Wedding Planning 101: Thoughts on Wedding Dresses

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I know the first thing that most little girls think of, when they think about weddings, is THE DRESS! It's what every girl is most excited about, and it's something that only gets worn ONCE (unless you incorporate it into anniversary shoots or your daughter or granddaughter wants to wear it)!!

Because of this, I think a lot of women get this idea in their head of 'the perfect dress' and how they'll just know when they see it. Well... maybe that happens for some women, but I have never had any experience in my life where I just knew something was right for me (perhaps this comes from my general worrying, second-guessing nature- but that's another discussion for another time!). Since I knew that I would not have a 'love at first sight' moment with my dress, I gave myself a little leg up before I went in to try on wedding dresses- I did some research so I could be prepared for a not-so-easy decision.

With all of this being said, today's blog post is all about wedding dresses! If you're searching for a wedding dress, and anything like me- a planner- this is the blog post for you!

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1. This is a little obvious, but you should know your budget before you go shopping. A good boutique will ask you what your dress budget is so that they can bring you items in your price range. My best friend was so prepared with her budget that she actually paid for her dress in cash, but we can't all be that cool.

2. Your ideal silhouette! What is this, you ask? Well, different cuts of dresses (silhouettes is the pretty word for it) look better on different body shapes. For example, if you have a pear shaped body- a larger lower half- then a mermaid dress would look better on you than a sheath dress. If you have an apple-shaped body, a sheath dress with an empire waist might be good for you! Here's a helpful little diagram I made (I got the dress sketches from Google, so I don't know who originally made them, but it wasn't me!)

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3. The location of your wedding.If you are getting married outside in the summer, maybe you should get a dress with breathable material and few layers- or else you'll be like me, blowing sweat off your boobs in the middle of your husband's vows. Don't be like me. A heavy ballgown does not fit a beach wedding, and a lightweight, backless dress probably won't keep you warm during your portraits outside in a winter wedding (get a cape!)

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4. Be open to getting alterations. Please don't expect the dress you buy to fit you like a glove as soon as it comes off the hanger. If it does, you go girl, because you are one of the lucky few that doesn't need alterations to make your gown truly yours. Everyone's body is different, so make sure you find a good seamstress. Again, a good boutique will have a seamstress that they work with and can send their brides too for good alterations. I say all of these things about good boutiques because I had a WONDERFUL experience buying my dress from a good boutique- Ava Laurenne.

5. What accessories you'll be wearing. If you know for a fact that you WILL be wearing your grandmothers pearls, maybe you don't want a dress with a high neckline! Pro tip: if you already have the shoes you will be wearing, bring them when you are trying on your dress!! Or if you know what kind of shoe you will be wearing, bring an equivalent pair. It really helps with visualization. Second pro tip: there will likely be a lot of people (shop helpers, your friends, etc.) seeing you in your underwear as you get in out of dresses that you need help with, so wear a leotard if you're not cool with that. Just something to keep in mind!

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6. Yourself. Stick with me here, because I know that sounds cheesy, but remember earlier when I said that I thought I knew what kind of dress I wanted, but when I tried it on, it really did not look like ME? That's what I mean. Stay true to yourself! If you like the retro look, step out of tradition and get a tea-length dress! If you like to move around a lot, don't get a sheath dress, because I promise you, you will feel restricted! If you hate fidgeting with your clothing, don't get a strapless dress, because (unless you have no boobs, which is totally fine) you will be adjusting and re-adjusting ALL NIGHT LONG.

Aaaand just because we like you guys so much, we put together a checklist for you to download and use while you do your wedding dress shopping, to make sure nothing gets missed!!

For most posts in this series, click here!


So that's it! I hope this was helpful. We'll be back with more wedding planning advice soon!

-Kat