How to choose a wedding dress


Lisa Merton knows a thing or two about wedding dresses, having designed hundreds of dresses in the ten years she’s been a bridal designer.

Lisa, who runs Culture Bridal Couture, says that choosing a wedding dress is one of the biggest and most important decisions a bride-to-be will make, but that no matter how many brides she fits, every single one of them is unique.

Three-stunning-vintage-inspired-weddings-gowns-from-Lisa's-Culture-Bridal-Couture

Three stunning, vintage-inspired weddings gowns from Lisa’s Culture Bridal Couture

“I have met so many gorgeous brides,each and every one being truly unique.” says Lisa. “So I firmly believe that your wedding gown should reflect your personality, who you are, what you love in life, and really celebrate your individuality. The last thing I would want for a bridal client of mine is to look like every other bride that has gone before her.”

The first thing lisa suggests to brides is to think about the overall feel or “theme” of their wedding day, what sort of mood they want to create, what little details they’d like their guests to remember in years to come. For some, it may be a relaxed feel, warm and intimate, with little personal touches represented throughout the décor, flowers, food and music. For this scenario, a beautiful yet relaxed style of gown would be perfect, something soft and flowing, feminine and perhaps a touch “boho”. Simple yet gorgeous!

On the other hand, another bride might want to capture a more classic or vintage feel for her wedding day, perhaps with a certain era in mind, like the stylish 1930’s (Jean Harlow) or the 1950’s or 1960’s (think Madmen or Audrey Hepburn). For this concept, we can look for inspiration in film stars and style icons from that particular era, and design an elegant gown capturing that mood. We’d select distinctive hair and make-up styles echoing that era, together with hand-picked accessories, to complete the look.

Here is a list of questions I think each bride should ask herself, when she is beginning her search for the perfect wedding dress:-

1)- What colour would I love to wear – and what shades or colours suits me best?

2)- What dress shapes or silhouettes make me feel fabulous and give me confidence?

3)- What kind of gown will suit the location, time of day, season and the expected weather of my wedding day?

4)- What theme or mood do I want to set for my wedding day… this can also help to guide all other styling decisions, such as colours, invites, flowers, accessories, Bridal Party outfits, etc.

5)- What kinds of fabrics do I like best – Laces, Tulles, Satins, matte fabrics (like silk chiffon or georgette), or perhaps more structured fabrics like silk Dupion or Duchess Satin?

6)- What budget am I aiming for? In general, AUD$1,000 – $3,000 will require “off-the-rack” or ready-made, or a local dressmaker. With AUD$3,500 and upwards, consult a Couture designer, who will offer a much more personal service, and custom-make your dream gown just for you.

7)- How much time do I have to allocate to my wedding gown? If you are “time-poor” then you may not be able to attend all the personal fittings required for a Couture gown –least 4- 6 months, and 4 personal fittings. If this sounds impossible, then perhaps buying a ready-made gown is a better option for you.

8)- How important is my wedding gown to me, in the grand scheme of the wedding day? Many brides have varying views on this, as we all have different priorities in life. Is this your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wear the most fabulous, luxurious, indulgent and utterly beautiful dress you will ever own. Or do you feel the gown is not as important as the food, music, location, atmosphere and the “experience” you want to share with your Groom and guests throughout the entire day. Your answer to this question will help you decide whether to go Couture, ready-to-wear or by a local dressmaker.


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