Finding the right wedding dress is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of the
wedding planning process.
In fact, a 2019 survey of fifty Australian brides showed that the dress was one of the biggest stressors.
Thankfully, with a little research, some preparation, and this handy checklist, finding your dream wedding dress won’t be a nightmare.
1. Create a mood board
Save yourself time, confusion, and migraines by creating a mood board ahead of time. Find
the wedding dress trends you like, include colour palettes that catch your eye, save accessory features
you fancy, basically anything that moves you can make your mood board.
You can let your creativity reign here and what’s best is you can start this as early as you’d like. Pretty soon, you’ll even be able to notice a pattern or theme emerging, and that will help you streamline the pieces you’re looking for. Platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram have many curated bridal posts that can help you get started!
2. Establish your budget.
Nobody likes to put a price on happiness but let’s be realistic: the sooner you reach a number, the better
you can start your search.
Generally, your wedding fashion (wedding dress, accessories, and possibly even a reception dress) should not cost more than 10% of your total budget. It may help if you list down the rest of your wedding must-haves, so you can compare how much you’re willing to spend on each versus your dress.
3. Research on dress suppliers.
The wedding industry is huge. Nowadays, brides can find dresses from designers, bridal outlets, flea markets, and more.
Try signing up for newsletters, mailing lists, and notifications from designers' websites and social media accounts. This way you will be notified if any sales or new drops are coming in.
Most bridal salons hold big sales a couple of times a year and some annual trunk shows sometimes offer discounts for same-day purchases.
4. Consider the venue and date of your wedding.
The location and season or weather of your wedding day will greatly impact which dresses will ultimately work for you.
Lighter tulle looks ethereal but will likely leave you freezing in winter, whereas brocade has great volume but is too thick for summertime.
The terrain of your venue will also be a factor in your choosing your dress. If you’re planning to be outdoors, a flowy dress may be more forgiving rather than a stiffer design that may be tricky to maneuver as you dance to your first song with your husband.
5. Try on different silhouettes.
Bridalwear usually runs in smaller sizes than ready-to-wear clothes.
This means, it will be better to focus on fit rather than size, especially since some wedding dresses can be up to four sizes smaller than RTW. Use your body type as a guide to finding the most flattering silhouette for you.
For instance, as seen in this guide here, the best dresses for petite are those which create curves like wraps and high-slit skirts. Meanwhile, brides with curves will look great in hourglass-defining dresses with over-the-shoulder or v-necklines.
6. Try on your dress with shoes, undergarments, and accessories.
Make the most of your fittings by bringing along your wedding day accessories and undergarments.
Wearing the shoes and accessories will give you and your bridal consultant a better idea of some things that need lengthening or paring down.
Meanwhile, trying on your bridal undergarments will give you an idea of how your dress will look on your wedding day.
Often, wearing the right underwear can make or break the look of the wedding dress. Depending on your dress, you may benefit from a bra, shapewear, and/or stockings.
7. Review the extra services, and inclusions that your bridal consultant will offer.
Before you make any final decisions, get in writing the extra services your wedding dress provider offers. For example, some will offer alterations, dry cleaning, and delivery to the venue.
Some will also offer to dress you on your special day, too. It’s also important to know their cancellation policies, refund coverage (in case of damage to the dress), and if they require any sort of deposit beforehand.
Though the wedding dress search can be quite daunting, remember that the journey is part of the experience. Include your loved ones in the process and just have fun! Make sure to check more of our helpful wedding planning checklists and tips for brides.
Contributed by Aleah K Calver
Exclusive for tulievephotography.com