Shopping for a wedding ring set seems easy once you realize how overwhelming finding the perfect wedding outfit can be. Finding options that look amazing and work well together can be a tough order to fill. Should you match as a couple? Do you have to wear a gown? Can a bride opt for color? What are the rules? How much should you spend? How can you score a good deal without sacrificing quality?
Take a deep breath.
We’ve pulled together ten simple tips to finding the perfect outfit for each of you without losing your mind in the process.
Set Your Style and Requirements Together
Establishing a style and colors is an important first step for the wedding as a whole so it’s a great starting point for setting the guidelines on wedding attire as well. If your heart is set on a Steam Punk wedding, this is the time to bring it up. Similarly, if you know you look horrible in orange, this is also the time to declare that color off limits for the wedding. Many couples opt to keep their outfits a secret from each other even if they don’t buy into the Old Wives Tale about it being ‘bad luck’. If you decide to have your Big Reveal on your wedding day, simply set your ground rules and let that be the guide.
Keep an Open Mind … And a Timeline
Never worn a gown? Can’t imagine yourself in a tuxedo? Don’t even want to think about the mechanics of going to the bathroom in a full hoop skirt? Don’t let your preconceived ideas and over the top worries prevent you from checking out ALL your options. In the earliest part of the planning process there’s no harm in casting a wide net. Check out wedding photos from friends, celebrities or strangers on Instagram. If you love the way something looks, save it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a dress style you’ve never considered or if it’s something a guest is wearing – save everything.
At the same time, put a cap on it from the start – and I’m not talking about a budget (yet). Since you’re brainstorming for the perfect outfit, it would be easy to let yourself wander online for ages but the wedding clock is ticking. Give yourself three days – at the MOST – for this initial brainstorm.
Organized From Day One
Starting a project like this with some organization will make the entire process so much simpler. For something like this – brainstorming and then research – a Pinterest board can be ideal. You can save as many links as you want on the fly, whittle them down based on thumbnails later and even attach notes and extra links as needed. Best of all, it’s accessible anywhere and you won’t find yourself digging through bookmarks or emails to yourself hunting down that suit with the amazing detail work.
For high-end, quality workmanship and designer options, you want to be dealing with someone in person. Going in for a fitting, being able to work directly with the tailor or designer and simply being immersed in the process is a part of the draw for some people. Even if that’s not your bag, checking with local boutiques, shops and even second hand and consignment shops can often yield surprising results. Not only will you be more likely to find something unique, you’ll also be supporting small business – it’s a win-win!
Set a Budget
Now that you know generally what you want, it’s time to set a hard and fast budget. Based on the style you want and your overall wedding budget, you should be able to give yourself a cap. Keep in mind your budget may differ from your partner’s and that’s okay. We don’t all have the same fashion demands so be flexible, even if that means wondering how the person you love could possibly need an extra $400 to find something to wear.
Whether you have something made or find something off the rack, you’ll more than likely be having it tailored to your shape. You may also want other alterations in order to flatter yourself more or simply add your own unique touch to the outfit. Give yourself plenty of time in order to get the job done. Experts say that means beginning your search at least 9 months ahead of time and preferably closer to a full year.
Buy the Size You Are NOW
I know, I know, you’re swearing off pizza and sticking to vodka until the Big Day. You’ll be jogging by 6am and sucking down smoothies for the next 6 weeks. That’s great. But buy your outfit in the size you actually are at right now. It’s way easier – and cheaper – to take something in rather than finding ways to make something too small more accommodating.
Have a Designated Voice of Reason
Even if you’ve always been confident in your own style, bring on the input of a trusted friend or family member. Fill them in on the style you want and the requirements you and your partner have agreed upon – including your budget. This person can then simply anchor you to reality if you get swept up in a dress that’s twice your budget or a suit bedazzled in crystals.
Listen to the Experts
In addition to your own voice of reason, it’s important to listen to what the experts have to say. If you are dealing with a salon that offers consultations, take full advantage. Working with someone who has a background in fashion will open you up to new styles, colors and ideas you may never have considered or even heard of before now. They will also know how to flatter your shape, coloring and even the way you move.
Trust Your Gut
At the end of the day, your wedding outfit should be something you love to wear. Even if you only wear it the once, it should be something that makes you feel amazing – confident, beautiful (or handsome, if you prefer) and ready to begin the rest of your life. Sometimes that means stepping outside your comfort zone in terms of fashion or even going against the advice of the friends and experts around you. That doesn’t mean you should just throw caution to the wind and look for the most over the top or outlandish option available. But when you put something on and it just FEELS RIGHT, take it as a good sign and one worth listening to.
Choosing an outfit for your wedding doesn’t have to be a headache. Enlist the help of a friend, do a bit of research and be open to new styles and you’ll soon find the perfect outfit for your perfect day.