WHEN YOU'RE CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DRESS

Qualifications for writing this: photographed 200+ weddings, in many cases photographing the bride getting into her dress. I've also bought a wedding dress/been a bride myself and have been a bridesmaid 5.5 times.
  1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WEAR STRAPLESS
    Ask youself this question - if I went out for lunch with my girlfriends tomorrow and I wore a strapless dress, how would I feel? Amazing and confident? Awkward and constantly pulling up my dress? If your answer is 'I wouldn't dream of wearing a strapless dress!' then why wear one on your wedding day?
  2. It's way easier for dress designers to make strapless wedding dresses
    Therefore more dress designers sell more strapless wedding dresses. I remember the bridal store I visited kept pushing strapless dresses on me and insisting I try them on.
  3. Strapless dresses can be beautiful if you feel beautiful
  4. Consider your venue/location
    If you're having a simple beach wedding on a tropical island, a huge ballgown may be uncomfortable and look out of place
  5. Make an appointment to go dress shopping
    A weekday will be way less busy than a weekend and you'll likely get more attention
  6. Collect a few pictures of dresses you like
    Pinterest or wedding magazines. This might help you narrow down the field a little but also keep an open mind
  7. Take 1-2 TRUE friends with you to the store
    Listening to the advice and opinions of 8 bridesmaids, your older sister, you cousin and your mom can be stressful
  8. Once you find a dress you love, move around
    Unless you plan on standing motionless on a small wooden platform at your wedding, get off the platform. Walk around. Throw your arms up and hug someone. Sit down for at least 5 minutes. Ideally have someone snap a few pictures of you on a cell phone. Do you love how the dress looks from the side? The back? Did sitting for 5 minutes cause it to crumple up like a used tissue? Heck, can you even sit? Breathe?
  9. Wear some halfway decent underwear and bring a pair of shoes with the heel height you're planning
    Otherwise you might have to borrow a skeevy bra or pair of shoes that every other bride on the planet has stuck her feet in
  10. Spend a little extra time on your hair and make up
    If you plan on getting your hair and make up done for the wedding, make a little extra effort for your dress shopping. It can be hard to imagine the full effect if you haven't washed your hair and you forgot mascara
  11. Think about how the dress might impact your day
    A stiff boned bodice may prevent you from showing off your mad dance skills. A huge skirt may cause issues getting into the antique rolls royce you have your set on.
  12. If you 'hate your arms' choose your dress accordingly
    Firstly, why would you hate your arms? They work! They let you hug people and reach for things and carry stuff. Arms are great! Sadly, not everyone agrees. I'm a members of all sorts of photography forums and barely a week goes by when someone isn't posting about this bride or that bride who is complaining about how her arms look in pictures. Shrugs, capes, lace sleeves may help you like your arms more, sadly there isn't a 'magic arm' photoshop button
  13. Teeny tiny buttons are fiddly to fasten
    Your seamstress has nimble fingers and fastens buttons all day. You'll likely need a couple of friends with good eyesight, a couple of crochet hooks and a good 30 minutes. Plan this into your timeline
  14. Don't let anyone pressure you into a dress you don't love
    Also beware some of the 'advice' of wedding magazines