Get Your FREE Brand Photoshoot Workbook + Checklist

Top 5 Wedding Dress Tips

Looking for a wedding dress is a super excited but also overwhelming process.  If you’re feeling pressure to find the wedding dress of your dreams don’t worry, it’s typical. Here are the top 5 wedding dress tips:

Tip #1 – Know your budget.

Don’t go wedding dress shopping until you’ve finalized your budget.  This way, you are strategic in what vendors are the most important.  Often time, when you create a budget, you’ll revise it to spend more in the areas that matter the most and lessen another area due to overall importance.  I’ve seen articles that say 10-15% of your total wedding budget should be your wedding dress budget, but that is merely a starting point and not a hard and fast rule.  You will also need alternations (on average about $500) and you need to consider a veil, belt, and preserving your gown, if you choose those.

Once you’ve arrived at the budget for your dress, schedule an appointment.  Make sure that you tell the consultant your budget the minute you arrive.  This way they won’t show you dresses that are outside of your budget.  There is nothing worse than trying on a dress you love only to find out that it’s $1,000 more than what you budgeted for.

Tip #2 – Try on several silhouettes and let the salesperson make recommendations.

There are some basic wedding dress shapes.  A-line, ball gown, mermaid, column/sheath, empire, and princess are the most common. There are variations but most dresses fall into one of those categories.  You want to wear a shape that is the MOST flattering to your body.  You might be surprised at what looks good on you. My daughter and I always envisioned a ball gown for her.  When she tried on a mermaid type halter dress, she knew instantly that was her dress and I totally agreed. Remember that consultants are the experts, so it’s smart to allow them to recommend a dress or two along with your picks.

Once you arrive at the silhouette that is the most flattering on your, you can then pick the details and style that you love the most.  Don’t buy the dress that will look great on you once you lose 20 pounds, buy the dress that looks good on your body when you try it on today. It will still look great if you lose those 20 pounds. You have to dress the body you have, not the body you want and that’s especially true for a garment that could be unflattering on many levels.

wedding dress nap 2018

Tip #3 – Don’t bring a billion people with you to try on wedding dresses.

TV shows tend to make it look like you need to bring every one of your female relatives, friends, and neighbors to help with the dress search.  It is an exciting time and getting other opinions sounds good in theory but when was the last time four or more people in your family agreed on anything? Everyone has different opinions of their “dream dress”.   Ultimately, you’re the one wearing it.  You’re the one who will look back on these images over the years, so your opinion is the only one that really matters.   Consider who’s advice you have found valuable in the past and just select a few people, even if that means not bringing your mom.

Tip #4 – Consider the ceremony location.

Ultimately, you can do whatever you want, but it’s smart to consider your location and the possible pitfalls that could occur.  A white cocktail dress with a mini-skirt might not be perfect for your church wedding due to modesty. If you’re having a beach wedding it might be a good idea to skip the ball gown with the 10 foot train, unless you enjoy wrestling with yards of fabric while standing on sand and in the sun.  A stunning strapless dress with thin fabric may be beautiful, but will it work with an outdoor wedding in December?  If you are set on a specific type of dress, consider a ceremony location that will compliment the dress.  You have to choose the most important thing to you on your wedding day and that is the dress so go all out and pick it first.

Tip #5 – Schedule your wedding dress appointment early in the day.

When you are wedding dress shopping, being one of the first appointments of the day has a lot of benefits!  You’re sure to get an energetic, fresh bridal store staff that hasn’t dealt with the concerns/complaints of a million clients already.  Also, the store will likely be less crowded, and you’ll get the full attention of your consultant.


Once you say “Yes to the Dress” consider getting the bridesmaids dresses at the same location.  Sometime bridal stores will offer a discount because you purchased your dress there.

Jen Vazquez Photography wedding in the woods at Redwood Retreat at Fernwood Cellars


Consider the following vendors who worked on the image above:

Photographer | Jen Vazquez Photography  Bride & Bridesmaid Dress | Epiphany Bridal Boutique   Venue | Redwood Retreat at Fernwood Cellars  Florist | Dubon Floral Designs   HMUA | The Makeup Dolls   Cake | Bay Cakes   Videography | Weddings and Motion  Stationary | Kelly Design Co.

Like this article?

Share on Pinterest
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkdin

Leave a comment


Capturing Family Joy: Top Tips for Successful Holiday Mini Sessions by Jen Vazquez Photography

Top Color Schemes and Styling Tips for Stunning Family Photos in the Bay Area

As someone who’s been dressing my family for our yearly photos, I get how overwhelming it can be to choose the perfect colors. Let’s make this fun and simple with some awesome color scheme ideas! I find it easier for you to find an outfit that you feel beautiful in and/or a favorite outfit that you’ve gotten compliments on. Then use the advice below to color-coordinate the rest of the family.

Read More »
female makeup artist in pink putting red lipstick on a women for a photo shoot.

Rock Your Brand Shoot: Unapologetic Confidence on Camera

Hey there, gorgeous! Ready to ditch those awkward school photo vibes and step into the spotlight for your brand shoot? I hear you – feeling nervous or unsure of how to nail that perfect shot is totally normal. But honey, it’s time to ditch the doubt and slay your shoot with confidence!

Read More »