Wedding Photographer Blog

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress

Shannon Arney - Monday, June 13, 2016
How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress

Wedding dress shopping with your girls is supposed to be fun and delightful experience. You are playing real life dress up after all! Then why do so many brides feel anxious and overwhelmed by the process?  With so many options out there we completely understand.  Finding that dream wedding dress isn't always a cakewalk, but following our wedding dress selection guidelines can help alleviate any stressors and allow to focus on the fun! 


How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress


Knowing your wedding venue and the time of your wedding ceremony is extremely helpful to focusing the wedding dress styles involved in your search.  If you are planning a rustic-chic barn wedding you can rule out ball gowns adorned with glistening sequins and lavish trains.  Even time of year can impact your selection. Planning a summer wedding-stick to lightweight fabrics like linen or chiffon to help keep cool. 

Bride poses for portraits and details shots of her beatuiful wedding gown. Our Winstom Salem bride, Sara poses for her bridal portraits on the college lawn to show off her wedding gown.


Another critical factor to wedding dress selection - money!  Make sure you have a budget nailed down prior to walking through the door of a bridal boutique. You do not want to fall in love with a wedding gown you can't afford. When developing your budget keep in mind the cost of a veil or hair piece and alternations need to be included. The dress may also require professional pressing once it is in your hands which could add a few hundred to your wedding dress budget.

Learn the Lingo:

Do your research before you journey off with your bridesmaids to try on dresses. You are going to want to know your wedding dress lingo so you can accurately describe your dream gown.  I'm not sure about you, but dolman sleeves and a bateau neckline are NOT part of my everyday vocabulary. Doing your research has never been this easy!  The Bridal Guide has put together The Ultimate Wedding Gown Glossary so you can begin your search prepared.


Bride shows off her bold accessory choices in her bridal portraits in Upwtown Charlotte NCDaLice poses in Uptown Charlotte.  She most certainly kept her wedding accessories in mind when making wedding dress selection.

Bring Accessories:

If there is a particular necklace, bracelet, or hairpiece you want to wear on your wedding day, bring it with you!  You will most certainly want to try on these accessories when wedding dress shopping. If you have always dreamed of wearing your grandmother's pearls with your wedding gown there is no better time to ensure it looks great with your selection.

Plan Ahead:

You will want to begin your search early; it is suggested you start 6-9 months before you say "I do."  Remember - it takes time for wedding dresses to be manufactured, delivered and altered.  Decide on which bridal boutiques you want to visit and call to ensure they have availability on the day you plan to shop. It is always best to shop on a weekday in order to avoid crowds and ensure you have the undivided attention of the bridal consultant. 

Keep an Open Mind:

The whole process can become overwhelming for many brides.  It helps to keep an open mind (definitely a phrase you will become to loathe.  You will hear it often!)  Trust in your wedding dress consultant and that they know more about what will flatter your body type than you may.  However, this does not mean you should ever feel pressured into purchasing a dress you do NOT love. 

Bride poses for a photo prior to her wedding ceremony at Carrigan Farms. Our very own Starling shows off her sleek and elegant wedding gown just prior to the start of her wedding ceremony.

Tell Us What You Think:

Been there, done that?  We would love to hear from brides that have found the wedding gown of their dreams.  How did your adventure go? 

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They worked with me and my husband (who isn't as social as I am) to make us feel comfortable with our photo sessions, and were very organized on our wedding day. Each picture is breathtaking! I just wish all the photos weren't so's hard to choose which ones I want to put in an album!!!

Emily & Andrew

Emily & Andrew