Attire and Accessories

How Did You Choose Your Dress?

So I went dress shopping for the first time yesterday, and I went in thinking, "I'll just find out what looks good on me so that I'll know what style to look for, and then go from there." Slight problem: Everything looked good. They squeeze them on you and put those clips on the back so that they perfectly fit, and everything looked amazing. I'm kind of rectangular shaped (as in my waist is not that extreme of a difference from my small chest), so I thought that AT LEAST I would find that a mermaid style didn't work - but no, it looked really nice too. I think what was extra confusing is that if I had been forced to pick one of the dresses from yesterday, the dress I would pick was nothing like what I thought I wanted. But really, I could have been perfectly happy with any one of the dresses that I tried on.

On the bright side, I did learn that ivory looks best. That's all I learned, but hey, it's something.

Have other people had this problem? I'm usually a very decisive person, so it was shocking to realize that I liked them all just fine. How do you pick a dress when they all seem like good choices?
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Re: How Did You Choose Your Dress?

  • Eh, it's a nice problem to have :)

    It's great that they all look good on your figure. Now just narrow down the specific features you prefer... do you like glitter or plain? Ruching or smooth? Poufy or not? What makes you feel like YOU?

    There's no wrong answer!
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  • hahah wow i had that same thought of just going in to see what looks good then i could go somewhere else and tell them what is it and what is not. As i started trying on dresses my family was flipping out and like OH MY GOSH thats it!! and I was like really?> I mean ya its pretty but ehh. I thought say yes to the dresss had spoiled me haha.... but from the advice of the girls on here.. I kept looking.... and when I did.... I had that feeling. All the other dresses that looked awesome had no comparison to mine... I just posted a pic of it last night too!!  DO you have any specifics on what you have toi have in a dress? If so try those on and just immerse yourself in the moment... you'll get that feeling :)
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  • I have a friend who is rectangular shaped, and she looks great with a dropped waist.

    I also felt like everything looked good on me.  What mattered was what I LIKED.  I didn't like inch-wide strapes with minimal beading because it looked like a long tank top.  I didn't like a lot of beading either.  Pretty, but not for ME.  I knew I wanted a train though

    For me, price layed a big role.  The dress with a ton of beading was $1k over budget.  The one I liked almost as much as the one I bought was $700ish, but the one I loved was only $300. 

    Also, consider what your FI likes.  Ask if he has a preference for strapless, lace, or whatever.  He may not have an opinion, but it's worth a shot.
  • I completely know what you mean. I had this same "problem". Everything fit and everything looked spectacular- it was SO hard to decide!

    I tried on soo many dresses- and started realizing "Oh, I like A-line dresses" or "I like all this beading".  You slowly start to realize what you like and don't like the more you either try on, or the more you look at other people's photos. You'll know- I didn't think that feeling would come for me- but it did. I eventually chose an A-line gown with a fitted bodice with beading and a tulle skirt- but it took 3 dress shops and 6 appointments to realize it!

    Good luck!
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  • I had this problem a little bit. I went into the shop with a real basic idea of what I liked and what I found was several dresses that I really liked. However, I had one dress that just had it all. Tons of beading, great fit, made me look and feel great and no need for alternations expect for the hem plus it was under budget! I think in your cases you need to decide what you want and what you need. Take into account the venue of your wedding and how you want to look on your wedding day. While one dress might be pretty it might be more suited for a beach wedding vs. a church wedding, etc.

    Also, ask the groom. The night before I went shopping I had a bridal magazine and I marked pages with good examples of different types of dresses and I asked FI what he thought of this or that. I really wanted him to love the dress and his opinion is very important to me. He was able to give me basic idea like I hate how it does this or I do like this. One of his comments that stuck in my mind the entire time I was dress shopping was "I don't want to marry a mermaid!" LOL!

    GL and have fun!

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_attire-accessories_did-choose-dress?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:15Discussion:4e738cc2-5463-420d-8f4a-10ac7f70cdd5Post:71d80a6a-f2f1-4652-82b3-b3f7227670e2">Re: How Did You Choose Your Dress?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, ask the groom. The night before I went shopping I had a bridal magazine and I marked pages with good examples of different types of dresses and I asked FI what he thought of this or that. I really wanted him to love the dress and his opinion is very important to me. He was able to give me basic idea like I hate how it does this or I do like this. One of his comments that stuck in my mind the entire time I was dress shopping was "I don't want to marry a mermaid!" LOL! GL and have fun!
    Posted by brianabrad[/QUOTE]
    ^ I totally agree with this.

    My FI has voiced his opinions to me very clearly.  He's sweet enough to watch SYTTD with me regularly and will totally tell me if he doesn't like something.  I've established that he hates cutting edge couture dresses and tulle, and doesn't really care for huge ball gowns either.  He's also not a big fan of lace, he thinks it can look frumpy sometimes. 

    I've also showed him pictures of dress styles I'd be interested in trying, and he's helped me weed out the ones he isn't so excited about.  He's also commented quite astutely that some of them are lovely but don't look like WEDDING dresses to him. 
    "Plus who needs a purse when you have a wedding dress? Those things are like walking hobo bags just waiting to be stuffed with surprise treasures." -Wedinator.com image
  • I ordered the fifth dress I put on.  I believe that I didn't choose the dress but the dress chose me.  Of course I had some very important people to help and guide me along the way, my mom and sis (MOH), but I generally knew what I liked and didn't, what I wanted and didn't, and what I wanted the overall feel of the night to be.  I think you just have to trust your insticts and go with what feels right.  Trying on wedding gowns is very exciting and endorphine-releasing, but just remember how you feel after putting each dress on.  You will know it when you find it.
  • I went in with an idea of what I wanted- no ball gown, must have straps, preferably lace, under $500, and something I could move around in (and use the restroom without assistance in!). I ended up with most of these, except my dress is strapless. Ultimately, comfort and lightness was what made my decision. I think it's important to prioritize your preferences. I'm sure I could have found something that met all my criteria, but budget and lightness were the priority, so when I found a strapless dress that met those, I was done!
    Wheaton's Law: Don't be a dick.
  • ariannewtonariannewton member
    First Comment
    edited September 2010

    I had the exact same problem! Every dress I wanted to try on looked phenomenal, it was so hard to choose. Here are a couple of things that made me decide to go with the dress I chose:
    - I tried on maybe 7 dresses... all of them looked great, but only ONE made my mother gasp!
    - This same dress was also the most flattering towards my figure... I'm thin framed, small chest, tall/lengthy. The way it pulled in gave me CURVES... something I've never had before!
    - Although it wasn't the least expensive dress, it wasn't the most expensive one either. This gave me room to splurge on shoes and jewelry, too!

    Maybe try bringing along a second opinion, if you haven't already. I know most people just say "I like them all on you" to be nice, so find an opinionated good friend (who you will be inviting to the wedding), or maybe a parent or grandparent, who will give you the advice you're looking for.

    Hope this helps!

  • i have a pretty standard body, full chest average waist and hips only 5'6.  So every dress looked good, i went in the same thing thinking that i wanted a fit and flair or extreme mermaid simple no beading or lace strapless.  HA! i walked out with a halter ivory beading head to toe slight a line dress.  I couldnt have fallen more in love with a dress though.  And they always say when you know the dress you know the dress, sure they all looked good on me and i would have been pleased with any, but i loved this dress so wait until you LOVE it
    "The perfect marriage begins when each partner believes they got better than they deserve."
  • I thought I knew what I wanted....halter neckline ballgown with tulle...
    until my bridal shop gal put the 2nd dress on me...organza, ruched, strapless soft white....would never have even picked it off the rack on my own, but the second i tried it on i was like "wow"  i kept trying on more, but i compared every dress to that one....months later I just had my fitting and I still love it
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  • I had the same problem. I only tried on six dresses, and absolutely fell in love with the third. All the other ones were nice, but the one I chose is amazing. It is also completely different than what I thought I wanted. I went in there with a Grecian idea, with straps, flowy kind of feel. My dress is strapless, form fitting too the hips, and then becomes a mermaid type dress. It was the one. As the lady was lacing it up (it has a corset back), I was staring in the mirror thinking, "This is it." My mom and aunts gasped when I walked out.

    My advice is to try on lots of different styles and see if anything "calls" to you. Keep in mind what you like and don't like, and what your future husband likes. Make sure it is comfortable, not only standing, but sitting also.

    Good luck!
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  • LOL, glad to know that I'm not the only one who thought I wanted one thing, and then found that maybe I didn't really want that. I'm going to another salon today - this time solo (I'm new to town, so I don't have anyone to bring with - last time I had a friend in town). I'll have to see how I feel on my own. Last time I felt like I was kind of influenced by what my friend thought - which isn't a bad thing, but might have contributed to my confusion.
  • I had a similar problem. EVERY gown was Beautiful and really hard to find "the perfect" one. DO NOT GIVE UP! Things that helped me:

    Choose your Bridesmaids dresses — decide your style (vintage, glam, party, etc) This will help decide what style of dress you want. You will want "matching elements between the dresses so that they look great when in photos together! (this was a great tip I got from a bridal salon!) 

    Decide on the style of your ceremony and reception — Will your dress portray the type of wedding you are hosting? (Formal, Outdoor or Party, Party Party!)

    Taking the ENTIRE day into consideration really helped me.

    I also stuck out my dress shopping through 14 stores, and lord knows how many dresses! BUT IN THE END, MY DRESS WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT MADE ME CRY.

    That's when you know!

  • amareschalamareschal member
    First Comment
    edited September 2010
    Totally in the same boat. I just picked my dress when my mom came out to visit. I have been to 4 stores before that. For me, it came down to where I was getting married - I am getting married in an old church in France and the reception is in an equally old former monastery. However, my family and the culture of that region has a simple but elegant and even modern vibe. I needed a dress that could hold its own against this backdrop of grand, old stone buildings but not be to frilly or over the top. Also, I have a pretty small frame so my bridesmaids always joked that the some dresses were wearing me instead of me wearing them. 

    It took a lot of texting pix to my bridesmaids (i live in a different state) but I finally decided and I LOVE it! 

    BTW - STOP looking once you find one. not even the magazines. you will drive yourself insane.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_attire-accessories_did-choose-dress?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:15Discussion:4e738cc2-5463-420d-8f4a-10ac7f70cdd5Post:82a7c82d-c481-45ea-8908-25f4df9ff6e6">Re: How Did You Choose Your Dress?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I went in with an idea of what I wanted- no ball gown, must have straps, preferably lace, under $500, and something I could move around in (and use the restroom without assistance in!). I ended up with most of these, except my dress is strapless. Ultimately, comfort and lightness was what made my decision. I think it's important to prioritize your preferences. I'm sure I could have found something that met all my criteria, but budget and lightness were the priority, so when I found a strapless dress that met those, I was done!
    Posted by vickmeyerswedding[/QUOTE]

    These are almost exactly the criteria I initially had!  I had been looking online and watching SYTTD for a long time, and I knew what I DIDN'T like - big huge ball gowns that were strapless.  I realized I really liked the idea of a short dress, something I could go to the bathroom in by myself - plus it just suited my personality more than long dresses.  I started shopping in stores asking to see short dresses, but most of them were strapless too (I thought I wanted sleeves), and I was starting to despair until a WONDERFUL consultant suggested I try bridesmaid's dresses that come in white!  Genius!  I looked, and found some necklines and skirt styles I liked but didn't buy - none of them were THE ONE.

    My second dress-trying-on trip was with my sister, to a higher-end boutique, and I continued the previous consultant's advice and pulled some BM dresses to try as well as the new consultant's picks for me (all long, many of them close-fitting silhouettes.  We tried the consultant's picks first, and I hated all of them.  I put them on, and felt like a sausage in each of them.  I felt bad turning them all down - instantly "No, this isn't me".  We FINALLY got to the BM dresses, and among them was one that I LOVED immediately, enough to put on shoes and a veil.  I loved the shoes she picked for me too, and I have ended up buying that dress (Impression BM #1739) and the shoes (Diane Lynn Juliana)!!
  • I had a problem with this also.  I had quite a few people with me when I went dress shopping for the 1st time.  I made score cards and told them the only way I would consider a dress is if everyone gave it a 4 (the highest score).  BUT I went into the dress shopping with my opinion first.  I am lucky enough to have a body type that many things look good on me, but I don't feel comfortable in most things.  I am a self conscious person, and I didn't want to feel that at all on my wedding day,

    Be careful with full heavy dresses.  My sister is a thin girl and she had to wear a hoop with her dress to make it a bit fuller, it was just a full A-line, not a princess dress.  She was in the bathroom throwing up all night because it threw her back out because it was too heavy.  Another friend of mine got married and her dress was too bottom heavy and she was hot and nauseas all night.  Don't let that be you!!
  • i had been looking online long before getting engaged so I had a few potentail favorites... went in one night just to take a look at some actual fabrics and they had s little time so i tried one or two from the sale rack and one of the ones I had on my wishlist... I came out and mom almost cried. (my mom is NOT a crier!) did have a hard time choosing between ivory and champagne for the overlay.. Ivory won... I have red hair so white was too white and champagne tooked too brown (for me anyway) Spent about double (600vs 300) but can't wait to get it in!
    This newly wed has got a honeymoon bun in the oven!
  • I went dress shopping with my mom for the first time ever. I had brought pics of dresses i liked and styles I liked. All the dresses I had pictures of were either fit and flare or aline. So i went and I tried on 7 dresses total that day. THe 3rd dress i loved but there was something on it that the tailors couldnt fix which turned me off but i lovd the style(fit and flare) then I tried on another and nothing.. Then comes the 5th dress(aline) and I knew i loved it. I tried on a veil and I started crying as well as my mother and dress consultant.. I knew This was the dress I was going to marry my fiance in. After I bought it I kept thinking about the other dress that i liked. But once i got my dress in in the correct color I KNEW 100% i made the right decision.... Happy dress shopping to who ever still has to find a dress...
  • This is an AWESOME problem to have.  It's great that you found that you looked beautiful in not one, but many different styles of dresses.  Even though they all look good, when you try the right dress on you will know.

    I thought I was going to get a simple slip dress, red-carpet style with beading.  Before I went looking, I knew I HATED puffy cupcake dresses and mermaid dresses.  Guess what?  The slip dress did nothing for me, the cupcake dresses were so flippin cute and I ended up with a lovely, ivory vintage-y mermaid dress.

    If you still haven't found anything that you love - here is a post I wrote a few weeks ago featuring many different types of dresses.


    Good luck!  I hope you find the dress of your dreams!




  • If you dont have a small waist and are not very hippy then a mermaid fit is perfect for you because it gives you that look...I am very hippy and mermaid just not flattering at all...i actually found my dress on the first go around.  I had looked on line for dresses and found that all of the dresses that I loved in my price range were basically by the same designer so I found a store in my area. The styles that I picked out looked nice and then the attendant made a suggestion based on what I had previously chose.  I loved the dress when I put it on I was so comfortable and walked around in it for a while and really didn't want to take it off.  I went more places and tried on other dresses but none gave me the same feeling. If you put on a dress and you are comfortable and feel beautiful go with that!! 

  • I chose a corset back, halter, trumpet skirt (if that's what it's called...) because I knew I'd never have the opportunity to wear something like that ever again.  I had two I liked equally then chose the less expensive one because I still feel a little guilty about spending that much on a dress I'm only going to wear once.
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  • ayarsgayarsg member
    First Comment
    edited September 2010
    This sounds exactly like my experience! I'm a record-fast shopper because I am so decisive but when it comes to my wedding dress, I can't make up my mind. But I think I will go with a dress that makes me feel like I look beautiful rather than, 'wow! look at that dress.'
  • I have been dress shopping a couple times now. I have not found my dress yet, but the best advice I can give is take a picture (if you can) and see how the dress photographs on your body. It makes a big difference. All my bridesmaids live in other towns and I emailed them the pictures and got some great feedback. 
  • The first thing I did weddig related was shop for my dress. It may sounds weird, but I seriously thought that my dress would help "set the stage" for the rest of the wedding planning.  I love clothes and fashion, so naturally dress shopping was first on my list!

    I only went dress shopping one day, at one shop.  I tried on 30+ dresses in about 3 hours.  With a combination of help from my mom, maid of honor and matron of honor and the saleswoman, I was able to narrow my choices down to about 5 options.  I tried on my top 5 again, walked around in them, moved around, bent over, sat down, etc so that I could get a good feel for the dress.  This helped to narrow my options down to about 3.  (After all, if you can't stand to do these things in the dress while you are in the dress shop, what would make you think that you would want to wear the dress for several hours on one of the most important days of your life?)

    I finally narrowed my choices down to 2, and spent about a week thinking about it.  My dresses were both drastically different and would give the wedding two entirely different feels.  Finally, I choice the dress that was the most "me," the most comfortable and the most unique. 

    I think that the most important criteria is a dress are:
    1. (Is it you?
    2. Does it fit well and flatter your shape?
    3. Is the dress comfortable?
    4. Does it fit with your wedding vision?
    5. Is the dress made well?  (over design and structure of the dress, stitching done well, etc.)
  • I would definitely suggest to everyone that you take a friend/your mom/someone with you to the bridal salon to take pictures of you in every single dress.  By "take pictures", I mean not just a shot of the front, but also the sides and the back.  Then, go home and look at those pictures BEFORE you make any choices.  I had the same problem that I *thought* all of the dresses looked good on me, but then once I was in my regular clothes, out of the emotion of the moment, and looking at the pictures, I realized that a lot of the time there was something unflattering or less than desirable that I had overlooked about the dress.  This is why it is especially important to look at photos of yourself - you may think you can see that your backside looks great in the shop's 360 mirror, but you want to see it from a photographer's perspective because that's the version you will be looking at in your "walking down the aisle" pictures for the rest of your life.

    Anyway,100+ dresses in 7 bridal shops later, I looked through the pictures and decided on which dress really looked the best and most perfectly matched what I wanted in fabric, style, beading, etc.  It may sound like an overly analytical process, but when I went back to the store to order that dress, I did have my emotional teary moment with my mom - and I was 100% happy because I knew that I had made the perfect decision.

    Just a side note to warn against buying the dress without doing the photo analysis - I have a short (5 foot tall) but curvy friend who ordered a $3000 mermaid gown on the spot because her mom and sister started crying and saying she looked like a bride.  As her bridesmaid, I went with her to the fitting several months later, and she was a little disapointed that the shape didn't actually work for her body that welll or look as flattering as she had thought it did in that earlier happy emotional moment.  So, don't be too sure that every dress looked just perfect on you - you may have just thought that in the emotion of seeing yourself as a bride.

    Good luck to everyone!  Even if you have to go to 7 bridal shops like I did, you will find the one, I promise!  :-)
  • well i haven't orderd my dress yet but i found it on the less...

    For me my dress went firstly with the theme i'm using for my wedding... then the design that jumps out at me first...before all the other good looking ones come in and confuse me :) and then lastly i adjust it based on my size and figure...

    Just talkig about it makes me happy now (inspite of al the ups and downs of this wedding planning stuff)..

    Thas me :)
  • I found my dress on a fluke.  I went to try on dresses @ David's Bridal to (as I thought) get the big, fluffy, hoop-skirt ballroom dress out of my system and then I'd go dress shopping seriously somewhere else.

    The first dress I tried on was nice, but just wasn't doing it for me.

    The second dress - OH MY!  The best dressI had ever tried on.  The assistant @ davids bridal had pulled an ivory, lace/net dress with a real vintage feel, open back and beaded ribbon for the waist band - just because she wanted to see it on me (i'm about 5' 5" with a slim but fair hourglass shape).  Before I had even seen it in the mirror, I loved it.  I tried on about 5-7 dresses all together that day, but my eyes were constantly drawn to the ivory lace one again. 

    As insane as it sounds, just as you knew your hubby-to-be was 'the one' you will know your dress too.
  • For me, it was the one that had the same flare as my personality.  I tried on several different styles.  Some made me look like a boat, others were flattering but were to much or to little for my personality.  I'm kind of a tomboy.  I'm incredibly extroverted but I know when to tone it down.  The one I'm wearing has a nice stripe of color that goes across the top, down a corseted back and into trailing ribbon.  It's fantastic.  There's a bit of beading but it's not ostentatious.  We found a lot that looked good, but this one just had a lot of me in it.  I didn't have the whole, "so beautiful I cried," but that doesn't make it less perfect.
  • Oh my goodness! I just went through the same thing about a month ago.  I had like 7 favorites.  What helped me decide was taking picture of myself in the dress and going over them again and agian! Ifinally narrowed it down to like 3 favorites and I just kept going back and trying them on.  It ended up being between a really fun mermaid that was kind of edgy and a flowy drop waist A-line.  I picked the A-line because it was more of a wedding dress, had the train and the swish. :) I'm like you though, I had to stop going to new stores because I just got more confused! Good luck!
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