A Complete Guide to Your Wedding Dress Options

Did you know it is recommended that brides-to-be start shopping for their wedding dress at least six to eight months before their big day? This seems like plenty of time to find the right gown, but often brides are still stressed trying to wade through all their wedding dress options.

Keep reading so you kind learn about your dress options and feel more prepared when you set out to find the right dress.

Set Your Budget

The range of prices for a wedding dress can vary wildly. The amount you are willing to spend is entirely up to you. If you go in without having a budget in mind, it is easy to overspend, leaving you second-guessing if you found the right dress at all.

On the other hand, if you know you want a certain style or the work of a particular designer, don’t sacrifice just to save a buck. You could miss out on the satisfaction of finding your dream dress.

No matter what you decide for your budget, it is a good idea to set aside an extra bit to plan for alterations and accessories you will need to finish off your look exactly how you want it. A great option for many brides is to shop through the Cocomelody Partner Program, which makes stylish dresses available to brides at affordable prices.

Think of the Location

Where you are going to be wearing your dress should be a consideration before you make any big decisions. You may want the traditional ball gown with an extravagant train trailing behind you, but if you are planning to have a wedding on the beach or deep inside a forest retreat, then this might not be a realistic option.

The weather can also be a factor. If you are getting married in cold weather, you might want to consider extra fabric, like sleeves, whereas if you are choosing a tropical destination wedding, the less fabric making you sweat, the better.

Choose Your Silhouette

Every bride is unique, with a different body shape and size. And every bride feels differently about what they love about themselves and what they want to show off.

Knowing how you want to feel on your big day will help designers to find the right gowns for you to try on. Let them know what you want to accentuate, or what you would rather downplay, and they can help you find a silhouette that meets your needs.

Ball Gown

Just like its name would suggest, this silhouette is a glamourous style that features a full skirt under a fitted bodice.

It is a full-length, classic option that will make any bride feel like a princess. The large skirt helps to create the visual of a tiny waist for any body shape, height, and size.

A-Line

The A-line style is a go-to choice for many women of all shapes and sizes because of its naturally flattering characteristics. They come fitted at the top and widen up as they flow down (similar to the shape of an ‘A’).

It is great at drawing attention to the bust area and is slimming in areas like the hips and waist. This is a classic style that partners well with all kinds of necklines, waistlines, and fabrics so you can choose what makes you feel your best.

Mermaid

A mermaid or fishtail wedding dress is shaped to fit the body tightly all the way to the knees, where it flairs out like a mermaid tail.

It is a glamorous and sexy style that highlights the feminine curves of the body. Women with hourglass figures are ideal for this style, as it compliments their natural curvy shape.

Sheath

These are slim-fitting dresses that hug the body from top to bottom. These dresses are meant for confident brides that want to showcase their figures. Your waist and hips will take center stage in this silhouette.

Tall and lean brides will be showstoppers up and down the aisle. If you have a straight body type and still want to rock one of these styles, then make sure to add some definition to your waist with a belt or sash.

Practice your stride before the big day or consider a dress with a split.

Tea-Length or Mini

This is a modern trend that has gained popularity with adventurous brides of all body types. The skirts are short, tea-length dresses fall between the knee and ankles, while mini dresses usually fall above the knee.

This is a great option for brides that are itching to show off their wedding shoes and make a non-traditional statement.

Empire

The key factor that makes an empire silhouette stand out is the raised waistline that lands just below the bust. Everything underneath flows down from there.

It is an elegant and modest style that works well for petite brides who are interested in lengthening the appearance of their legs or adding definition to the bust. They also are a great option for pregnant brides who may be looking for a classic option that compliments their figure.

Decide on a Neckline

Just like finding the right silhouette for your style, finding the right neckline will also help you to feel amazing on your big day. This is like the statement piece of the dress and needs to match the style and functionality you are looking for.

Sweetheart

One of the most well-known necklines, this one is cut low and shaped like the top of a heart outlines the bust.

It can have straps or not. Either way, it gleams with a feminine, romantic style. Whether you have a small or large bust, this neckline is great if you want to show a bit of cleavage.

Halter Neck

Just like the summertime staple, the halter top, the halter neck features a strap that sits around the neck to hold your dress over your shoulders. Most of these dresses have a high neck and are backless, but this is not mandatory.

It is a great option for modern brides who want to show off their shoulders and arms. It can also help to make petite brides look taller.

V-Neck

V-neck lines plunge down the chest to showcase the bust in all its glory. You can choose a modest v-neck that minimizes the appearance of your bust while helping to add height to your look, or you can commit to a showstopping cut that reveals cleavage in a confident and classy manner.

Square Neckline

This neckline has a straight cut that creates the bottom of a square when met with the straight straps that hold it over the shoulders.

It is a very angular option, but you can choose to opt for one in a more rounded fashion. It is very formal and elegant and works well to emphasize shoulders and a soft, round face.

Consider Sleeves

Sleeves can contribute to a dress being appropriate for certain locations or weather conditions, and can help add some modesty to an otherwise revealing gown. Sleeves could be a solution to a dress you love not being a great fit for your wedding plans, so keep them in mind when considering your options.

Strapless

Just like it sounds, strapless dresses have no sleeves or straps attached to the neckline. They hug the bust while creating an elegant appearance.

They don’t offer the most support and can bring attention to bad posture, so keep those things in mind when considering this option. A loose hairstyle and a statement necklace go great with a strapless gown.

Long Sleeves

Wearing long sleeves can create a beautiful and elegant style that transcends time. It is a classic look and works well with modern flares like low-cut backs or plunging necklines.

There are different options when it comes to the sleeves, like sheer and tight-fitting, bell, bishop, or three-quarter sleeves.

Cap Sleeves

This is a great way to cover up a bit of skin while still allowing for a feminine and light look. These sleeves cover the tops of the shoulders while leaving everything below, including the armpits, exposed.

Off-the-Shoulder

This is a stylish and seductive look that is modern and glamourous. The sleeves or straps hit below the shoulder, helping to highlight collarbones, necklines, and shoulders.

One Shoulder

This is another modern option that provides a unique look for brides who want a statement piece dress. It is an asymmetrical style that draws the eyes across the chest and to the top of your shoulders, as one is wrapped by a strap or sleeve and the other femininely peeks out, exposed.

Choose a Fabric

Some fabrics are more breathable and lightweight, while others are heavy and warm. The fabric will have an impact on the look and feel of the gown, so if you are aiming for a particular aesthetic, this could be a big consideration when wedding planning.

Silks and satins can create a traditional, elegant look that is perfect for a formal wedding. Jersey or tulle fabrics might be able to create more modern and adventurous styles.

Common Wedding Dress Fabrics:

  • Brocade
  • Charmeuse
  • Chiffon
  • Duchess Satin
  • Dupioni
  • Faille
  • Georgette
  • Jacquard
  • Jersey
  • Lace
  • Mikado
  • Organza
  • Satin
  • Shantung
  • Silk
  • Silk Crepe
  • Taffeta
  • Tulle
  • Velvet

Confidently Shop Your Wedding Dress Options

Now that you know about the silhouette, neckline, sleeve, and fabric that goes into your wedding dress options, you can confidently shop for a dress that fits your wedding plans.

Check out some of our other blog posts that can help you plan the perfect wedding. We post new articles all the time that can help you choose your wedding music, food options, and more.

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