(Feature photo by Melissa Jean and various bridal dress photos courtesy of Pinterest)
A Dress You Can Say Yes To
By Samantha De La O
Picture this: it’s your wedding day, and you’re about to walk down the aisle. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, one that you’ve played over and over again in your mind. Everywhere you look you see little decorations and your favorite flowers placed exactly where you wanted them. Everything is beautiful and perfect. You must look pretty perfect yourself, because friends and family to the left and right of you are whispering about how beautiful you are, and you’ve just begun to walk. You know that this is the only time you will ever be able to experience this moment, so you look around once more, taking it all in. Finally, you look down at your dress…now tell me, what does it look like?
Maybe it’s that princess dress with the full skirt you dreamed of when you were a little girl. Or, it could be a mermaid dress, tight at the waist and hips and then erupting into a beautiful skirt at the bottom. Who cares about the dress you wanted when you were little, right? Then again, maybe it’s some sort of combination between the two because yes, your little girl dreams do matter. Basic shape of the dress aside, what about everything else? Does this dress have ruffles? What’s the fabric like? Is it long, short, strapless, sleeveless? The list goes on.
The reality is, if you really want to find a wedding dress you’ll love, there is a lot to consider. Now of course, not everyone chooses to focus on their dress, especially when there are so many other wedding details to allot time and money towards. But chances are if you’re still reading this, your dress matters to you. So whether you’re ready to go shop for it right now, or just want to be prepared for the future, let’s talk about the things you may want to consider when choosing a dress for your special day.
Let’s say that your budget is around $500, that leaves you with plenty of options without going too overboard. With a $500 budget you could easily get a nice dress from David’s Bridal, but you are in no way limited to that one store. Etsy, a commerce website that you’ve probably heard of and used, specializes in handmade and vintage items, and has a rather vast wedding dress section. There are obviously plenty of other options as well.
Wedding dresses, unlike some other areas of fashion, really have no right or wrong. So when going out to pick a dress, or deciding between a few, don’t worry about what your best friend wore to her wedding last year, or what dress you saw on the cover of Vogue a few days ago. Those things can be distracting and shift your focus. Instead, focus on a dress that you love, and reflects who you are. Okay, so it may be a little weird to think that a single white dress can reflect your personality, but honestly, why shouldn’t it? If your wedding cake is decorated exactly the way you want it to be, isn’t the thing that’s actually on your body be just as important to you? However, finding a dress that is uniquely you may be a little challenging, unless of course you’ve found a couture designer who is willing to make you a dress to your specifications. So how do you do it? Here’s a few tips.
1. When dress shopping, don’t take too many people with you.
It may be tempting to bring along your whole family or even your bridesmaids, but remember, the more people there are, the more opinions you’re going to get. Try going with just your mom, or one aunt or friend that knows you well, that way you have a second opinion, without a third, fourth and fifth.
2. Don’t do all your shopping in one day.
Trying to limit yourself to shopping in one day is going to stress you out, and leave you tired and unsure by late afternoon. Be sure to allot as much time as possible, so you’re fresh when you’re trying things on.
3. Don’t be afraid to try on lots of dresses.
There are tons of dresses out there. You won’t know if a style suits you unless you try it on, so make sure you do.
4. Choose something you feel comfortable in.
Yes, I realize that wedding dresses aren’t really designed for comfort, but at the same time, how many times have you been to wedding where the bride can barely dance because she has to keep picking up her strapless dress? Not saying you should rule out strapless entirely, but it’s definitely something to think about, especially if you’re choosing between two options.
5. Find something with a hint of “you” already on it.
That something could be the princess waist, ruffled skirt, or off the shoulder design. It could also be a vintage dress if vintage is something you love, or better yet, you could even have your mom’s wedding dress (if she still has it) altered and redesigned to reflect your personal style.