13 Top Factors to Consider when Choosing a Wedding Dress

Finding the perfect wedding dress online or in a boutique that makes you look enchantingly glamorous and takes the breath away from all, as you walk down the aisle, is one of the things a bride-to-be looks forward to most! But how do you find the dress of your dreams and what should you consider before choosing your wedding dress? Be prepared and read our 13 best tips to consider when choosing a dress below!

1. When should you start looking for your wedding dress?

Start looking early, at least 5 months in advance of when you want it to be ready. Keep time on your side because before your wedding dress is completed, it might need small alterations – and it is always a good idea give yourself time to prepare for the unexpected! If you have a specific boutique you want to order from, you should also call up in advance to find out their busy season and how long they require for the making process. If you need a rush order wedding dress, be prepared to pay for additional dress costs.

2. Set a budget when shoppign for wedding dresses online

Set a budget for yourself and stick to it and look for dresses within that price range. If you start looking at dresses outside of your budget, it can be more disheartening than not!

Another essential you should know before going wedding dress shopping is to determine who is paying for the dress. Is it your family, your partner or you? If someone else is paying, make sure you have a clear agreement on how much they are spending, and if the dress of your dreams is more than the budget allows, prepare to pay the difference personally. This way, there are no hard feelings or stress between those involved.

Tip! Leave a margin for unexpected costs. Designer wedding dresses online or in a store, alterations, and carefully handmade embroidery, crafted jewellery stones, crystals and beading will make your dress unique and beautiful, but they will also add to the overall cost.

3. Do your wedding dresses online research beforehand

You should always research before you start browsing through online and in-store collections. This helps you gain inspiration and have a much clearer idea of what you really like. Find local bridal boutiques and designers that make the styles you prefer and make sure they make the dresses within your budget. No one wants to find the beautiful dress, only to see that its well-above their price range.

4. Know your wedding theme, venue & season

Afina wedding dress from Dell'Amore Bridal's Ali D’Amore Collection
Kenzi wedding dress from Dell'Amore Bridal's Ali D’Amore Collection.

The wedding theme, venue location, and the season your ceremony will take place in are three essential factors to determine before shopping for that special dress.

From classic romance to fantasy and glamour designs, matching your wedding dress harmoniously with your overall wedding theme can bring the whole day together. The venue also plays an important role in determining while style of dress you choose. Do you want a flowing dress that will ruffle in the breeze of a beach wedding? Perhaps you want an elegant design to match a formal church setting, or even a fantasy design to complement an enchanting garden party wedding. If you’re having a summer wedding, light, flowing, layers with be the most comfortable. In contrast, choosing a dress made of heavier material that will keep you warm, is the best choice for a winter wedding. Similar to exploring wedding dresses online, it is great to research wedding themes and venues and what they can offer.

5. Do you want more than one wedding dress?

If it is within your budget, have a second wedding dress made of lighter material, without a long train billowing behind. This might sound crazy – but trust us! Wearing a heavier gown with a long train for the main ceremony is lovely, but in the afterparty, having something lighter to transition into after the main ceremony is over will make it a lot easier to enjoy the festivities and dance the night away!

6. Wedding gown shape

Elba wedding dress from the Floral Paradise Collection

Different shapes work for different body types, and depending on your shape and personal preference, you can use your dress to compliment your best features. Do you want a dress that shows off your waist? Or one with a low back that illuminates your beautiful skin? Consider what features you want to emphasis and decide which wedding dress silhouette you love the most.

7. Choose your dress fabric

Rara Avis long sleeves wedding dress Vanda decorated with flowers at Dell'Amore Bridal, NZ.4
Anasteisha wedding dress from the Waterfall collection by ange etoiles

The fabric you choose for your dress will make a big difference in how if flows and fits your physique. A dress made of heavier materials such as Mikado, silk shantung, taffeta, and guipure lace will smooth your figure and hold its shape beautifully. In contrast, flowing fabric like silk, lace and filmy chiffon will flow softly down, but also tend to show every curve. If you’re worried about feeling bloated at the afterparty of your wedding, consider choosing a thicker fabric for your dress design, or choose a dress silhouette that gives you the freedom to indulge.

8. Try the unexpected colourful wedding dresses!

If you are not sure what you like, or even if you are, be open-minded and try on beautiful colourful wedding dresses, traditional designs and trendy new wedding gowns. Trying on different, unique dress designs that you never considered before can be a fun and eye-opening experience. You might even fall in love with a completely new design you never considered before!

9. Sizing

Sizing is always a tricky business; you might be a size 10 in one boutique and a size 12 in another! Before you go to try on dress designs, make sure the bridal shops you are interested in stock a size range that suits your body type. If you are getting a custom-made dress, have a professional take your measurements for the most accurate results. You should also let your seamstress know if you are planning on losing weight before your wedding, so they can take that into account when making your dress.

In general, having a larger size dress is better than having one that is a bit too tight because larger sizes are more easily adjustable. It’s always better to have a comfortable size that you can enjoy wearing on the day, rather than a size that’s constricting or difficult to sit in.

10. Prepare to try on many gowns

Don’t be disheartened if the first gown you try isn’t for you. Once you have narrowed your selection form shopping wedding dresses online, try on different dresses, take breaks, try on some more! Slowly, you will start knowing what styles you love the most and what works for your body. At some point down the line, while drying on the umpteenth dress of the day, you will glance in the mirror and hear wedding bells ring and know that you have found the one!  

11. Bring the right undergarment & heels

Blanche lingerie from the J'Adore Bridal Lingerie Collection

If you are trying on strapless dresses or form-fitting silhouettes, wearing the wrong underwear can be distracting and make the dress look less desirable than it really is! So, make sure to bring undergarments that blend well and can be worn under varying styles. Usually a nude thong and a strapless bra is the best choice of undergarment to wear. You can also bring shapewear along if you like.

On top of this, make sure to bring a pair of heels of similar height to the ones you will wear on your wedding day, so you can accurately judge the length of the dress.

12. Choose who to bring with you

It might feel hard to narrow down your list of friends and family to bring wedding dress shopping with you, but it is definitely better to have one or two close friends supporting you, rather than a whole party of people. If you bring a large entourage, it will make choosing a dress more difficult and you might accidentally choose a dress somebody else loves but you don’t. So, choose your support crew wisely and just bring one or two people with you.

13. Have fun with photos

Make sure to take lots of photos and pose from different angles! Sometimes lighting and mirrors can be deceptive, or you just cannot make up your mind at the time. Taking lots of photos will make for wonderful memories later and you can use them now to review your options and help you you’re your mind up on which dress is best.

Book a Free Bridal Appointment Today

Explore our wedding dresses online for more wedding dress inspiration and if you are ready to find the dress of your dreams, book an appointment with us today. All our bridal consultations are free and last for one hour each, so you will have plenty of time to discuss your ideas with us!Don’t forget to check our Instagram for the latest trends and designs.