The Dress: Top Tips for Bridal Shopping

Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for the National Post, OK! Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications around the world. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FAJO Magazine, a Canadian publication with staff in Canada, U.S. and U.K.

It is the season of weddings!

Every summer, at least one of my friends or acquaintances is getting hitched. Naturally, a key issue that every bride-to-be has to think about – and, often, this is the only thing she thinks about – is her wedding dress.

Some women pick their “white dream” in a matter of hours, others spend months on research and shopping. The options are endless: requesting a custom-made piece, shopping in another city or even country, going for boundless online alternatives, or wearing a vintage piece passed on through generations.

The search can be quite tedious, however, so if you are a bride-to-be (or know someone who is), here is a quick guide that may help you make an informed decision:

1. Always think about your budget. How much are you planning to spend? This will help focus on specifics.

2. You will want to look stunning, but you also need to be comfortable. Pick the dress that feels good on your body. Check how you feel while sitting down in it. Can you breathe? Can you move your arms? Is any part of the dress feeling too tight? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.

3. In the last 10 years, many brides have been opting for bridal dresses that are not in the traditional colour scheme – i.e. they are not white. I have seen women wear red, lilac, light grey and even black. Think about the colour you want, before you start the search.

4. Ensure that the dresses of your bridesmaids contrast nicely against your own dress.

5. Don’t forget to check with the groom – what is he wearing? His colour choice may affect yours.

6. Assess your approach to the dress – what kind of look do you want? If you are thinking of a more innocent/ethereal feel, opt for a dress with lace, tulle or crochet. If you want a classic look, got for a silk number.

7. Consider what would work best for your body. Keep your height and body shape in mind when doing this.

8. Think about the length of your dress; do you want a short or a long number? This will help determine your accessories.

9. Don’t listen to your friends or family members. Make sure you are the one choosing the dress because you are the one who has to love it.

10. Go with your gut feeling. If something feels wrong, do not pick that dress; and if you are in love with it, go for it. You will only wear this dress once, so it has to be very special.

Happy shopping!

Nolcha Fashion Week, New York. Photo by FAJO Magazine.