometown. I’m already married so of course, I wanted an excuse to try on wedding dresses again! I mean come on!

The shoot was a blast, and the dresses were amazing. Literally, fairytale dresses you guys (you’ll see in a second). While playing dress up I got into the mindset of rating the dresses for myself just like I did with my wedding dress. Which is funny, because I’m totally not buying one again (at least not for another 20 years, by then maybe I can talk Adam into a vowel renewal). Whether practical or not, it was just natural for me to automatically begin rating the dresses for myself and how well they fit my body, personality, and venue.

However, I know that’s not the case for all brides. I’ve watched my fair share of Say Yes to the Dress episodes and there’s a lot of indecisive brides out there. I’m not naive, I know it’s a dramatized show, but a lot of brides try on multiple styles of dresses from several salons before picking the one. Some brides may even have to try on “the one” a few times before it feels just right.

Personally, I was a pretty decisive bride. I went into my first appointment knowing the two fits I was considering, and what materials I wanted for each fit. After trying on a tighter fit I quickly nicked that off my list and went for the princess/ballgown look. I am pretty sure I only tried on between 3-5 dresses before saying “yes” to the dress.

So, if you’re getting married soon and you can’t decide what kind of dress you want, try looking through my checkoff list to find the perfect dress for YOU.

  • What Fits do You Like?

Even if you’ve never tried on a wedding dress, I guarantee you you’ll probably have an idea of what fits you like on your body. Look through all your evening gowns and going out dresses and see what fits are most common. Do you have a lot of empire waists? A lot of tight-fitting dresses? Whatever you have a lot of, you probably feel most comfortable in. I would start by trying on those types of dresses in your appointment with maybe a one or two wildcard options!

Personally, my two fit options I was looking at when dress shopping was mermaid and princes. I knocked off the mermaid fit quickly because I realized I would be self-conscious about my tummy pooch all night. Especially after eating.

  • What Materials do You Like?

Going into my appoint I knew I either wanted tulle or something satin. Both seemed so elegant and romantic to me. After trying on some options, I opted for a beautiful satin gown with some gorgeous embroidered straps.

When finalizing the materials you want to stick with consider the following things: Weight, comfort, and formality.

  • Do You Want a Train?

Yes Yes Yes!!! I definitely wanted a train, and that ultimately is what made my gown the winner (I’ll reveal my dress at the end).

Not everyone wants a train though. When deciding if you want a train you need to consider moveability, a bustle, or a second dress option and your budget.

  • Do You Have Any Statement Accessories That Need to Pair With it?

This is where I was lost. I am not an accessory person! Personally, I chose my dress first and my accessories last.

However, if you have an heirloom, or a certain style of shoes, jewelry, or veil you want to wear I’d recommend bringing it to your appointment. If you don’t have the item on hand, tell the bridal salon when you book your appointment what you’ll need the dresses to match. That way they can help keep you on track when you come in and start selecting dresses.

  • Do You Have Designers You Like?

My all-time favorite wedding dress designers are Lihi Hod and Sivan Ben David. Their dresses are so whimsical and effortless. They’re also out of my price range and they don’t sell them anywhere near me.

Even though I couldn’t get dresses straight from them, I did keep in mind what I liked about their designs when choosing my dress.

  • Do You Care About Your Husbands Preference for Dresses?

Maybe it means you need to be more modest, or maybe it means you need to be more revealing. Whatever it is, do you care about your husbands taste in wedding dresses?

If you do, be honest with yourself before trying on dresses, and try to find a happy medium. You’ll only make yourself frustrated by falling in love with your perfect gown and not being able to say yes because your husband’s opinions are weighing you down.

  • What’s Your Budget?

Unfortunately, you can’t say yes to the dress unless you can afford the dress. Make sure you know your budget going into the appointment. Also, keep in mind most dress shops will have you put down a hefty deposit when you order the dress.

  • Do You Want to Dance All Night?

Functionality is important. If you’re a dancer and can’t move you have a problem. Of course, there’s always the option for a second party dress after the ceremony is over. Just make sure if you do that, you fit it into your budget ahead of time.

  • What Word do You Want People to Think of When They See You?

Romantic? Beautiful? Ethereal? Sexy? Sophisticated? Whatever it is, make sure you choose one or two words going into your appointment. This is going to make your consultants job SO much easier.

  • Where’s Your Venue?

Obviously, you can break the rules if you want it’s your wedding day. However, as a general guideline try to make sure your dress fits the formality of your wedding venue, formal wear of guests, and attire of the bridal party.

  • When’s Your Wedding?

If your wedding is in less than six months away call all your local bridal salons and make an appt. ASAP. it’s pretty standard for wedding dressing to take around 6 months to be made and shipped to you.

Don’t stress too much, if you have less than 6 months you can always see if you can rush order or shop the sale racks and it the dress properly fitted to you.

  • Do You Feel Amazing?

All the other bullet points can go out the window if this box isn’t checked. Start with this list, but if you aren’t feeling 100% you and 100% amazing venture outside your norm.

Huge thanks to @misshayleypaige (the dress designer), @thebespokebride, @k.and.co_bridalstyling, and for these gorgeous images and the inspiration for this article. Also, my wedding photographer!

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