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Saying Yes to YOUR Dress!

When it comes to picking out the perfect wedding dress your options and possibilities are endless! I mean, truly endless. But there is only one dress for you! Unless of course you decide to have the ceremony dress and a separate dress for the reception/ party, then there are two! Which means double the fun!

There are quite a few things to consider before saying yes to your dream wedding gown. And I am sure you have created and dedicated a Pinterest board to your big day, but here are a few things to think about as you are prepping for and planning your dress search. Because even though I hate to admit it as a photographer, the dresses never look the same in real life, they fit very different from how the models look in them online and they look so different on the hanger from being on you!

1. Are you eloping or having a traditional wedding day?

If you are eloping and down for hiking to your ceremony spot like I was, definitely think about distance and functionality of carrying your dress across roots, rocks, dirt, and puddles. My arms were definitely feeling the burn from hauling my dress through the woods that morning haha. Check out these shots by the talented and wonderful @samanthaharrellphotography from my own wedding day. The weight of the dress is definitely something I wish I had considered a little more, but it was oh so worth it!

2. The venue or ceremony location.

Not only should your venue location play a role in choosing your dress, but your shoe selection, as well. If you will be walking outside for photos or your ceremony space is outside in grass, think about heel choices that will not cause you to sink in the ground while walking down the aisle to and from the altar and standing for photos.

I even highly recommend for any wedding day against putting those high heels on until the last minute before you walk down the aisle. You will likely be standing in them for 30+ minutes at least so try to give those tootsies a little break. I promise you and your feet will thank me later, especially if you want to spend the rest of the night out on the dance floor.

I chose to wear my hiking boots on the hike to our ceremony point and then change into my leather sandals once we reached the overlook. I 10/ 10 recommend having a shoe change even if you are not hiking on your wedding day. Trust me you do not have to sacrifice those soft feet for the sake of style throughout the entire day, no one but you will likely see them under that stunning dress anyway.

3. The season for your ceremony.

Consider the material used in your dress when thinking about the season you will be wearing it. You can always add a super cute fur wrap or a personalized jean jacket if you are planning to get married in the winter months too.

If you are getting married in November, December, January, February, or March you can probably count on the weather being fairly chilly and frigid with dreary skies, but TN can surprise us with some amazing winter weather days. Any other month of the year here in TN and girl you'll be "hotter than blue blazes" so bringing a fan and a handkerchief for touch ups between pictures will definitely come in handy!

Whatever the weather, rain or shine, glistening in the summer heat or chilling it in the winter, I am here to capture it all as it unfolds!

4. Comfort & danceability

Danceability (Is this a word? I think so! ) and comfort, need I say more?

If you are absolutely in love with a specific style for your ceremony, but don't think you will be comfortable in it all day and all night don't be afraid to find another affordable dress for the "PARTAY" portion of your wedding day! Maybe your dream dress is fitted, but you know that won't allow you to bust a move as easily. You can add a bustle with alterations or opt to get that separate reception dress with less of a train or even a shorter style!

I have found some great bridal options for reception dresses at ASOS, Azazie, dress consignment stores, heck even Goodwill has some crazy good finds sometimes! (I found the gorgeous Sherri Hill dress combo below at my local Goodwill).

3. To wear a veil or to not, that is the question.

Veils are such a stunning accessory for your wedding day, but don't be afraid to be unique and choose a flower crown, stunning jeweled headpiece or even no veil at all!

4. Dun, dun, dun... The budget.

I had a price point in mind for my own wedding dress and forgot how much alterations might cost, sending me a little over the budget. Don't forget to keep in mind that alterations will add up quickly especially when you have a detailed dress that needs to be fit perfectly to you.

5. The bridal shop to help you find the perfect dress. I have a few amazing local ones to recommend in the Middle TN area, including Enchanted Bridal Boutique, The White Room, Too, & Belles & Beaus.

Check out the dress below that Grace Murphy modeled from Enchanted Bridal Boutique in a recent styled shoot at Promise Manor.

I also gathered a few words of advice & tips from a few brides on my Insta story:

"Try on everything even if you don't like it on the rack!" -Jennie

"Wear the same height shoes to the store as you will on your wedding day! And also bring shape wear with you to the store!" -Madelyn

"Set a budget and bring family members and friends you trust!" -Alayne

6. Most importantly, pick a dress that feels like you. Pick a dress you will be pleased to look back on in 20 years and that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable.


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