A wedding dress has a lot to live up to. By the time you find yourself looking for a wedding gown, you’ve probably come up with a whole host of expectations as to what it should look like. You might have fallen in love with Meghan Markle’s royal gown, designed with simplicity in mind to accentuate her lace-embroidered veil. Or perhaps you’ve wanted a Disney-inspired ball gown since the time you were a little girl. Whatever the case, finding the right wedding dress is quite an adventure; usually requiring a lot of research, appointments, and time. To help get you started, here’s a list of things to consider as you make your first trip to the bridal shop.
Go with Your A-Team
Wedding dress shopping takes time. And while it’s all fun and exciting at first, your guests may feel a little fatigued after a 5 hour trip to one store. You’re going to want to pick a patient and supportive crew—you know, the ones that have had your back since day one! Leave those known for making negative comments off the invite list. That might mean you, Grandma.
Go with Your Budget
Finding a wedding dress isn’t easy, and you certainly don’t want to fall in love with one only to find out it doesn’t fit your budget. Before you make your first appointment, figure out how you will be financing your gown. If you’re receiving financial help, try to get the hard numbers so you know exactly what your maximum budget will be. If you will be financing the gown yourself and have a few months to spare, mobile banking apps like Chime are great solutions to quickly build up your savings account. Boosting your budget by even a few hundred dollars can be the difference in getting exactly what you want.
Go with the Dress that Compliments Your Body Type
It’s entirely possible to fill an afternoon gawking at celebrity wedding dresses online, but let’s face it, the best wedding dress is the one that fits you. In other words, your silhouette should work in your favor by helping you showcase your finest assets while covering up the others. To do this, first determine which body type you fall into. There are a number of ways to refer to them, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s keep it to the following five: petite, lean, plus-sized, busty, or hourglass. Keep in mind, it’s totally normal to not fit one body type exclusively. In fact, most people don’t!
For petite body types:
You’ll want to avoid overloading your smaller frame. Trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line silhouettes usually look best.
For lean body types:
You’ll want to find a dress that can create the illusion of curves. A ball gown or a sheath with contouring seams cut to accentuate curves will do just the trick.
For plus-sized body types:
There are many ways to portray a smaller frame or bring out your curves. An empire dress cut with a skirt that begins just under the bust and continues with a floor-length A-line silhouette does both!
For busty body types:
Whether you’re looking to reveal or conceal, begin your search by finding the perfect neckline. If you’re going the strapless route, choose a gown with a slight dip along the neckline, as opposed to one that goes straight across.
For hourglass body types:
If you’re looking to highlight your curves, go with a gown that will show off your slim midsection. A strapless A-line drop waist does this perfectly!