Choosing a dress - a photographer's perspective

OK, I'm not a dress maker, or seller. I'm not even a woman and have never been a bride. So you may wonder why I would ever consider even talking about wedding dresses. Well, as a wedding photographer, and photo editor, I do have a unique perspective on the wedding dress - the view through the camera lens. 

I have seen quite a few wedding dresses - all of which look gorgeous of course, and all on stunning brides... but... how can I put this delicately?...  when certain dresses are worn by certain brides... well, I have to wonder what they were thinking. 

And before I rant, please understand that I would never ever say this directly to any of my brides - and certainly none of them deserved it, but you know, we have all seen some bride with this problem. That's why there are no pictures in this post - I won't point out any brides who fit this description, but you know who you are...

Did they really look at themselves in the wedding dress, or did they just like the look of the dress on the manikin? Yes, it certainly is a gorgeous dress, but does it look good on you?

You don't want parts of you "busting out" of the dress, or a dress that hangs on you like it's draped on a hanger... Your dress should compliment your body type and enhance the beauty that all brides have. After all, it is not the dress that makes a bride beautiful - it is the joy and hope of a future with the wonderful man they are marrying that gives them a glow. The dress is not to convince people you are someone different than who you are every other day, but rather to enhance that beauty and show you off. 

Paying more for the dress is also not the answer. Just because a dress is expensive does not mean it is better for you. So be true to yourself and wear the dress that says "She is a beautiful bride!", not the one that says "She must have spent a lot on that dress!". 

Sure, Photoshop can fix certain problems, but why use a tool to fake who you are? You're a beautiful bride (your fiance thinks so!), so pick a dress that shows how beautiful you are, not one that says I'd rather be someone else.

So, maybe I can't advise you on the best dress to wear, but I can encourage you to find the right dress for you. There are plenty of seamstresses and tailors out there who can clothe you better than I ever could, so listen carefully to what they say. Google some help - there are also plenty of places to find information on what kind of dress is best for your body type.

Here is one that I found that you might find helpful:

It gives you some simple tips depending on your body type (Check the site for pictures and more):

Pear shaped: wear a skirt that naturally flows from the waste outward - follow the natural shape of your lower body and use it to enhance the shape of the dress.

Busty: V-line dress that scoops into the breast rather than straight across. This will allow the breasts to appear natural and not "stuffed".

Plus sized: cover and follow the shape of areas that tend to be larger - shoulders and arms. Use an A-line skirt from the waste down to allow your shape to enhance the dress - avoid pleats and styles that look like maternity wear.

Apple shaped: Find a dress that cinches at the smallest point on the waistline then flares to a gradual A shape. A deep V neckline will draw eyes towards the vertical not the horizontal.

There are lots more body types, so check the site.

Here's an infographic that might be very helpful:


So, bottom line: Stick to your budget, stick to your dress size, stick to your style and most of all, be true to yourself!

You will look stunning!!


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