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Event :: Wedding Dress Shopping {Tips and Advice}

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Toronto Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer :: M Studio Life
Going wedding dress shopping for my sister’s upcoming wedding was a unique experience.  Because I’m heavily involved in the wedding industry, wedding gowns seemed like an obvious thing to me, but the process/choices can be overwhelming to the average person, especially when it’s all new to them.  Here were some things/tips to keep in mind when shopping for a dress :

1) Weight
A wedding gown can be quite heavy, especially with all the beading, detail, or layers.  Decide if you’d like something light and easy to wear throughout the day, or if you’re up for the challenge of wearing something heavy! However, you may have to train for it, so you’re not too tired on your wedding day!

2) Colour
White, Off-White, Diamond White, Ivory, Cream, Champagne…who knew there were so many colours variances of white to choose from for a gown?!  Something diamond white has a more cool tone vs something cream may have a warm tone. See which flatters your skin tone when you try it on. Also keep these colours in mind when purchasing jewelry and your veil.  Usually it should match in the tone.  My sister was going to order a veil online and almost accidently bought an ivory veil, when her dress is diamond white.  Also keep in mind jewelry — silver/crystals/diamonds vs pearls vs gold — make sure it goes well with your dress tone!

3) Shape
Finding a dress shape that flatters your body.  My sister tried on probably over 10 dresses and found the A-line shaped dresses flattered her body best.  Usually the dress consultant can help and make suggestions, since most dress fittings are by appointment only.  Keep in mind that if you decide to get a Princess-Type of “poofy” dress, consider the ease of getting in and out of the limo and/or the ease of sitting to eat.  Also, do you want the train of your dress dragging on the floor vs finishing right at your feet.  Be sure to bring proper heels to your fitting, so you’re at the right height when trying on your dress. And wear a strapless bra and/or the undergarments you think you would wear on the day to be sure no garment lines are showing if you’re wearing a tight fitted dress.  Also, keep in mind, most wedding gowns you have to go up one size.  So if you’re normally a size 6, you may have to try on size 8.  The type of dress is important too — strapless / sweetheart / asymmetric / spaghetti straps / short sleeves / halter — how comfortable are you showing off your shoulders and/or back?

4) Material Choice
Chiffon, lace, silk, organza, satin — everything drapes and hangs differently even if the style is the same.  Consider the texture, look and feel. The material you choose may also affect the weight of the dress. Some may look more expensive and some may have a more vintage and/or modern feel. Some are flowy and romantic.  Know the theme/feel of your wedding and look you’re going for.

5) Budget
Know your budget and your expectations.  My sister was on a budget, so she chose a store that had a clearance section.  If you’re someone with NO budget, perhaps getting a custom Vera Wang may be in order! Also, a lot of times if you fit a dress perfectly in the store and buy the one off the rack, you can often get a discount for it.  If you have to order the correct size, you’ll be paying full price.  If you need to make alterations, it can be quite costly.  Some people like to order online, just be sure they give exact measurements before purchasing, because as mentioned before, sometimes your wedding gown can be one size up from what you’re used to wearing.  Some people feel since they are only wearing the dress for one day, that it makes better sense to rent.  Or even used dresses can be a good option.

Buying a wedding dress can be such a daunting task, just be patient and go in with an open mind.  It’s best to just bring one person with you that you trust and have similar taste/style. If you bring too many people with opposing opinions, it could get quite confusing for the bride. You’ll eventually get that “ah-ha” moment once you try on the perfect one for you! And when you do, congratulations! Happy Dress Hunting everyone!

Photo+Words : Maggie // M Studio Life
Location : Windsor Bridal

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