Top Tips for Expressing Yourself with Your Wedding Dress Style

wedding dress style

Looking for your wedding dress style is one of the most exciting and essential parts of wedding planning. This happy hunt will be something you will be doing with your best friends and family – no spouses allowed! (If you follow the tradition of not showing the dress to the groom until the wedding day)

Nowadays brides-to-be have the hard task of choosing between literally thousands of styles and wedding dress ideas. This is why it is crucial to have at least a slight idea about your wedding dress style before you start shopping. Otherwise, you will be feeling overwhelmed,  spending weeks upon weeks looking for THE dress without being able to settle on one specific wedding dress type. 

In order to determine the best wedding gown style for you, ask yourself: who am I and what do I want my dress to say about me? Keep your answers at the forefront of your mind as they might be really helpful when consulting with retail assistants at various bridal stores.

When to start looking for your wedding dress

wedding dress type


Time is essential when it comes to wedding dress shopping and you need to make sure you don’t leave it too late.

Set your gown budget while you are setting the budget for your whole wedding, however many months before the big day that is for you. Based on your budget, you can choose a new dress, a pre-loved item, or even rent your dream gown to cut down on your wedding dress cost. The last version is preferred by an increasing number of brides as this allows them to wear a fabulous designer dress without spending a small fortune, or taking up closet space.

General advice is to choose the dress about 8 months before the wedding. It is never too early, especially if you have a unique dress that needs long hours of work to create. 

5 months before the wedding, shop for undergarments, shoes, and hair accessories. You’ll need the undergarments before your first fitting. The height of the shoes will also play a role in the first fitting, which usually takes place around 3 months before the event.

The second fitting is usually scheduled 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding; this is also the moment to pick your “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” if you’re a fan of tradition. The final fitting will usually take place 2 to 3 weeks before the big day, and just before the celebration you should also prepare an emergency kit for your outfit containing safety pins, stain removal solution, and fashion tape.

How to define your wedding dress style

wedding gown style

Summer Rain Photography

Your wedding dress style depends largely on your personal preferences, on the climate where you are getting married, but also, very importantly, on your body type. Take a quiz, such as this one, to discover the wedding dress type that flatters your silhouette best. The most popular wedding dress types are:

  • A-line

It is preferred by most brides because it flatters all body types. It highlights your narrowest point and is easy to wear.

  • Ball-gown

This timeless wedding dress style is worthy of a fairy tale with its bell-shaped skirt that seems to magically float down the aisle. This type of dress is generally recommended to women with slim hips and a fuller bust. If you are conscious about your hips, keep in mind that this type of skirt will make you look larger. Moreover, with this type of gown you will want to keep embellishments minimal.

  • Mermaid

The mermaid dress gown creates the hourglass effect by flaring the skirt mid-thigh or at the knees. It emphasizes the waist and hips without making them look too wide, but beware of how fitted the dress is. You want to make sure you can move freely in it and are able to sit down easily.

  • Sheath

Confident about your body shape and willing to feel very comfortable on your wedding day? The sheath silhouette complements your body’s natural shape and gives you a modern, effortless air. Sheath dresses are suitable for both petite brides, who can achieve an elongated look, and for tall brides, who will benefit from more body definition. 

  • Tea-length

This type of dress has a vintage charm while also looking unconventional and modern. This length is recommended for brides opting for an intimate ceremony or a brunch wedding. A tea-length dress can easily be recycled after the wedding. 

  • Jumpsuit

Would you like to enjoy extra comfort during the ceremony and reception? Jumpsuits can be very elegant and still make you feel glamorous and feminine!

  • Separates

A two-piece wedding dress will allow you to easily switch your outfit for a second or third look. The most daring brides even wear a crop top!

Breaking away from tradition

wedding dress ideas

Anna Dutton Couture Photography

One way to skip the traditional wedding dress is wearing one of the last three wedding dress styles presented above, but you can also play with colours and textures. Consider the following styles if you want to be a unique bride:

  • Blush pink dress
  • Brightly-coloured boho dress
  • Pink watercolour design
  • Nude gown
  • Gold sequin wedding dress
  • Black tulle dress
  • Ombre wedding dress

Why pick just one?

If you can’t pick an all-day style that fully expresses your personality, how about opting for more than one? Maybe you want an extravagant wedding dress for the night but you are getting married at church and want to achieve a more formal look for the first part of the day. Or you want more freedom of movement on the dance floor.

Benefits of following the two-outfit trend are: not having to compromise on your wedding dress style, feeling comfortable if the weather changes during the day, and having more freedom to dance and socialise with guests.

Wedding dress practicalities

There are many other criteria to consider when choosing your wedding dress, including but not limited to:

  • Venue

Some venues can limit your choice of wedding themes and wedding dress style, while others such as Villa Botanica are like a blank canvas. Venues such as this unique wedding boutique in the Whitsundays lend themselves to many styles and personalities, complementing any and every type of wedding dress style.

  • Weather

A warm climate wedding obviously requires a summer dress, while getting married in a colder climate will require a long-sleeved gown and even a cape to keep you warm.

  • Budget

If your wedding gown budget is limited, make sure you don’t over- spend on the dress. Remember that you will also need to purchase the undergarments, accessories and the shoes. It is better to scale up, starting with a less expensive dress and working your way up if you can’t find anything at the entry level.

  • Travel arrangements

A puffy ball dress style can be difficult to transport if you need to fly to your wedding destination. Make sure the dress does not exceed airport size specifications. Also arrange steaming to avoid those dreaded post-travel creases.

  • Wedding dress fabric

Fabric makes a huge difference on how the gown will look on you. Heavier, more structured materials will smooth your figure, while unstructured silk and chiffon are not very flattering for brides with more prominent curves.

  • Online shopping

An increasing number of brides shop online for their wedding dress. Online shopping works a little different and if you want to try on multiple dresses you will need to order them all and return what does not look as dreamy in person. Shipping, returns, and exchanges can add extra time to your quest for the dream dress, so make sure you start looking for the dress way ahead of time.

Be prepared to try on more than one wedding dress style, but not too many either – you will end up with some sort of decision paralysis. The first thing to keep in mind is to be yourself! When shopping for the dress, take with you someone who knows you very well like your mother or best friend, not someone who will try to make you look like a different person. Your wedding dress style should be a reflection of your personality and it should complement it. Put in the time, thought and effort and you won’t regret your choice!

Follow Villa Botanica on Instagram (@villabotanicawhitsundays) and keep checking our blog posts for more wedding inspiration, tips, tricks and advice.

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Getting in touch is the first step to planning your wedding. We’re here to answer any questions you might have. Enquire now to book your complimentary online tour of Villa Botanica.