Have you ever been to a wedding where the bride looked nothing like herself? Caught yourself thinking “Huh, that’s not what I would’ve picked for her…” or “Is that really *insert bride’s name here*?”
Choosing a wedding dress can be pretty overwhelming. And you’ll probably find that a lot of salespeople in bridal stores will insist you look faaaabulous in a) the most expensive gown in store or b) that gown someone stocked, but no one wants to buy because it has giant silver polka dots all over it (true story).
It’s pretty easy to get lost in between all the frills, tulle and shiny satin. Especially if you aren’t entirely sure of what you want. But the good news is you have plenty of options, even if those options seem a bit much at the moment.
So first up. Make sure you try on plenty of styles. It’s really hard to know what a dress will look like on you by only looking at a picture. Try a variety of styles to get a good idea of what works on you, and what doesn’t. And be open minded. Sometimes the style you least expected to suit you, actually ends up looking amazing.
Next, understand your ‘look’ or aesthetic. Oh, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. This one’s pretty important if you want to still look like you on your wedding day. If you’re a jeans and tees kind of girl who rarely leaves the house with a full face of makeup, then buying a dress that screams ‘Prom-Queen-Diva-Extraordinaire’ might not be the best idea… Here’s something you can do to figure out your ‘look’, and avoid falling into this trap.
Grab a piece of paper (or your wedding planner) and:
- Look at photos of yourself over the past year or so. What are you usually wearing? What are you wearing when you look your best? What are you wearing when you don’t? Describe the style (e.g. casual, classic etc).
- List people whose style or aesthetic you admire. Describe the style.
- If you have Pinterest, hit the ‘See All Pins’ tab. Your pins paint a picture of your personal taste and style. So look at them all together and describe the style you’re seeing (e.g. folksy, minimal etc)
- Look at your wardrobe. What are your favourite pieces? What do the pieces you wear the most look like? Describe that style.
- And finally, take a mini-tour of your home. Describe the style of your favourite furniture pieces, books, decorative items etc.
Have a look at the descriptions you’ve written down and try see what styles are tying everything together. This is most likely your ‘look’ or aesthetic. So now when you go on that wedding dress hunt you have a better idea of what styles to look for, and what to avoid.
When you go on said wedding dress hunt, try dresses on with people you trust, or go it alone. Just make sure you’re comfortable. If you’re feeling stressed or uncomfortable, you’re more likely to have a brain explosion and just buy the first dress you see regardless of how it looks on you.
One last tip (although this one sort of goes without saying) – it’s a good idea to match your dress with the rest of your wedding. As gorgeous as Kate Middleton’s dress was, imagine wearing something like that for a casual beach wedding… Yeah. Doesn’t really work does it?
So don’t be one of those brides who looks nothing like herself on her wedding day. You don’t have to get lost in, or overwhelmed by, the wedding dress industry. Take your time, ask for help and stay true to your personal style. And remember to have fun along the way too ;)