Is it ever too early to buy your wedding dress? If you’re the type of person who likes to plan, stay ahead of things, or is detail-oriented, then the answer is easy: nope! If you’re not that kind of person, we do have some good reasons to consider saying yes sooner, rather than later. It is never too early to pull the trigger. Brides who have worked with me have most certainly heard me say, “You’ll be surprised how your gown will inform future wedding details!” Picking your gown absolutely speeds up the wedding planning details! But, how exactly?
Here are some obvious—and not-so obvious—ways and examples your gown choice can and will help you with other decisions!
1. The Bridal Party Look
Bridal party dresses and tuxes should complement and not clash with your gown. We have to think about colors, fabrics, and styles.
Here’s a story about my wedding: Thanks to Instagram, I was inspired to have my girls in shades of blush. Then I surprisingly bought a gown with blush undertones. Suddenly, my whole vision changed because I didn’t want my girls to be in the same color as me. The biggest change for me was deciding on a new color for not only my girls, but also what color my fiancé and his party would be wearing. I decided on grey for the bridesmaids, midnight blue for my fiancé, and black for the groomsmen. I realized after the fact that I wasted way too much time imagining and planning details with a color scheme that never came to fruition directly because of my gown choice. If I had known that I should have waited for my gown choice first, I probably wouldn’t have felt like I had to redesign my whole vision! And, I loved how it all came together!
Let’s also talk about fabrication. Maybe your wedding gown is minimalist, clean and satin. Wouldn’t it be fun to look at bridesmaids dresses with texture, lace or a pattern? Another example would be if you decided on a heavily textured and detailed wedding gown, perhaps you would balance it out with clean, classic bridesmaids dresses. You could also consider one cohesive look by having both you and the girls all in the same material, like chiffon. These decisions probably wouldn’t have been possible to make prior to finding your gown.
Another thing to think about is style. For example, let’s say your gown has off-the-shoulder straps. Let’s make you stand out by not having your other girls choose that neckline. Or, perhaps you want the look to be cohesive and decide ALL girls are going to wear off-the-shoulder straps like you!
Let’s go back to my wedding as an example. Suddenly I was looking at blush accents (and my fiancé actually had no clue as to why) to create a common theme and cohesive look throughout the wedding. I decided to go with wedding invitations with rose gold foil. This is a subtle, not-so-obvious nod to the gown that most people wouldn’t even pick up on, but it really worked well for detail shots shot by my photographer.
3. Floral Arrangements and Bridal Bouquets
Again, because of the blush undertones in my gown, I decided to go neutral with my flowers (white and greenery) so that my gown would stand out as the pop of color.
I cannot tell you how many brides love the look of a simple, clean ivory gown, but then say, “Is it too plain?” The cool news is, no, it’s not! Think about the fun and exciting floral arrangements you can carry to jazz up your look. On the contrary, if your wedding gown is on the more detailed end, perhaps you go with a simpler floral arrangement. If you have a highly intricate gown with really exciting beadwork, you may not want to carry a large floral arrangement that will cover up your dress, so maybe you’ll go with something smaller or simpler like a small bouquet of baby’s breath. Or perhaps you chose a gown with lace that resembles a plant or flower? You could totally add that to your bouquet for a special detail!
4. Your Wedding’s Dress Code and Formality
My gown had this gorgeous, long train which fit the venue perfectly. I was so inspired to encourage my guests to wear their best gowns and tuxes. I mean, when else would you be able to party like this?
Maybe you picked a gown with no train because you’re having a wedding at a restaurant. That invitation will most likely not have “Black Tie Optional” on it. On the contrary, you decided to go with a “Go Big or Go Home” type gown. Suddenly you’re inspired to have everyone in gowns and tuxedos. Black Tie or White Coat it is!
5. Wedding Venue/Location
In the same vein, if you haven’t already picked a venue, the gown can definitely help you narrow down on type of location as well! Many couples choose a venue first, but it can absolutely happen the other way around. One of my friends was so surprised by how much she loved the sparkle in her dress that she found a venue with spectacular chandeliers to mimic her gown. Another example could be that perhaps you found a gown with a long and elaborate train. Hopefully you’ll pick a venue that would be easy for you to walk around in.
6. Bridal Undergarments
You found a gorgeous thin, silk gown that goes perfectly with your elopement to Hawaii. However, you can’t wear a bra with the gown. Don’t know about you, but that’s intimidating to me! This would absolutely begin my search for the perfect undergarments and secure fashion tape that would make me feel 100 percent confident. If these aren’t things that you would normally buy, you’ll want plenty of time to search and shop! Give yourself the time to research, try on and ask advice, so you have the time to find what will work for you. Too often we see brides scrambling at the last minute to find the right things to wear under their dress. If you have enough time to search, you can even bring everything to your gown visit and see which items you purchased actually work with the dress.
7. Wedding Hair Styling and Bridal Accessories
During an appointment, I will sometimes ask if a bride has a specific hairstyle in mind. It’s usually undecided and she usually says, “It depends on the gown.” I personally love hearing this response because I believe you can’t truly start visualizing your wedding hair, choosing a style or accessories until you choose your gown. Let’s use a gown with an elaborate back for instance. If you planned on having long, flowy hair, you may wind up covering the gorgeous back of your wedding dress, or you may need to find a workaround so you can show it off. If you choose an elaborate back first, then you may even wind up looking at beautiful updos that will give your gown some space to shine.
Moral of the Story: You are the one who makes these decisions and they can—and will—be inspired by your beautiful gown. At the end of the day, there are no wrong decisions that you will make! But hopefully you can use this post as encouragement to use the design of your wedding gown as inspiration!