{wedding wednesday: the dress}

Your wedding dress is going to be one of the most important pieces of clothing that you will ever wear. It’s also going to be a big part of your wedding, so you obviously want to find the perfect dress.

The Dress


There are a lot of different things to consider when shopping for your dress, such as silhouette, neckline, fabric, color, and detail. Different silhouettes look better on different body types. For example, princess style dresses are flattering on almost anyone, while mermaid gowns fit better on taller brides. You can read more about the different styles here.



Outside the Box

Just like everything else, I like to think outside the box when it comes to wedding dresses. Don’t feel as if you’re constrained by the white, ball gown. And don’t feel as if you need to spend thousands of dollars on a designer dress.

Buy used.

There are quite a few places where you can buy pre-owned and pre-worn dresses. Because really, you’re going to wear it once in your life. Please don’t think that you have to keep it just in case your daughter might want to wear it someday. You can still get it fitted to your body, so nobody has to know the difference. 100 Layer Cake has a great marketplace for used dresses {and other wedding items}, as does Wedding Bee.

Be nontraditional.

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of this one. I always say that if I could get married all over again, I wouldn’t have a white dress. I think I’d like a blush one, something very ruffly. If a long dress isn’t your style, then go short! The most important part of finding a dress is finding a dress that’s you, even if it is bright red.

Don’t follow the trends. Or do. That one is up to you.

Wedding trends will come and go, and it’s perfectly alright to follow them! If you have fallen in love with Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, then by all means, go find a replica. But don’t feel as if you need to find a dress that fits within the mold, just because. Again, find a dress that you love, and that is your style.

One of my biggest pieces of wedding advice is this: when you look back on your wedding in ten years, it will look dated. I like to style things so that they don’t scream of the times {think neon pink and turquoise from the eighties}, but things will go in and own of fashion. All that matters is that your wedding is a reflection of where you are in your life at the time. That being said, if you are really into fashion and the trends, then go for it. But again, don’t feel boxed in by any outside expectations. You want to love your dress.




Make an appointment.

This one might be obvious to some, but it isn’t to others. Bridal salons like to pair you with a consultant when you go in, so dropping by unannounced can be really difficult for them. They may not let you just browse the racks, and they may not have the resources available when you do in without an appointment.

Go in with an idea, but be open to other options.

It’s perfectly alright to go into your appointment with a specific dress in mind, but be prepared if it just doesn’t work out. The dress may not fit you very well, or it may be out of your budget. It’s better to go in with an idea of the color, fabric, silhouette, etc. and let the consultants choose dresses within your vision. You can go in without a vision at all, though it may take a few appointments to finally find something you like.

Stick to your budget.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that you will hear from dress consultants is to come into your appointment with your budget in mind. If they are good at their job, they will not bring out dresses that aren’t in your budget. Because that’s just mean. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s perfectly alright that you request that they don’t bring you anything that you can’t afford.

Order early. Really early.

It may seem outrageous that they suggest you order at least six months before your wedding, but it’s really better to be safe than sorry. You’ll have multiple fittings after you get the dress, and you really want to make sure that you have time just in case anything unexpected happens. It may seem as if the order early thing is a ploy by the salons to pressure you into spending money, but it’s still something that I believe is necessary.

Take advantage of the trunk shows.

If you have your heart set on a designer, definitely stop by their trunk show. Trunk shows are when the designer, or a representative of the designer, come to a shop to present their entire line and speak with clients directly. Some shops only carry a limited number of dresses from a particular designer, so this is a great way to make sure that you see the entire collection. They also typically offer a discount if you buy a dress right then and there.

Don’t expect a “Say Yes to the Dress” moment.

This show bothers me, because it gives brides the unrealistic expectation that they are going to literally fall in love with their dress. You may have a moment there, or you may not. But don’t say no to a dress just because you aren’t in tears over it. It’s important to love your dress, but you definitely don’t need to be in love with it. That’s just weird to me.


Like I say every week, it’s impossible for me to give you all the information you need about this particular topic. So, I’ve compiled some resources for you to take a look at.

My favorite wedding dress designer.

Where to shop.

Wedding attire on Pinterest.

Wedding dress advice from the experts {but take it with a grain of salt}.

Link Up

Next Week




Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

I think that's so true about not expecting to have a Say Yes to the Dress moment...I didn't cry when I found my dress, I just really liked it. And now 3 years later, I'm still happy I chose it for my big day! :)

Smidge said...

I'm going for the short and the sample sale. Being tiny I don't suit a big dress and I had no problem buying on sale, especially as I'm getting it altered to fit. Personally I wouldn't buy a used wedding dress, would feel weird to wear someone else's dress to me!


megan said...

Call me crazy, but I ordered my dress a year before my to-be wedding! It took about 4 months to come in and I want to take my bridal portraits (it's a Southern thang) in October (wedding isn't until March). So that's my reasoning for ordering so early. :) I can't wait for my first dress fitting!!

marissa at the boot said...

this couldn't be ringing truer for me right now since today i am going to pick up my dress! i actually had a "moment" in there and it was the first (and last) dress i tried on. i agree with all of your points here!

Kate @ Green Fashionista said...

I got my gown at a trunk show and saved hundreds of dollars! Great piece of advice for girls who are dress shopping ;)

Hannah said...

I agree with you 100% about not expecting a Say Yes to the Dress moment. I was never in tears over my dress, but I know it was the perfect gown for me and for the day. My husband was in tears when he saw me and that moment was priceless to me. :) (Any my dress was REALLY affordable, too. More expensive isn't always better!)

Chrissi Holt said...

Sorry Joelle apparently my link came up twice feel free to delete one. BTW i got my dress not long ago. I am so happy with my choice as i finally decided to buy a dress that would make me happy and boy does it ... i love love my decisions ... yay !


Emily @ the Anna Delores blog said...

Great post, Joelle. I can't wait to get married someday and find an awesome dress! My friend just got married and wore a used dress, and no one would've ever known, and she got it for I think $400-ish with EVERYTHING (cleaning, alterations, etc.)

Nicole Rene said...

This is some good advice! Especially the order early and don't expect a say yes to the dress moment! Haha, I work at a bridal shop and oh man we have brides that come in and don't want to order until later and I'm like why wait! When you find that dress you need to get it now because who knows if we'll even have it when you come back! Great advice! Love your wedding wednesday post as usual! :)

Jill said...

Thanks for the tips, I've forwarded this to my newly engaged friend :). I got sad thinking about my grandmother not being there for when I try on my wedding dress - we were best friends and she just passed a few months ago. I will be a wreck.