How to Choose a Wedding DressA Wedding Photographer's Perspective

A bride's putting on her wedding dress at Graydon Hall Manor

How to choose a wedding dress? Finding the perfect wedding gown of your dreams could be stressful for sure. Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were 5 and know exactly what you want down to the last sequin, or you’ve never thought about your dress till your bridesmaids nagged, “You haven’t gotten your gown yet?” — we’ve got you covered. My team and I have been in the wedding industry for over 12 years now, and can confidently say that we have seen it all. From trendy, urban gowns to ballroom dresses, we have photographed a LOT of gorgeous and jaw-dropping wedding gowns. I thought I could help you in your search for the perfect wedding dress based on my team’s experience photographing brides. I know that photography is the last thing you think about when you’re deciding on your gown. However, your wedding photographs will be the only long-lasting memory of what you wore on your special day. I believe that these tips will help you set criteria when you’re shopping for the perfect gown and could serve as a useful guideline when deciding on the dress of your dreams. Here are 4 tips on how to choose a wedding dress, from a wedding photographer’s perspective:

1. Your overall wedding theme

Your wedding dress should complement your overall wedding theme. Think about it this way: your wedding dress is an embodiment of your wedding vision and style. It tells a lot about who you are as a person and what a wedding photographer can expect to see at the wedding reception just based on your wedding dress style in the morning! Are you having a relaxed modern wedding in a loft? Sleek silhouettes and a minimalistic cut would look perfect at a chic, urban celebration. Are you getting married in a century-old castle? Timeless silhouettes and a dramatic tale would enhance your modern fairy-tale wedding. If a summertime elegant barn wedding is more your thing, then flowing silhouettes and lightweight fabrics would look perfect against nature’s stunning backdrop.

2. Be mindful of your creative photo location choice

You don’t want to spend your most cherished day battling the gown instead of relaxing and enjoying yourself in photos. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable or restricted in your movements. As a wedding photographer, I want you to feel relaxed and be completely present in the moment. This way, I can guarantee the most natural-looking and effortless wedding photos. However, if your dress is not working well with the creative location or somehow limits your movement, it could lead to a limited variety when it comes to your wedding portraits.

If you envisioned a downtown wedding photo creative, then moving and walking would be key. Consider wearing a comfortable gown and shoes so we could take those epic, wind-swept wedding portraits. On the other hand, if you’ve always dreamed of the wedding photos in a lush green field then consider wearing a dress that can be easily lifted and comfortable to run around in!

3. Keep an open mind

This is the most frequent phrase used by bridal consultants, and for a good reason! As a recent bride myself I was surprised when I realized I actually fell in love with the wedding dress style I wasn’t planning to wear! So take their advice and try on something that doesn’t look like your style. Being a wedding photographer taught me to see unique beauty in each person and in every dress! One big lesson I learned from photographing beautiful people is that it’s not a dress that makes you gorgeous but how a person wears the gown! Confidence, attitude and a happy smile go a long way!

4. Choose timeless styles

I said it before and I will say it again: your wedding photographs are the only long-lasting wedding day memory! So when you’re choosing a wedding dress look for a gown that will stand the test of time. Choosing a dress that is flattering to your body rather than what is trending is one of the ways to determine whether it’s going to be a timeless hit. Another option is to take a look at old, classic celebrity wedding photos and see which dresses look modern and beautiful even now.

I hope these tips will be a useful guide on how to choose a wedding dress of your dreams. Remember, no matter what type of wedding dress you fall for it’s our job and honor to make sure you have the best wedding photographs to cherish for generations to come!