From a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Dress

Choosing a wedding dress was probably one of the most stressful things about my wedding planning process so far. Originally, I really wanted to wear my Mom’s dress from the late 70’s. Once I tried it on, I realized that I would have to completely redesign the dress to fit me and be a bit more modern. So, with my mom’s dress as inspiration, I went out shopping with a few of my bridesmaids. I thought it would be simple and I would just go and try on gorgeous dresses, and have that magical moment and say YES to the dress, without any doubts… Boy was I wrong!

One thing they don’t tell you is that the dresses you will try on will NOT fit you. Most samples are in a size 10 or 12, but wedding dress sizing is very different than anything else. While one may normally wear a 4, you could very well be a size 10 or 12 in your wedding dress! (yet another reminder to go to bridal boot-camp!) So whether the dress is too big and you have tons of clasps and clips holding you in, or if it’s too small and you have to hold it up to your body to see your self in it, it’s definitely not the ideal shopping scenario. It’s VERY difficult to see a dress on you if you can’t see the true fit, so be sure to ask lots of questions, talk to your seamstress before you buy and make sure to keep an open mind. I still asking questions and looking at photos and I actually have two dresses! Oh brother!

The first one is absolutely beautiful and I purchased it at a sample sale for a great price. It’s a silk trumpet dress and features a sweetheart neckline with small lace detailing. I absolutely love the way that it looks on me. However, the more that I thought about it, the more that I realized that this dress did not match the wedding venue at the organic farm and seemed heavy in comparison to the light romantic vintage flowing look that I really wanted to go for, inspired by my mom’s dress. My second dress, which is ordered but has not yet come in yet, matches the wedding venue and the theme perfectly and cost quite a bit more. I obsessively google photos of my dress online to see it on different women and how they wore it, and in some cases I’m beyond excited about it, and in other’s I’m a little nervous about it, and from the sounds of it, this is totally normal!

Even though many brides say that the moment they tried on the dress, they knew it was the right one. I WISH I had that happen to me! I think because of being a wedding professional, this has caused me a lot of headache. Because I’ve photographed some of the most beautiful dresses ever made, including Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Dior, Lanvin, Prada and Elizabeth Fillmore to name a few, this was a HUGE decision. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful dresses go wrong with poor alteration, over or under-styling, or a horrible fit. Although I tried on at least 15 to 20 dresses, and a lot of them were gorgeous, not one of them truly screamed at me;  “I am your dress take me home now!” However, I had the closest encounter with a stunning layered lace dress that I can now call “my dress”.

I, of course, don’t want to give too much information away here, but when I started to truly think of the dress, I knew I wanted lace. I started to hunt for different types of lace and lace patterns and I became fluent with alencon versus chantilly. The dress decision that I made was based on the patterns in the lace and how the lace was used.  I can’t wait to reveal the final dress to you after the wedding date, but here’s a bit of my inspiration in the whole insanely beautiful process. I was really happy my mom was there for me in the final stages of this process, which made my decision easier and couldn’t be happier with my dress. Please remember to click on the image to view more inspiring pics from each wedding. 

Love Sachiko’s satin dress here for the elegance of her downtown Embassy Suites wedding.

I love the rich detailing on Kelly’s satin dress for her upscale and opulent Sentinel Hotel wedding!

Erika’s sleek silk dress looked amazing on her and flowed with her movements.

Love the off-shoulder neckline on Desiree’s vintage inspired satin dress for her Benson Hotel wedding!

The mermaid flair makes curvy bodies look so good! Brianne looked amazing at her vineyard wedding. Remember to click the images to see more from each wedding!

In LOVE with Lea’s open back lace wedding dress. I think this fits her woodsy wedding venue beautifully.

Here’s Erika working it in her gorgeous Nicole Miller gown with a stylish black sash. Perfect for her downtown Blue Hour restaurant wedding.

Rachel’s flowing and unforgettable Oscar de la Renta gown fit her nautical wedding perfectly. The draping is SO pretty!

Sandra’s lace off-shoulder dress looked sensational on her and fit her vintage art-gallery wedding in the best way!

I love the structured feel of satin for a ballgown wedding!

Cara’s Allure dress looked impressive and pretty at her intimate Hotel deLuxe wedding!

The lace dress with a blush underlay is SO in right now and may be exactly what I was looking for! Wink Wink!

This Monique Lhuillier is quite popular, but it never goes out of style! Timeless and elegant.

The soft vintage look of Allison’s wedding from Langdon Farms is subtle, beautiful and ideal for an outdoor affair.

The cap sleeves from Kat’s dress looked sharp and stylish and gave her dress a key-hole back which is both sexy and subtle.

The stunning back from Kat’s dress! Her dress fit the ceremony beneath a big oak tree at Council Crest park wonderfully.

The texture and flow of Stepanie’s Wtoo dress made her Timberline wedding all the more memorable!

I haven’t even started on shoes! These ones are a winner in my book, timeless, vintage and elegant!

April was a stunning bride in her lace Allure Couture dress, complete and not overdone with a glitzy belt.

In love with the simple styling from Cat’s Youngberg Hill Vineyards wedding. She kept it clean, classic and timeless.

A close-up detail of the intricate lace at the bottom of Cat’s Monique Lhuillier gown.

Jessica Hill PhotographyFrom a Bride’s Lens – Choosing a Wedding Dress