How To Find Your Perfect Wedding Dress

How To Find Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Chances are, if you find yourself reading this article, you’ve begun the search for your wedding gown. Welcome to this fun journey! Of course, hunting for the perfect wedding gown can seem overwhelming and exhausting at times, so we’ve drawn up a handy guide with tips on how to find your dream wedding dress. From where to begin before you set foot in a wedding gown boutique to what to do once you’ve found the gown (SPOILER: stop looking!) we’ve got you covered!

Photo: Metasheep

Determine Your Bridal Style
Before you dive into the white sea of tulle, you might find it useful to just spend time thinking about what is important to you in your wedding gown and asking some questions. What style or designers appeal keep you coming back for a second look? What materials, length and even color do you like? Think too about your style personality. From The Romantic to The Siren, this post on different wedding dress personalities is a great tool to get you started.

Knowing the time of day and venue style for your wedding will also help guide your dress style.

Set a Budget
Early on in the search is a great time to set a budget for your wedding dress, before emotions get involved. There’s a dress for every budget, but don’t tempt yourself by trying dresses on that are outside of yours. Keep in mind too that many dresses go on to a second life and are resold to a new bride, just like here on PreOwnedWeddingDresses! It’s a great way to recoup some of your cash (or save upfront) and still enjoy an amazing bridal style.

Gather Inspiration
Maybe you’re not sure what your dream wedding dress looks like, so get inspired! Check out the PreOwnedWeddingDresses boards on Pinterest to get your fill of wedding dresses and start a wedding dress board for yourself. We’re always pinning something pretty, in all silhouettes, styles and budgets.  Watch to see the trends or patterns that emerge from your Pins….and you’ll see your bridal style come to life.

Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress |
Photo: ^ Missi ^

Time to Try: Inside the Salon
Make appointments at bridal salons as needed, six to nine months out from your wedding date, if possible. Weekends are the busiest times, but most bridal salons will have one night they are open late to work around your schedule. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes at the height you are thinking you might like to wear on your wedding day. Some salons suggest you wear a strapless bra to trials, but don’t buy a bra specifically for your wedding gown until you begin the fitting and alterations process. Don’t know your ballgowns from trumpets? Getting savvy on wedding dress silhouettes and shapes will educate you on the differences and make you feel like a pro.

Who (and What) to Bring
Gather a list key bridal party members, excited confidantes and trusted fashion advisors you’d like to bring along, but tailor the list to a select few.  Opinions are important, but too many cooks in the kitchen might cause confusion not clarity.

Make a day of your salon visits and combine the trip with a hair trial or spa day beforehand so you feel and look your best. Keep makeup to a minimum as it can damage the gowns, but wearing your hair like you think you’ll want it on your wedding day will help you envision the walk down the aisle.

Photo: Mark Samsom
Photo: Mark Samsom

Keep an Open Mind
Most importantly during the process, stay open minded. Bridal consultants are experienced professionals who can suggest what works best for certain body types and figures. Countless brides will tell you the dress they loved most was the one they were reluctant to even try on.

Visualizing alterations is important too. If all that separates a dress from your dream gown is sleeves or a certain neckline, they may be added or changed. The same goes for detailing like beading, crinolines and crystals, which often can be added (or removed) as well.

How to Know When It’s Your Dress
You just will. Monique Lhuillier says when you find the dress “it sings to you.”  You’ll feel your most beautiful, and look it too.

When You’ve Found the Gown
Once you’ve found the dress and put a deposit down – stop doing everything above! Be confident in your choice, and revel in the fact that that luxurious, delicious dress you found will be on hand to help you look amazing on your wedding day, perfectly tailored to your gorgeous curves.  Sleep easy knowing this happy part of wedding planning is now complete!

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The Best Wedding Dress for Your Shape | Apple

Wondering where to start with your wedding dress search?  Start with the fun part – browsing online and in magazines to find the dresses that make your heart beat a little faster and force you to take a second, (and third and forth) look.

At the same time, find out which dresses will look best on your shape.  So that you’ll know which of the gowns you like will look the best on you.

If you have an apple body shape – meaning you are top heavy and then get smaller from the waist down, these these style tips will help lead you to the dress that looks best on you:

  1. Use lower/plunging necklines draw attention upwards. V-neck and sweetheart necklines are great options.
  2. Elongate your silhouette with a high waistline and a skirt that flows away from the body. Empire waistlines and A-line silhouettes are best for this
  3. Consider showing off your legs with knee or tea length dresses.
  4. Skip: Mermaids and Trumpets, they will accentuate the widest part of your frame and flare at the slimmest.  Ballgowns because they won’t elongate your silhouette. Straight Across Strapless necklines because they  won’t accentuate your bustline.

You can find even more gowns that look great on apple figures by use our shape calculator to shop by your shape.



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The Best Wedding Dress For Your Shape | Rectangle

Still looking for “THE” dress?  Finding the wedding gown that makes your heart skip a beat is about all about finding one that expresses your style AND flatters your shape.

For brides with a rectangular shape – defined as shoulders and hips are about the same width without a lot of waist definition – these three style tips can help you find the dress that takes your breath away.

Style tips for rectangles:

  1. Create the illusion of curves by drawing attention upwards (strapless, v-neck, one shoulder) or towards the hem (Mermaid)
  2. Define your waistline. An empire waist will showcase the smallest part of your torso. Or a beaded detail or colored sash around the natural waistline will create definition.
  3. Skip: Halter and High Neck, they will make shoulders look narrow and as a result will not flatter your waist. Also skip Sheaths as they will make you look boxy

Here are just of the few gowns that will look stunning on you:

Want to find your shape? Use our shape finder and enter your measurements to find the wedding dresses that will look amazing on you.

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The Best Wedding Dress For Your Shape | Hourglass

Finding “THE” dress is as much about finding the dress that expresses your style as it is about finding one that flatters your shape. Almost every bride has a story about the moment she knew she found her dress…and the journey to that exciting moment will go a little faster if you know where to start.

If you have an hourglass shape (think Scarlett Johansson, Kate Elizabeth Winslet, and Catherine Zeta Jones’, full bust and hips and defined waistline) then you have TONS of options for gowns that will flatter.

Style tips for hourglass brides are all about showcasing your proportioned body shape and curves. Almost any wedding dress will do this, but memaids, trumpets and sheaths do it best.  And an embellished belt is a great way to highlight your waistline. Really, the only thing you’ll want to avoid are empire waistlines, because they hide the slimmest part of your waist.

Here are some gowns that look stunning on hourglass brides:

Want to find your shape? Use our shape finder and enter your measurements to find the wedding dresses that will look amazing on you.

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