How to Choose Wedding Dress: 5 Things to Consider

How to Choose Wedding Dress: 5 Things to Consider

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Picking out a wedding dress can be stressful, and a vast majority of brides feel disappointed the first time they go wedding dress shopping. To prevent that from happening, we’ve compiled a guide on how to choose a wedding dress, along with five key things you need to consider when picking out the dress of your dreams.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Dress

Here are some key considerations that should make your wedding dress shopping more straightforward and enjoyable: 

Your Body Shape

Different wedding dress styles compliment varying body types, and not all fit into certain dresses. While it’s easy to fall in love with a dress you saw on social media, it’s important to know whether or not that dress will fit your shape. 

Luckily, you can use your existing outfit to determine what styles suit you and compliment your figure. The idea is to pick out a wedding gown style that will accentuate your best features while pulling attention away from the body parts you’re not particularly fond of. It’s also a good idea to check out our guide on What to Wear Wedding Dress Shopping: Do’s and Don’ts.

Your Style Preference

Stay true to your style; if a ball gown looks good on you, wear it. The same rule applies to a-line dresses or any wedding dress of your dreams. However, your personal style should also mirror the type of venue, wedding theme, and wedding ceremony. For example, traditional church weddings require less revealing bridal gowns, preferably ones with sleeves.

Non-traditional ceremonies, such as beach weddings, are much more casual and less constricting when it comes to style. In the end, you’ll be the one wearing it at your own wedding, so say yes to the dress that’s based on your personal style. 

If you’re unsure, it’s always better to opt for a simple wedding dress and have your bridal boutique seamstress add more embellishments and beading. You can further accessorize yourself with jewelry that would complement your dream wedding dress. 

You can check out various styles in our 7 Different Wedding Dress Styles That Are Trending guide for style-conscious brides.

Available Options

It’s imperative to visit more than one boutique or bridal shop when searching for the perfect wedding dress. Bring your entourage and create a memorable wedding dress shopping experience while visiting different bridal salons. 

However, it would help if you kept in mind that most salons only accommodate a limited number of guests, so keep your guest list short. In addition, bridal consultants working at said salons will instantly know what wedding dress styles fit you the best. 

Scheduling an appointment before your first visit to the bridal store is very helpful. Don’t hesitate to convey your desires regarding wedding dress styles to your stylist or ask questions. 

Your budget

Your price range should encompass the dress itself and the necessary alterations without making a massive dent in the wedding planning budget. Wedding dresses can be extremely expensive garments, and while the price range varies, make sure to inform wedding dress retailers of your budget size. This way, you’ll only try the dresses you can afford. There’s nothing worse than finding the right dress, only to find out that it sits way beyond the price range you’re comfortable with. 

Your Wedding Theme

When choosing the right wedding gown, it’s also important to factor in your wedding theme. For example, which season have you chosen? Is it a formal evening reception or a laid-back beach ceremony and afterparty? 

If you’re having a themed wedding, you may want to incorporate your gown into the theme. Don’t forget to bring these up with your bridal stylist; they’ll help you choose an appropriate gown. 

Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Dress

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It’s always best to dive into wedding dress shopping well-informed, so we compiled a shortlist of tips to help you on your journey. Please refer to our Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Tips and Guide for a more comprehensive list.

Listen to Your Consultant 

Your bridal consultant will be the first to tell you that brides usually come in with a set of ideas for a particular gown but leave the shop with one that actually suits them better. Be open to your consultant’s suggestions and try the dresses they choose, even if they sag on the hanger. 

Be as open and honest as possible since the information you provide can help the consultant choose your dream dress. Remember, they’re trained professionals who give you an objective opinion based on the information you provided.

Bring Inspiration Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and bringing reference pictures of different styles you’d be interested in helps the bridal boutique narrow your options and cater to your unique style. We know that bridal stylists would love it if you’d pick a top 10 favorites, as this would assist them in knowing what your dream wedding dress would be.

Do Your Research

It takes time and knowledge to find the right dress, so make sure to do your research. A key to figuring out which wedding dress style is to look for pictures of models whose body type resembles your own. When you find a few dresses you like on the internet or social media, make sure to show them to your bridal stylist, and try them on in person.

Bring Trusted Friends and Family

Keep your entourage small, and bring only trusted friends and family. Having too many people can trigger conflicting opinions that would only discourage you or make you second guess yourself. Your mother, maid of honor, or bridesmaids are great choices.

Try On Several Dresses and Take Your Time

Trying more than ten or so dresses will only make you feel more confused. Make a shortlist of wedding dress styles you like before you begin searching for a dress, and going in “blind” can be overwhelming. Pick your top favorite styles, convey that to your stylist, and try on several dresses they recommend. Remember that buying a wedding dress should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so treat it as such.

Summary

Given the right amount of preparation, saying yes to the dress isn’t all that complicated. Just make sure to pick your favorites, book your appointment, and find common ground with your stylist. 

If you’re interested in wedding dress styles or perhaps in the market for a wedding dress, visit us at The Sposa Group. We offer a wide assortment of dresses of all styles, fit for all body types.

How Much Can a Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

How Much Can a Wedding Dress Be Taken In?

When it comes to creating the perfect appearance, fit is everything, which is precisely why alterations and adjustments are crucial when it comes to your wedding dress. Your special day is the only time you’ll be able to flaunt your magnificent gown, which you spend months searching for, undergoing various adjustment and fitting appointments.

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What Is a Wedding Dress Fitting?

​Whether it’s off the rack or custom-made, every wedding gown requires some type of alteration to ensure a perfect fit. You can spend a lot of money on a dress, but it will look no better than a bridal dress that costs a fraction of the price if it isn’t fitted properly. Likewise, any average-cost bridal gown can look stunning with proper wedding dress alterations. 

Bridal alterations are necessary, as they take you from the first fitting to your perfect wedding dress. Make sure you account for alteration costs in your budget while wedding dress shopping. You should expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $1,000, depending on the extent of the alterations. 

The entire alteration process is usually complete in two to three fittings, with the first lasting up to an hour. Your bridal boutique most likely has an in-house alteration service or a  seamstress in charge of working on the shop’s dresses. If not, they will be able to refer you to a reputable tailor.

Types of Wedding Dress Alterations

Here are two types of wedding dress alterations:

Basic Hemming

Simple alterations involve basic hemming, which fine-tunes the dress’ fit, making them fundamental to the dress alteration process. A well-fitted gown should support and contour the bust, accentuate and compliment the body shape, and be long enough that the hemline covers the shoes without being a tripping hazard.

Adding Details

Adding details and other more comprehensive alterations cost both additional time and money. These alterations usually include adding details such as off-the-shoulder straps, sleeves, beading, and other embellishments, train length, strapless neckline alterations, and a bustle. 

Most wedding dresses don’t come with a bustle; instead, it’s sewed into the bridal gown during the alteration process, as it keeps the train from trailing the bride when she moves and dances. 

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how much does a wedding dress cost

How Many Sizes Can You Take In a Wedding Dress?

This ultimately depends on the wedding dress in question, but the general rule states that you can alter a wedding gown two sizes down and a size up. If a dress has to be taken in three sizes, it might need to be recut, which might incur additional costs. 

However, taking in a dress is relatively easy; letting out a dress is more difficult. You can only let it out depending on the amount of seam allowance on the dress itself. If there’s enough material, the dressmaker could make the gown a size bigger without tampering with its structural integrity.

That doesn’t mean that your dress size can’t be let out two or even three sizes bigger. Your bridal shop tailor would need extra cloth material and some creativity for the unavoidable pattern alterations. However, if pattern alterations aren’t an option, simply go with a similar dress that’s appropriately sized. 

Wedding Dress Alteration Tips

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Here’s a list of wedding dress alteration tips that should help make the experience smooth and memorable:

Buy Your Dress Early

Wedding dress alterations require time above everything else, so buy your dress early. Sure, you only have three to four alteration appointments and fittings to attend to before the final fitting. 

It’s best to schedule a fitting eight to 12 weeks before the wedding day, with the final fitting no later than two weeks before your wedding. The more extensive the alterations, the more time-consuming they are, so if you’re reworking your dream wedding dress, budget time as well.

Bring a Supportive Friend or a Family Member

A friend or family member will make you feel more at ease and relaxed, function as an extra set of eyes, and assist you in documenting the experience. Most wedding salons also offer bridesmaid dresses, so bring your bridesmaids for a joint dress alteration experience.

Keep Your Anticipated Wedding Weight in Mind

Refrain from ordering a dress that is too small, hoping to diet into it by your wedding date. Instead, keep your expectations realistic, and order the appropriate size dress. It would be easier to let it in if you truly lose weight instead of letting it out. 

Consider a dress with structure, such as a built-in corset, which can be easily manipulated in terms of support. If you can’t find the dress you like, A-line silhouettes are fantastic for covering some lingering weight.

Bring Your Wedding Accessories

Don’t forget to bring your jewelry and other accessories, such as gloves that might influence your overall look. For example, the style of your gloves would influence the sleeve length, and your wedding necklace might help determine your neckline type and depth.

Wear Your Wedding Heels and Undergarments to Each Alteration

You should bring and wear your wedding heels and undergarments you’ll wear for your big day on each alteration appointment. This will help the stylist and tailor to obtain the proper fit. You want to wear the very same wedding shoes and undergarments you’ll be wearing at your wedding, including shapewear, for the best possible tailoring. 

Bringing in your wedding shoes is important, as it allows the tailor to adjust the hem. However, if you haven’t picked out your wedding shoes, bring a pair of height-compatible ones you’d wear on your special day.

Summary

Wedding dress alterations are perhaps the most complicated part of wedding dress shopping. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to take in a wedding dress than to let one out due to the limiting factors within the pattern and material. 

If you’re interested in learning more about wedding dresses, visit us at The Sposa Group — we offer a wide assortment of dresses of all styles, fit for all body types, as well as a library of various guides about wedding dresses.

Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Tips + Guide (2022)

Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Tips + Guide

Shopping for a wedding gown is as stressful as it gets. You have to book appointments, take measurements, deal and dispute with dress designers, all in hopes of finding a perfect dress. To help things go smoother, we composed the list of ultimate wedding dress shopping tips that will help you make wedding dress hunting into a fun and memorable experience.

18 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips You Need to Know

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To make the most out of your wedding dress shopping, don’t just hit the stores searching for a perfect dress. Instead, make a plan and take someone with you. Here are 18 wedding dress shipping tips you need to know before trying on your first dress:

Set a Budget

It’s easy to get too carried away when choosing a wedding gown and overstepping your budget. It’s best to set a number you’d be willing to spend on a bridal gown before going to a bridal salon. Setting a price range helps you narrow your choices and further refine your expectations while shopping for a perfect dress.

Start Shopping 9 to 12 Months Before Your Wedding

Shopping for a dream dress actually takes significantly longer than simply picking out a dress. While typical gowns take up to 10 months to produce, most bridal boutiques keep sample sizes of different wedding dress styles available right off the rack.

Pick a Date

Pick a date, schedule your appointments at the bridal shop, and try to schedule all your bridal salon appointments in one day. Having all the dresses fresh in your mind increases the odds of you choosing one faster.

Do Your Research

Doing your own research can help your bridal consultant in helping you choose the right dress. Research the best wedding dress for your body type and which accessories, like beading or lace, would help complement and enhance your appearance. In addition, you can check out various social media and Pinterest boards for dress ideas.

Choose Your Store

Choosing a store will likely be a budget-based decision, so it’s important to set your budget first. It will subsequently determine whether you’ll shop at major boutiques, small shops, chain stores, or anything in between. This may also include travel since major cities, such as New York City, have a broader selection of stores featuring designer dresses.

Make an Appointment

After you’ve picked the date and done your research, it’s time to make your first appointment and try the wedding dress on for the first time. Call your bridal salon ahead, and give them all the necessary details about your wedding planning

Bridal boutiques and retailers always keep notes of all the different styles you’d like to try, what’s your body shape, as well as notes about the wedding day and wedding venue. This information will help the boutique pull up several dresses that might be of interest to you in the hope of finding the one that’s perfect for your dream wedding.

Choose Your Bride Entourage

Take special care when selecting an entourage to accompany you on your dress hunt. Most salons can accommodate four or five guests at a time, including the bride, but it always pays to phone in and ask ahead, preferably when you’re scheduling your first appointment. Just make sure that your entourage is uplifting and understanding that the dress hunt is all about you.

Experiment

Knowing what you want in terms of dress style is extremely helpful to the stylists, but you should keep an open mind towards other dress styles. Don’t be afraid to try on something unconventional, like an ivory-colored dress instead of a white one.

Understand Your Body Shape

Forget about magazine covers; real brides come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to understand your body shape and learn which silhouettes compliment your body type the most.

Learn About Different Dress Styles

Different body shapes will fit into different dress styles, so it’s important to know which style fits your build. Some of the most common styles are a-line dress, mermaid style, ball gowns, slip dresses, and tea-length dresses.

Bring the Proper Clothes and Heels

When it comes to undergarments, nude-colored panties and going braless is the best possible approach. However, if you’re worried about support, most gowns are much more supportive than regular clothing. Make sure to bring along the heels you’d like to wear on a big day for dress alteration purposes

Try On Different Gowns

While there’s nothing wrong with buying the first dress you come across and deem it perfect, it’s still a good idea to hit the dressing room more than once. Try on different gowns, even if it’s just for fun.

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Be Aware of Your Costs

Keep the fun in moderation and resist the temptation of trying on gowns that are well beyond your budget. Instead, stick to your budget, which should factor in the cost of the dress, and all the necessary alterations.

Listen to Your Stylist 

Bridal stylists are wedding dress professionals with plenty of tailoring experience necessary to help you choose the perfect wedding dress. Not only that, but they’re more likely to give you an objective opinion as trained professionals.

Remember You Can Alter Your Dress

Picking out the perfect dress style is the easiest part. Your seamstress still has to alter the dress, like additional tailoring and adding various embellishments to the dress. Not to mention that you’d still have to go through a couple of fittings before you can truly say yes to the dress.

Take Plenty of Photos

Have your entourage take many photos of you in all the dresses you try on. This way, you’ll have a catalog on hand, which could help you compare the dresses and choose the one that fits you the best.

Save All Document

Most salons will require you to sign a contract and put down a deposit on the spot. This is pretty standard procedure across the industry. So, make sure to save all the documents, contracts, and receipts, in case you need them during the process.

Have Fun

A wedding dress hunt should be a memorable experience. Bring your bridesmaids, friends, or family, and make a memory of it. Go to brunch, try a few dresses, and turn into a fun dress shopping experience.

Summary

We hope our ultimate wedding dress shopping tips help you make informed decisions regarding your wedding dress while creating a fun and memorable dress shopping experience. 

If you’re looking for a perfect wedding dress, and brick-and-mortar salons couldn’t provide a specific cut you’ve set your eyes on, visit us at The Sposa Group — we offer a wide assortment of dresses of all styles, fit for all body types.