7 Wedding Decisions You Need To Make Before You Buy The Dress

Brides-to-be often race to the bridal boutique long before they’ve even set a date for the wedding! After all, this dress is going to be THE dress. It is the one thing you’ll wear in your lifetime that has to be absolutely perfect. But it might be best to wait until many of the other parts of the wedding have been planned, and some of those wedding essentials have been bought. Here’s why:



Your choice of venue might sway your thinking for the dress. If it’s a small space, then a twenty-foot train will be cumbersome. And if your wedding reception is to be held in a marquee, then you want to know your dress won’t be ruined if the grass outside turns to mud! Short skirts and even a bolero in winter could be essential, depending on the venue you choose.


Don’t forget that some venues have months of waiting lists. This means your date for the wedding might fall through if you have your heart set on a particular venue. Equally, that means you might end up marrying in a different place altogether. If you’re in a hurry to buy the dress, just make sure you know where you’re going and that your choice is suitable for the space.


The weather can be kind, and it can also be horrible. The last thing you want is to spend the day in a dress that got soaked on the way to the venue. Religious venues can also be pretty cold in the winter. Blue skin is not a great look on a bride! Whatever dress you buy, make sure it’s right for the weather.


Many dresses today are made from manufactured fibres, at least in part. Add all that extra underwear, and you might be sweating before you walk down the aisle. Some bridal boutiques have dresses just for the season you’re in. Make sure you see a range of dresses that could work in all seasons.

First Dance

If you’re up for doing something a little more spectacular for your first dance, you’ll also need to make sure you have a dress that moves! If you can’t get those legs moving, then your first dance might be ruined. Plan the dance and try it out before you go dress shopping. You’ll have a better idea of the skirt style you can get away with. Don’t forget that shoes can make all the difference!


Big trains and little cars do not go hand in hand. You might be up for a horse and carriage arrival, but if you can’t ascend the steps into the carriage, then you might be in trouble. All of this day will be on video and FaceBook for the world to see so make sure you can move about the vehicle and retain your dignity.


Some venues can’t permit motorised vehicles to approach the entrance. This means you might have a fair bit of walking to do before you ever make it to your ceremony. Make sure the dress you wear can be carried with ease, and the shoes can take a few miles!


Many brides like the idea of a very fancy menu for their wedding reception. If you love food, why not splash out a bit on the catering? Elegant dishes spread across five courses is not unusual for a wedding. However, many brides also like the idea of corsetry in their dress. This will prevent you eating much at all. If you’re a foodie, pick a dress with a bit of give, or you’re going to suffer some terrible indigestion.


Spaghetti bolognaise or tikka curry might be your favorite dishes. Unfortunately, they can be rather messy. Food that is high in color and difficult to eat without a few splashes should definitely be off the menu if you’re planning on hiring your dress. Those types of stains simply won’t come out! Buffets can be particularly hazardous. Sit down if you’re eating so you can avoid those drips and crummies.

Guest Numbers

Why do you need to decide your guest numbers before you buy your dress? This one is more to do with budgeting. When you’re choosing your wedding invites you probably have a rough number in mind. Refining that list takes time and a lot of conversations with the family. But if the guest list is extensive, you might have to cut back on other areas of the wedding. After the reception venue, your dress is probably the biggest cost.


Juggling the numbers is hard to do. Make sure you add a date for RSVPs on your wedding invitations so you can firm them up. You might need to pass that figure on to the venue manager too. This will determine your final cost. Only then will you know exactly how much is left to spend on the dress.


If you know you want a theme, then make all the decisions on that before you buy a dress that could be completely out of place. Vintage, traditional, contemporary, or period are common themes to choose from. If you have special interests or passions in life, then you might choose to incorporate those into your wedding too. This might affect everything from the invitation design to the vows. Once you know what theme you would like, you can choose a dress that complements that.


Of course, many themes are nothing more than a color choice. This often comes from a dress design that you’ve fallen in love with. Perhaps the dress itself will form the basis of your whole wedding theme? That color could easily be used in the flower bouquets, the tableware, the car, and the invites. Do you have a color in mind, or will you let your dress lead the way?

No wonder weddings take so long to plan! There are so many decisions to make, and many of them might be made before you ever try a dress on. Of course, sometimes the dress is so important, everything else can be decided later!