A wedding dress for every setting
A lot of factors can impact what you decide to wear on your wedding day, like personal style and budget. Another important consideration: where you plan to say ‘I do.’
“Having your venue selected before you go shopping for your wedding dress can be a huge deciding factor in which dress that you choose. The venue a lot of times represents and sets the tone for what type of ‘theme or vibe’ you and your groom are trying to achieve for your wedding day,” says Jillian Porter, buyer and bridal manager for Glitz Nashville.
Of course, like many wedding traditions, matching your dress to the venue isn’t a hard and fast rule. It’s ultimately your day, so you should wear what makes you feel like a bride.
“I truly believe that any gown can work for any location,” says Jenifer Amato, owner and bridal consultant for All About the Bride in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Everyone has their own definition of a certain venue or theme, but as long as the bride believes the gown fits her vibe, then that’s all that truly matters. A bride needs to wear whatever style lights her up and makes her never want to take off the gown.”
However, finding a dress that complements your venue sounds like your kind of thing, here’s a quick guide to the styles that are trending for common wedding settings:
On the beach
Since the typical uniform at the beach is a swimsuit, many brides who tie the knot by the sea go with a “less is more” approach to their attire. Think sleeveless silhouettes, flowy fabrics and sheer details. Not only will you be more comfortable under the sun, but it also matches the casual vibe of most beach locales.
For the color, Amato suggests a warmer tone like champagne, mocha, nude or blush. “This way, there is some contrast from the sand on the beach and the bride,” she explains.
Planning your beach wedding on a foreign coast? Be sure to select a gown that can handle the long-distance journey.
“Choose something that is easy to travel with, like a smaller dress that might be able to be carried on a flight with you,” advises Porter. “Dresses that are all over lace or a tulle dress that doesn't show wrinkles are always a good choice.”
At a religious site
A traditional setting like a church, synagogue or temple often requires more traditional attire. That could mean anything from a minimalist A-line dress to a dramatic ball gown with a cathedral length train depending on the particular venue.
However, before you fall in love with a dress, “talk with the pastor or priest, or rabbi with what stipulations there might be for dress code,” suggests Porter. “If they do require more coverage, you can always get a jacket for the ceremony and take it off for the reception.”
In the city
Getting married in an urban venue, like a loft or rooftop with a view of the skyline? Consider a bridal look that’s more fashion-forward.
“The styles that have been most on-trend as of late of a modern or urban bride is a very classic and sleek dress or an interesting lace pattern that is not a floral, but more art-deco,” says Porter.
Since many urban venues tend to be more industrial, brides can also feel free to experiment with avant-garde or edgy details.
“When I think of an urban wedding, I think of a gown that has some sort of dramatic element. For instance, a clean crepe fit and flare with a feather jacket. Something that would really make the gown pop in an urban setting,” says Amato.
In the garden
Rustic venues, like backyards, vineyards and barns, are all about relaxed elegance rather than glamourous extravagance. If you’re looking for a dress that matches this casual vibe, consider something simple and delicate, like a chic A-line or sheath silhouette with floral appliques.
“Most of these brides really gravitate towards lace, romance, something with ‘ease,’ adds Porter. “Finding a dress that is comfortable and can move easily is very key in these types of settings.”