Choosing your wedding dress is one of the most important decisions of your life. It’s something many girls think about for years, decades even as they dream about being a bride and their wedding day. So when it comes down to choosing it for real, you’re going to need all the help you can get.

That’s where we come in. As a premier wedding venue, we have seen hundreds, if not thousands of brides cross our threshold. They have worn everything from satin, silk, trouser suits, full gowns, short dresses, formal, informal, in white, ivory, red and every other colour under the sun.

All have looked fantastic on the day because they all did one thing right. They got a wedding dress that suited them and their wedding theme. While there are “rules” for traditional wedding dresses, they are not as strict as they used to be.

The modern bride has more freedom than ever. That’s great in one way, but offers a real challenge in another. Choice is fantastic if you know what you want, but can be problematic if you do not.

That’s why we put this post together, to give you an idea of how to choose the right wedding dress for you.

Wedding dress budget

Like many aspects of your wedding planning, much revolves around how much you have to spend. A good rule of thumb is to allocate between 5 and 10% of your wedding budget to the dress. While that may sound a lot, it is not in the grand scheme of things.

Wedding dresses are hugely expensive, and you need to give it the time and budget it deserves.


There is no right way to arrive at a wedding theme. Often an overall scheme will occur in the initial stages of wedding planning. Other times, the dress will influence the theme or your lifestyle will dictate it. However you end up with yours; the dress has to fit.

Even if you fall in love with a full skirt with lace and a train, you’re going to have a hard job fitting it into a vintage wedding. If you love the dress so much, change the theme. Otherwise, restrict yourself to styles that will work with it.

Style and shape

Most of us have an idea of what body shape we are and what dress styles suit us best. While it’s useful to bear in mind, don’t let that limit your dress choice. Wedding dresses are different and go by different rules, so don’t be afraid to try something different.

The shop staff will be able to help, as will your mother or bridesmaids. Try shapes and sizes and don’t be afraid of trying something new. If the dress fits, wear it.

Narrowing your mind

A very wide wedding planner once told a bride we were looking after, “never try on a dress you cannot afford.” Never a truer word has been said on the subject of wedding dresses. We have done it ourselves and have regretted it ever since.

You know that if you try on a dress you cannot afford, you’re going to love it. It’s human nature to want things we cannot have, and this is a prime example. There is nothing worse than trying to manage a bride who falls in love with a dress she just cannot afford.

No matter how good it looks, never try on a wedding dress you cannot afford. It’s tough, but it’s a reality we all have to face.


There is no “perfect” wedding dress colour. While white is still by far the most popular, it’s your wedding so have it your way. We said before that modern brides have more freedom of expression than ever before and colour is a great way of showing that.

You could go for white, ivory or champagne, but there is nothing stopping you being more adventurous. You can choose a colour to suit your theme, your skin tone, the time of year, or anything you like.

Just don’t go for the latest “in” colour because it will date very quickly. Also, take advice from those around you. You do not want to look at your wedding album years later and wonder what on earth you were thinking!

Don’t forget the extras

If you already have shoes, take them with you when dress shopping. If you’re considering what underwear to wear, don’t worry too much as you can slip into something more suitable at the end of the night.

If you’re considering a veil, also think about what your hair will be like on the day. Are you getting married at the right time of year for a train? Will you need a stole or gloves? And so on.

There is an awful lot of thinking, dreaming and planning that goes into wedding dress selection. It’s the culmination of an entire childhood, a little girls dreams, hopes, ambitions and her adult experiences all wrapped up in one garment. It’s also the one thing that will shape your wedding day, so give it the thought it deserves!