Shopping for a wedding dress can feel intimidating. While some brides go into the process with their dream dress already in mind, others have trouble finding the one. We’re here to provide some tips and tricks for narrowing down your wedding dress selections. Try to keep an open mind, think about what your preference first and consider wedding trends second, and most importantly – have fun!
The first thing to consider when you’re beginning to shop for your wedding dress is the silhouette. Ball gowns have a full skirt, a fitted bodice, and a cinched waist, which means that they can add shape to brides with a boyish figure. These brides can also try a peplum skirt if they want to appear curvier.
Petite brides can try a mermaid style dress, which is a tapered skirt that flares out above the knee, to elongate their figure. An empire waist gown also helps create the illusion of longer legs.
Another form-fitting style is the sheath skirt, which is straight and doesn’t flare. It also adds length and is great for brides with sleek figures. Brides who are hourglass or pear shape can accentuate their figure with a trumpet or drop waist style wedding dress, which shows off the waist and hip area.
Lastly, A-line skirts flatter all shapes because it’s trimmed at the top and extends from the waist in an A-shape, and is the go-to shape for wedding dresses.
On your wedding day, the majority of the pictures taken of you will be from the waist up, making the neckline extremely important. A strapless, corset bodice is the most popular for its versatility. Bustier brides should go for a simple bodice with a structured off-the-shoulder or cowl neckline. Less busty brides can use a more embellished bodice or a sweetheart neckline to add shape. A square or scoop neckline looks great on everyone.
The details on your wedding dress will depend a lot on the theme of your wedding. If you’re having a vintage theme wedding, then your gown can feature delicate lace detailing and cap sleeves. Unique elements like a colored sash go well with a modern wedding. For a bohemian wedding, a dress with ruffles may be appropriate. A cocktail style wedding would call for a figure hugging gown with a deep v-neckline.
Details on your wedding dress also depend on the wedding venue. A ballroom wedding goes perfectly with a dramatic-floor length gown with a long train while a knee-length gown with flowing ruffle detailing is better for an outdoor, beach wedding. Garden weddings are perfect for wedding dresses with whimsical details like tulle overlay.
As a general rule, petite brides shouldn’t go for a wedding dress with too many details as to not overwhelm their figure while brides with boyish figures can use heavy draping to add shape. Curvier brides can try asymmetrical pleating or neckline-to-knee embellishments, which has a slimming effect.