How to choose the wedding dress of your dreams

You remember. Barbie is wearing a poofy, tooly, sparkling wedding dress as your itty bitty six year old hand bops her down the aisle to your sweet hum of “here comes the bride.” Ken, brown bear, and an assembly of stuffed animal friends look on, patiently waiting for the tea party reception.

It’s a sweet memory, but one which every girl dreams of recreating. And what is it that we never forget? The dream of that poofy, tooly, sparkling wedding dress. The dress where we feel most like the princesses we are.

So it’s finally our day to find it. But how? With so many options, opinions and pressures, how do we return to simplicity? Well, by taking a page from our six year old memories. Think back to what that dress looked like, then use these do’s and don’t’s to help guide those memories into reality!

DO focus first on finding the best wedding dress silhouette for you.

Buttons and ruffles

Details are important—a long row of teensy pearl buttons and a well-placed ruffle or two can mean the difference between a good wedding dress and a great one. But before you start nitpicking the details, first figure out the silhouette that works best for you. Apple shape, pear shape? Go with what fits YOU.

DON’T pick a wedding dress just because it’s trendy now.


Trendy wedding dresses won’t necessarily stand the test of time—flip through your parents’ wedding album for evidence of that. A gown should be timeless. When you feel sexy and glamorous in a gown that has both modern and traditional elements, and you feel like a better version of yourself when you’re wearing it, you’ve found your timeless gown. It’s something that will never go out of style.

DO bring your camera wedding dress shopping (if the boutique allows it).

Photograph your dress possibilities instead of putting all your trust in the mirror, because mirrors are used to sell dresses, but cameras don’t lie. You’ll be looking at the photos of this dress for years to come, so it’s best to know how it photographs from all angles. One potential hiccup: Some boutiques don’t allow dress photography. Call ahead to see if you can take a few snaps for decision-making purposes only.

DON’T try on too many wedding dresses.

It’s possible for you to suffer wedding dress overload (and total panic) if you feel like you must try on 20 different dresses at each salon you visit. Too many choices and too many places can add stress and confusion. Nine times out of 10, you will go back to your first salon and order your favorite gown anyway, so go with your gut. Or suggestion is to find a bridal salon that carries your top three designers and “gets” your style.

DO wear a gorgeous bra when you’re trying on wedding dresses.


On wedding dress try-on day, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your skivvies. Admiring your pretty new bra between gowns will make you feel much more positive than catching a glimpse of the ratty old gray one you’ve had for years. Plus, a well-fitting bra can actually help in your search. Many women don’t realize the power of having well-fitted undergarments. Go to a department store that has a bra fit specialist, or a lingerie shop, and get fitted for a new bra. You are going to be wearing a gorgeous dress on your wedding day, so there’s no excuse for wearing a bra you’ve had since college.

DON’T freak out about wedding dress sizing.

Bridal gowns run two to three sizes larger [than your regular size]. Once you get your head around that, be realistic; pay attention to how it looks, not what the label reads.

DO ask lots of questions while trying on wedding dresses.


You should always ask yourself a few questions to make sure the dress you love not only makes you feel spectacular but also works for the activities of the day. Make sure you have the answers to these: Do I feel beautiful, confident and comfortable? Can I dance in it? Can I sit down? Am I self-conscious about any part of my body in my dress?

And the most important question? Is this the dress I’ve always dreamed about.


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