How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress

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So he put a ring on it! If you’re planning your big day, you’re probably tearing your hair out at the prospect of getting the guest list numbers down and choosing the venue – oh, and then there’s the small matter of finding the dress. If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t worry. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect wedding dress.

It all starts with the budget

By now you will probably have a budget set aside for your wedding dress. Be clear about this budget -to your friends, family and bridal associates. You don’t want to be shown dresses that are way over budget (unless you plan on going over budget!) Remember that alterations need to be included in the budget – these alone can set you back anywhere between $200 and $800 so be wary of that. Don’t forget though, you can still use the top of the range gowns that you see in the magazines as inspiration for a less expensive design. In fact we’d advise you to indulge in bridal magazines, books and websites to learn about the different types of silhouettes, fabrics and styles so you can better convey what you are looking for.


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The where and when

Knowing the where and when are two factors which will certainly help you focus your search so always keep that in mind. While every bride and groom should feel free to choose the wedding style they always dreamed of, their attire should also reflect the time and place of their wedding. Formal ceremonies usually call for floor length gowns and long trains, whereas informal ceremonies give you the option to wear shorter gowns without a train. Although most fabrics are suitable all year round, some, like linen, are probably more appropriate for warmer weather while a material like velvet would be better suited for winter.

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Plan ahead

If you can, begin shopping for a dress about nine months before the wedding. Don’t forget it can take about four months for a manufacturer to make a dress and another two to do any alterations. And if you’ve spotted a dress you like by a particular popular wedding dress designer, don’t delay! Book appointments early so there’s no disappointment. 

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The silhouette

Figure out the silhouette that works best for you. What silhouette highlights your best features? Try not to get caught up in the trend of the moment but instead focus on your assets and what flatters you the most. That being said, don’t be afraid to try on dresses that might look awful on the hanger! Almost every dress takes on a completely different shape once you’ve put it on – so go with an open mind and trust your bridal assistant as they are the experienced ones!

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Prepare yourself

Prepare yourself for your appointments. Go wearing neutral colored underwear and a strapless bra and bring with you a pair of heels you feel comfortable in. Heel height is very important as different shoes can affect your posture and the overall fit of the dress. And although it might be tempting, steer clear of fake tan. Not only can it ruin the dress, it can alter what suits your natural skin tone best.

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Get snappy

It’s a good idea to photograph your dresses instead of putting all your trust in the mirror. Snapping some photos of what your dress looks like on you from all angles will give you a better idea of how it will look in your wedding photographs.Be warned though, some boutique’s don’t all photography – so call ahead and see if it can be arranged or if they can make an exception.

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Have fun

If you don’t find the dress of your dreams straight away – don’t worry! The dress will be out there. The wedding market is huge and there’s more out there than you might think. This should be one of the most exciting things in the lead up to the big day, so have fun!

Want more Wedding planning tips like this? Then check out our ultimate guide to planning your dream wedding.


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