How to Choose the Right Wedding Dress - First Dance

Wedding Dress options

So you have an idea of the general style of your wedding, but you’re still lost with what dress to choose. These Dos and Don’ts will help you make the best decision about wedding day style.

Since Ballroom Dance Chicago is a wedding/first dance studio, these Dos and Don’ts weigh heavily on your ability to move and be comfortable while also looking your best.

Do: Match your wedding dress to the style of your wedding. We’ve seen some brides choose a fancy four-star hotel for their wedding reception and wear cowgirl boots or flip flops with a tea-length gown. It just didn’t look right. If you’re going for a traditional, formal wedding reception, we recommend choosing a gown with a timeless silhouette, like an A-line or a ball gown. If you’re headed to the beautiful mountains of Tennessee for your wedding or you’re parents are hosting in the quaint garden in their backyard, then by all means dress a little less formal!

Don’t: Wear what you don’t want to. In the end, you’ve got to wear what inspires you and makes you feel comfortable (yes, comfortable!) If you think your ideal wedding dress (say sexy and playful) doesn’t match your wedding style, go with two dresses. Wear something more formal for the ceremony, afternoon pictures and the beginning of the wedding reception (say through dinner), and then change into the sexy playful dress for your first dance and the dancing that follows.

Do: Be very careful about choosing your footwear. Yes, super high heels look great, but are you going to be able to spend 10+ hours wearing them? And how about the first dance? Wear something that feels good and looks beautiful. Anyway, who’s looking at the shoes anyway? We really love Angela Nuran Shoes, especially for those who want to kill their first dance and spend the remainder of the evening dancing as well. You could also take the more-is-more approach and get a pair of stunners for the wedding ceremony and a pair of equally stunning, but slightly more comfortable shoes for the first dance/reception. This especially works well if you’re changing dresses during the reception.

Don’t: Be casual. Dress to impress. I know this sounds strange, but we’ve seen a few weddings where the guests were told “black tie” and the groom wore a suit and the bride a cocktail dress. If you say “black tie,” you’d better be black tie as well, which means a floor-length gown for the bride.

Do: Defy any tradition that you don’t identify with. Even if that means choosing a dress that is non-traditional. Just make sure you’re matching your wedding’s style and that you clearly communicate what’s proper attire to your guests.

Don’t: Expect your dress to stay pristine and clean if you have a beach wedding. Avoid long trains and delicate fabrics and go barefoot if you’ll be walking on the sand.

Do: Think about tone. White isn’t just white – there are many tones of white. Make sure to choose the right one for your skin so you don’t look washed out. And that doesn’t mean to get a spray tan before. Look natural! Just make sure the fit AND color look good on your body.

Do: Let your personality show through every detail of your wedding. This includes the dress, accessories, music and traditions you want to adhere to. It’s your wedding and you can choose exactly what you want to include and what you want to leave out.

Do: Choose a dress that IS flattering, not one you just think is flatter. Don’t decide what wedding dress you want before you’ve tried a bunch on. First try on as many as you can stand, take a bunch of pictures and have a girls night out where, after a few glasses of wine, everyone will be honest about what they think. In the end, you need to be happy with your wedding and the dress, but if you have a vision of what you want before you know the options and what works best for you body, your vision can be clouded.

Do: Put time and thought into choosing undergarments. Choose a color that matches your skin tone and a style that allows the dress to hang perfectly. You don’t want your silhouette interrupted by lines.

Don’t: Say, “It’ll be ok. I know it’s heavy/big/etc. but it’s so beautiful.” Be realistic with your choices. Think about your first dance and the remainder of the reception. Does the dress allow you to move?

If you have any questions about what dresses are ideal for dancing or any other topic related to your first dance and dancing at your wedding reception, please feel free to contact us.

For other wedding/first dance-related post check out the follow: what if I don’t have rhythm? how many lessons do we need for our first dance? how do we choose a first dance song?