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What to Prioritize when Wedding Dress Shopping

Hey! That’s me tearing it up on the dance floor on my wedding day. Clearly having the BEST. DAY. EVER. Now that I’m married, I can’t stress the importance of feeling comfortable in your wedding dress. When you are wedding dress shopping, there are some important things you want to consider. I work with brides as a custom wedding dress designer, so I consider myself an authority on this particular issue. Being a bride gave me a whole new appreciation for the process. 

My dress was designed for my body, so I knew that I was going to feel gorgeous and comfortable. I had the design planned for years so my friend, Alix Martin could paint the train fabric. This train was the focal point, so the dress needed to be simple. I’m small on top and pretty hippy, so I knew that I didn’t want a dress that was fit and flare because it all you would notice would be my hips. I designed a very simple partially bias cut, backless halter made of doubled silk crepe back satin. The train was attached to an underskirt that I was able to easily take off for the later portion of the party. That bad boy was heavy AF and I had no where to secure it on the dress since it was so slinky. 

In short – because I made my dress I had the advantage to think ahead about all of the elements that needed consideration. I was able to plan around the potential hiccups, but if you fall in love with a dress off the rack, you might not have that luxury. Here are some thoughts and tips for you when wedding dress shopping!

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Support your girls

Support means straps, illusion netting or inner corsetry. Backless is hot, no doubt… but it can still be hot with illusion netting that no one will ever notice. That angle of the dress from your neck/shoulder area down to your back is particularly vulnerable and can cause trouble when altering. I had to re-cut that piece on my dress 3 times before I got it right.

I couldn’t wear a bra, which usually never bothers me but… modesty for the family… so I used some lift tape and made sure the dress fabric was thick enough to conceal. Those, btw worked amazingly for me on the day, even through the sweat. Chicken cutlets were much too bulky and felt like a boob on top of my boob – which was bizarre. For those of you ladies who are much more well endowed than I, I would caution you against these sticky apparatuses. Either let yourself all hang out or find a dress that provides support.

The right fit for your body

Tightness is a concern, too. The tighter  you make a dress, the more drag lines you’ll see. Fabric is supposed to move with your movements, so it won’t look exactly the same when you’re standing up straight versus when you walk down the aisle. Regardless of what you see in the magazine ads, you will  need to sit, pee, and drop it down low to the flo.

If there is a part of your body that you can’t stand – don’t choose a dress that makes it worse for you. I mean, this is all totally in your mind, first and foremost… but that’s all that matters, I guess? You’ll just stare at it in all of your fittings and it will tarnish your view of your beautiful self!


Every long train will need a place to go when you’re dancing. This is where bustles come into play. Not all dresses can pull off any style of bustle. It depends on the fabric, length of the train, fullness and amount of fabric. If you are vehemently against a bustle – don’t select a dress with intricate lace trim when you’re wedding dress shopping. Or consider a second skirt that you can wear over top!

In summary, you don’t want to have to think twice about the dress. It should be an extension of you and make you feel your absolute best. Don’t choose a dress that fights with your body, find on that flatters you right away. But just in case your heart is set on a trouble maker, find a skilled dressmaker or alterations tailor who can put her in her place. 

I’ll be sharing a selection of new tips every month, but our blog and social feeds are always flowing with inspiration on the daily! Keep following along with us daily on social media for new inspiration, tips and advice for your own wedding right from WNY’s most talented group of vendors! Make sure our directory is your first stop when you’re searching for a vendor, get tickets to our upcoming events, and follow us on all of the channels! #partyonbrides #partyongrooms

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