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How to choose that wedding dress

The most important thing that comes to mind once you have decided to tie the knot with that special someone is finding the perfect dress! The dress that you have always dreamed of since you were a little girl, the dress that will be captured in all your photos and memories, the dress that is just made for you and you alone. But how do you go about finding THE ONE?
I suppose the most important aspect is YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL STYLE. Do you have a vision in your head of something you have seen in a bridal magazine, have you been to a wedding and admired the bride’s choice of dress or do you just know what suits you? Does your partner have an influence over your choice or do your nearest and dearest influence you in your decision making?
Let’s start at practical influences before you grab your bride tribe and hit the shops!

wedding dress

Body type and personal style

Are you a rock chick or are you a hippy chick? Do you like to watch old fashioned films and would love to be Marylin Monroe for the day? Or do you want a contemporary style to follow one of your current fashion icons? Do you want to go for the traditional white wedding dress, or do you prefer cream or ivory? Are you a closet goth and would love to wow your guests in red or black? Or would you like something different to the traditional white and go for pale pink or blush? 
Understanding your body shape is so important and will put you in a win-win situation, avoiding a wardrobe malfunction.  A mermaid-style dress might look flawless on your favourite celebrity, but it might not fit your figure or make you feel comfortable. There are no limits on what you can wear on your big day, but try to choose the dress shape that suits your personality and body type.

Let’s look at some of the most popular dress shapes and body types:

The A-Line style

The A-Line style is slim on top, fitted through the waist, and softly flaring away from the body. Shaped like the letter “A”, this silhouette is flattering for most body types. This style offers more volume than a mermaid or sheath, but less than a ball gown.

The Mermaid style is perfect for an hourglass figure

This ultra-feminine and sexy style is fitted to the body’s curves from neckline to knee, and then flares out close to the knee. This flare can be dramatic and voluminous or romantic and sweeping. Again, multiple layers of underskirts and tulle create volume. A wide range of necklines is available with this style. This dress hugs the torso then flares out from around the knee. It will be too tight for kneeling or dancing, however.

The Empire style

The Empire style dress features a high waist that hits just under the bustline for an airy, fluid look. This type of dress can camouflage a short waist and heavy lower body and would be great for apple or pear shapes. The bodice area is small and often strapless, with a fabric belt that cinches in the high waistline. These dresses are very flattering and feminine.

The Ballerina style

The Ballerina style is traditionally thought of as a length rather than a silhouette, the ballerina dress is great for showing off your ankles and legs. This quirky dress will look great in a vintage-style wedding.

The Ballgown style

The Ballgown style is the classic choice for a formal wedding, – A true fairy- tale dress fit for a princess.  and has a boned bodice and a full skirt supported by crinolines, several underskirts and tulle layers.. If you are not very tall, make sure that your ball gown is perfectly tailored to fit your size. Brides can choose a bodice that is simple or one covered in bling depending on your preference. Sleeveless and sweetheart necklines are common for ball gowns.

The Sheath style

The Sheath style, also known as the column, is a sleek and sophisticated dress with a close-fitting shape that outlines every curve. You need to be very confident about your body, as this dress can be a little unforgiving. Clingy fabric like silk or satin adds to this sleek, but the light gown. Sheaths have simple silhouettes and several bodice options and are a contemporary choice for modern brides.

A row of white wedding dresses available for decoration hire.

Have you chosen the right one for you?

Once you have chosen the shape of dress for you, there are some other factors for you to consider:

Time of year:

A summer wedding would suit a lightweight dress, short-sleeved or sleeveless. An autumn or winter wedding however would require more thought of weather conditions with a jacket or shawl to save you from cold or wet weather. Fabric is also a consideration as you probably would not go for heavy velvet for a summer wedding.

The location of your venue:

A religious ceremony will require a level of decorum in your dress style, whereas a long-sleeved dress with a long train would not be practical for a wedding set on a beach.
The theme of your wedding:
Will it be held indoors or outdoors? Is it going to be an intimate or grand reception? Questions like these play a great deal in determining the kind of dress you should wear. It’s your wedding day and you have the right to wear anything you want, but we’re sure you agree that a dramatic ball gown won’t fit in an intimate al fresco wedding.


The budget that you have decided on will also play a huge role in the dress that you eventually decide on. An extravagant wedding gown with hand-embroidered beads and crystals will not come with a cheap price tag.

Where to shop?

We have been crushing over Sophie Grace Bridal for a whole year now! The dresses are elegant, detailed and timeless. They are located in Berkshire like us, so head over for a fabulous day of trying on those gorgeous dresses! With so many styles to chose from you will be spoilt for choice
Now that you know what kind of dress you’re looking for, it’s time to grab your girls together and try out some wedding gowns. Be sure to have the best day, but remembering the following practical tips will be sure to make your day both successful and enjoyable.

Make sure you pack a bag with the exact underwear that you’ll be wearing under the dress—and that means everything! That means you’ll need to buy every item you need before the first fitting.

Don’t forget the shoes that you’ll be wearing on the wedding day to ensure that your dress has the correct hem length.
Bringing your nearest and dearest along will ensure you have a second pair of eyes and some honest feedback to help you choose correctly.
Get one of your tribe to bring a camera so someone can take photos of you. It’s a wonderful moment to document and share with others who could not join you.
Wear minimal or no makeup. You don’t want makeup to rub off on any of the dresses that you try on. Alternatively, the bridal store can usually provide a makeup protector that prevents makeup from transferring onto the dress.

Finally, arrange for the front of the dress to be hemmed an inch shorter than the back to help prevent you from catching the toe of your shoe in the hem and tripping.
Now you are fully prepared, you can rest easy knowing you have covered all bases! All that’s left to do is daydream about the perfect day to come.
For inspiration on styling the perfect day, take a look at our website.