How To Find Your Amazing Wedding Dress Here!

Finding the ideal wedding dress is one of the most exciting moments to remember from wedding preparation. It combines personal style, budget considerations, and, of course, a little elegance from where you live. Hence, the following tips will help you find the dress that will make you feel truly special on your big day.

Bride Dress – Quinta Pinhal das Confreirias, Venue | Almargem do Bispo, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Start Early

First, start your search early enough to give yourself sufficient time for fittings and alterations without feeling rushed. Wedding dresses usually take a few months to be ready. Generally, it’s recommended to start looking for a wedding dress 9 to 12 months before the wedding date. Some brides begin even earlier, especially if they are having a destination wedding or if they have a special designer in mind.

Bride Dress – Quinta Palácio Dos Antónios, Venue | Aroeira, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Set a Budget

Decide how much money you are ready to spend on a wedding dress. Then, make sure it is your final decision. On average, brides usually spend between 500€ and 3,000€ on wedding dresses. But this number can change depending on the designer, style, or the place where you are going to buy the dress. Moreover, do not forget to take into account not only the price of the dress itself but also alterations and accessories, such as a veil or shoes.

Bride Dress – Mouraria | Lisbon, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Do Some Research

Check out different styles and shapes to get an idea of what you like. Also, save pictures or create a Pinterest board to show the people helping you.

Some dresses are big and puffy (Ball Gown), some flow like the letter “A” (A-Line), some hug your body and then flare out (Mermaid/Trumpet), and some are straight and sleek (Sheath). In addition, dresses can be made of lace, which is romantic; satin, which is smooth and shiny; tulle, which is light and fluffy; or chiffon, which is delicate. Also, the top part of the dress can look like a heart (Sweetheart), form a V shape (V-Neck), have no sleeves (Strapless), or have sleeves that rest below the shoulders (Off-the-Shoulder).

Bride Dress – Sesimbra, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Almada, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Think About Your Body Shape

There are different dress sizes for different body sizes. You should find the one that makes you feel good and pretty. Let’s have a look:

Hourglass Shape

Your waist is tiny, and your hips and bust are about the same size. Dresses that highlight your waist will be perfect. The mermaid or trumpet is ideal. Also, try a sweetheart or V-neckline dress that will show off your best.

Apple Shape

Your bust and shoulders are wider than your hips. The best choice is an A-line dress because it draws attention away from the middle. Also, look at the empire waistlines and dresses with V-necklines to make your torso look longer.

Pear Shape

Your shoulders are narrower than your lower body. A-line or ballgown dresses are perfect because they tend to cover your hips and thighs. A dress with a detailed bodice helps grab attention upwards. Don’t wear mermaid styles because they make your hips look bigger.

Rectangle Shape

Your waist, hips, and shoulders are roughly the same width. Go for dresses that accentuate your curves. For example, sheath dresses with detailing at the waist or mermaid styles that show off your natural curves.

Inverted Triangle Shape

Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips. An A-line or ballgown dress will fit perfectly as it will level your top. Avoid dresses with a tight bottom and opt for ones with extra volume. Also, do not overload your shoulders and neckline with decorations. Better take the dress with straps or sleeves.

Petite Body

If you’re short, choose a dress that makes you look taller. Thus, a sheath or trumpet shape will do, as it visually adds a few inches. You should avoid heavy details and look for simpler ones.

Tall Body

Good news for tall brides because any style will look beautiful. A trumpet, mermaid, or a ball gown will look fantastic. Dropped waist and low necklines are excellent to showcase your height. Feel free to use long trains or dramatic details.

Bride Dress – Sesimbra Natura Park, Venue | Sesimbra, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Sesimbra Natura Park, Venue| Sesimbra, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Visit Bridal Shops

Be sure to book appointments at the bridal stores to try on different dresses. You want to make sure they give you the personal attention you need. It would be better to figure out the budget at this point because unfortunately, money would in reality limit your choices. Moreover, make sure the dress is comfortable because you’ll be wearing it for a long time. In addition, find out if they can adjust the dress perfectly to your body. Finally, do take pictures of all the dresses as it would help remember how each one looked.

Bride Dress – Casa do Sembrano | Beja, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Quinta da Suratesta, Venue | Beja, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Bring a Friend

The number of people you bring with you when wedding dress shopping is a personal choice. But it’s generally advisable to keep the group small because too many opinions might be confusing. Choose people whose opinions you value the most, for example, your mom, sister, or best friends. Also, they need to understand your style and preferences. Their feedback should be helpful and supportive.

Bride Dress – Quinta do Careto, Venue | Beja, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Be Open-Minded

While it’s good to have an idea of what you want, be open to trying on dresses outside your initial vision. Don’t stick to just one style because what looks good in pictures might feel different to you. Besides, you always can find something you love that surprises you. So, be open to suggestions from friends, family, and the bridal consultant as they might have insights you haven’t considered. Also, be open to different colours. While white is traditional, consider other colours that might complement your skin tone or match your wedding theme.

Bride Dress – Quinta Cascata dos Sonhos, Venue | Almargem do Bispo, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Quinta Cascata dos Sonhos, Venue | Almargem do Bispo, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Consider Your Venue

Remember that when you pick a wedding dress, you should think about the venue and the style. Thus, a relaxed dress might be a better option if you have a casual or outdoor wedding venue. Meanwhile, the grand ballroom might work better with a traditional dress. Also, most brides seek to have a dress that suits the theme of the venue, the decorations, and so on. Nevertheless, remember about your style as no theme is good enough to make you feel uncomfortable in your wedding dress.

Bride Dress – Quinta Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora, Venue | São Domingos de Rana, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Quinta do David, Venue | Palmela, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Think About the Season

Remember the local climate and the wedding season. This way, you can be totally comfortable. During hot weather, wear a lightweight dress, like chiffon or lace, and one that requires no strap. While in winter weather, the temperature drops and it gets cold very fast, consider a heavier dress, made of satin or velvet, and also long-sleeved. Know more about choosing the right season for your wedding.

Bride Dress – Carvoeiro Beach Photoshoot | Algarve, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings
Bride Dress – Quinta de São Miguel, Venue | Palmela, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Remember Alterations

Alterations can make your wedding dress uniquely tailored to your body. Make sure the dress will make you feel comfortable around the bust, waist, and hips. If the dress is too long for you, alterations can fix it to prevent tripping. Plus, alterations ensure the shoulders and bust fit perfectly, giving you the right support. Also, you can get the right silhouette if the dress needs shaping around the waist.

You should plan for the final fittings close to the wedding day for any last-minute changes, for example if you lose weight. Find a good seamstress to do the job well. It is highly recommended to start early on alterations because some changes can take several weeks. And you want to be sure the wedding dress will be ready on time.

Bride Dress – Quinta A Lendária, Venue | Barreiro, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Consider Accessories

Think about some accessories that can complete your general look, such as jewellery or a veil. It will surely make your image even more perfect and will help to add a unique and special twist.

Trust Yourself

So, how do you know you have found your dress? Quite simply, just listen to your feelings. The perfect wedding dress is the one in which you feel self-confident, beautiful and ready to walk down the aisle on your wedding day.

Just remember, the process of finding your dream wedding dress should be a happy experience. Enjoy every single moment of this journey of discovering the dress that will make you feel wonderful with your unique style and personality. In the end, if you cannot decide between your favourites, you can have a look at some tips on how to make the final choice here.

Bride Dress – Quinta das Riscas, Venue | Montijo, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

I am so grateful that you came on this journey with me. If you liked what you read and are interested in more of my work, please check my portfolio here. I want to know what you think. Thank you very much for your valuable support!

Pedro Cruz

Wedding photographer and videographer from Lisbon, Portugal. Here is Pedro Cruz's short bio.

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