Selecting the perfect wedding dress is a significant milestone for any bride. With so many styles, fabrics, and designers to choose from, the process can feel overwhelming. To help you navigate this exciting journey, here are top tips from a professional bridal stylist to ensure you find the gown of your dreams.

Understand Your Body Type

Every bride is unique, and understanding your body type is crucial in finding a dress that enhances your best features. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Hourglass: Dresses that cinch at the waist and flare out, such as mermaid or trumpet styles, are perfect for showcasing curves.
  • Pear-Shaped: A-line dresses can balance your silhouette by accentuating your waist and flowing gracefully over your hips.
  • Apple-Shaped: Empire waist and ball gown dresses can draw attention to your bust and shoulders while creating a flattering silhouette.
  • Athletic: Sheath and column dresses can complement a toned figure, while a belted waist can add curves.
  • Petite: Avoid overwhelming your frame with too much fabric; opt for slim, elongated styles like sheath or A-line.

Start with Research

Before hitting the bridal boutiques, spend some time researching different styles. Browse bridal magazines, Pinterest boards, and Instagram accounts to gather inspiration. This will help you understand what you like and dislike, making your shopping experience more focused and productive.

Set a Budget

Wedding dresses come in a wide range of prices, so it’s essential to establish a budget before you start shopping. Remember to account for additional costs such as alterations, accessories, and shoes. Communicate your budget to your bridal stylist to ensure they only show you dresses within your price range.

Book Appointments Early

Bridal boutiques often require appointments, especially on weekends. Book your appointments well in advance to secure a spot with your preferred stylist. Aim to start shopping at least nine months before your wedding date to allow ample time for ordering and alterations.

Be Open-Minded

While it’s great to have a vision for your wedding dress, be open to trying on different styles. A dress that looks unremarkable on the hanger might transform into your dream gown once you try it on. Trust your bridal stylist’s expertise and be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

Focus on Fit and Comfort

Your wedding day will be filled with activities, from walking down the aisle to dancing at the reception. Ensure your dress is not only beautiful but also comfortable. Pay attention to how the dress fits and moves with you. Sit, walk, and dance around the fitting room to ensure you feel at ease.

Choose the Right Fabric

The fabric of your wedding dress can significantly impact its overall look and feel. Here are some popular options:

  • Silk: Luxurious and timeless, silk drapes beautifully and feels exquisite against the skin.
  • Lace: Adds a romantic and vintage touch, perfect for classic and bohemian brides.
  • Satin: Smooth and glossy, satin provides a formal and elegant appearance.
  • Tulle: Lightweight and airy, tulle is ideal for creating volume without added weight.
  • Organza: Sheer and crisp, organza offers structure while maintaining a delicate look.

Consider the Venue and Season

Your wedding venue and the season will influence your dress choice. For a beach wedding, lightweight fabrics and simple designs are ideal, while a grand ballroom might call for a more elaborate gown. Consider the climate as well; a heavy, long-sleeved dress may not be suitable for a summer wedding.

Bring the Right Undergarments

When trying on dresses, wear nude, seamless undergarments to ensure a smooth fit. If you have already chosen your wedding shoes, bring them along to see how they pair with the dresses. Some boutiques may provide shoes for trying on, but having your own will give you a more accurate idea of the overall look.

Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, the perfect wedding dress is the one that makes you feel confident, beautiful, and like a bride. Trust your instincts and choose the gown that speaks to you, even if it’s not what you initially envisioned.


Finding your perfect wedding dress is a memorable and exciting journey. By understanding your body type, doing thorough research, setting a budget, and trusting the expertise of your bridal stylist, you can confidently navigate the process and find a gown that makes you shine on your special day. Remember to enjoy the experience and happy dress hunting!

By Chris Bates