Happy 2017! Chances are that you know someone who recently got engaged, as one third of engagements happen between November and January. Maybe you were the lucky person to get a ring! If you’re wedding planning, or know someone who is, I’ve got the perfect guide to how to pick your wedding dress based on your style, budget, and body type.
Define Your Wedding Style BEFORE Looking at Dresses
Before deciding on a dream dress – and even looking at dresses if you can bear the wait! – you should first (with your fiance of course) decide what kind of vibe you would like your wedding to have. Do you want a garden wedding? A dress with a lot of structure might be uncomfortable in your bohemian setting. Are you having a New Year’s Eve wedding? You’ll want a dress that is festive (aka sparkly!) but also accounts for the weather. Getting married on the beach? A ballgown will pick up tons of sand. Walking down the aisle of your grandparents’ church? A dress with cutouts will probably earn you some gasps – not in a good way!
Create a Budget
Your overall wedding budget will impact how much you can spend on your wedding dress, so first figure out how much money you would like to spend on a wedding. Although there are averages out there, weddings truly can range from $1,000 to $1,000,000 (ignoring the celebrities who spend even more!), so don’t get stuck on what a wedding, or your wedding dress “should” cost. If you’re blessed with an “unlimited” budget (nothing is unlimited folks!), still aim to try on dresses at every price point – you’d be surprised what you can get for $1000 or even less!
Identify Your Ideal Silhouette
Budget and wedding style in mind, it’s time to think about the silhouette you would like to wear on your big day. So many factors come into play when thinking about silhouettes. For one, your body type may influence the kind of dress you plan to wear – if you’re very busty (lucky you girl!) a strapless dress may be uncomfortable; if you’re really petite, a ballgown may overwhelm you. You should also think about how much you want to eat and dance at your wedding – trust me it matters! If you’re having a serious backyard BBQ chowdown wedding (I’m drooling thinking about it!), a form fitting dress won’t give you enough space to enjoy your food. And if you’re planning on getting low low low low low low low low (… searches for my Apple Bottom Jeans lol), make sure you choose a dress that lets you get your groove on.
Now that you’ve sorted out your overall wedding style, your budget, and some silhouettes that you have in mind, it’s time to try on dresses!
Try On Dresses with David’s Bridal Meet the Stylist
David’s Bridal invited me in for an appointment, where I was able to meet with a bridal consultant and try on lots of dresses from various designers to help me figure out what I wanted to wear for the wedding! I visited the David’s Bridal in Paramus, NJ, which was a quick uber ride for both me and my darling friend & bridesmaid, Nykeba, and we spent 3 hours playing in dresses alongside our consultant Thea. Since we went in the middle of the day, there was only 1 other bride in the store, giving us all the time (and space) in the world to really explore.
Long before my appointment, when Jonathan and I talked about what we wanted our wedding to be like, one word came to mind – classy (of course!). We wanted everything to be chic, elegant, and sophisticated, and chose our wedding colors of black, white, and gold to reflect the luxe vibes we wanted to convey. With this in mind, I knew that I would want a dress that matched the formal elegance of our wedding. In terms of budget, my parents had offered to pay for my dress (thanks guys!), so luckily I could try on everything at David’s Bridal – all their dresses are below $2000. In terms of a silhouette, I am small-chested but I do have some hips, so I knew I wanted to accentuate those with a form fitted style.
Before the fun part of playing dress up, Thea asked me about my wedding, my fiance, as well as my style or if there were any designers I had in mind. With that information she chose three very personalized dresses for us to start with, and led me to my changing room! One great thing about my David’s Bridal appointment was that they provided both shoes and undergarments to wear while trying on dresses, so I could get a better sense of exactly how a dress would fit me and whether the length would need to be altered.
In total, I tried on 8 dresses from the designers Truly Zac Posen, Galina, Oleg Cassini, and Jewel collections, ranging in price from $800-$2000. I mostly tried on mermaid and trumpet style dresses in different fabrics, with various amounts of bling, different trains, beading, embroidery, etc. Interestingly enough, some of the styles I’d saved to Pinterest that I swore I loved – like long sleeved lace – ended up looking terrible on me. That’s why it’s so important to go to a wedding dress appointment with an open mind! I even tried on an array of veils and headpieces – luckily my hair was in an updo so it was easy to quickly add a sparkly comb or a cathedral length veil to complete the look.
I can’t show you my ultimate favorite dress (duh!), but here are a few that I loved for different reasons. Which do you like best?
If you’re in the hunt for a wedding dress anytime soon, be sure to make an appointment to meet a stylist at the David’s Bridal closest to you. Before you go, figure out your wedding style, budget, and preferred silhouette, and you just might walk away with your dream dress!
This post is in collaboration with David’s Bridal, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support IjeomaKola.com!