Singaporebrides | Fashion

October 2016

6 Common Mistakes Brides Make When Wedding Gown Shopping

Don’t make any of these wedding gown shopping mistakes!

The wedding dress is obviously one of the most important items on your wedding shopping list. You’ve probably been dreaming about it years before you even got engaged. Floating down the aisle to the love of your life in an ethereal tulle ball gown, or a slinky lace mermaid gown with a dramatic train—you’ve envisioned your walk of faith over and over. The right dress should make you feel beautiful, elegant, and graceful, and exactly like yourself. On the biggest (and most photographed) occasion of your life, you want a dress that makes you look and feel amazing.

Before you head down to the bridal boutiques to find that perfect dress, we speak to three wedding dress experts to suss out possible pitfalls when wedding gown shopping and how to sidestep them.

Mistake 1: Bringing too many family and friends to a fitting

After watching tearful episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress,” you might want to be surrounded by ooh-ing and aah-ing bridesmaids and family members as you twirl in gown after beautiful gown. But you should also have seen the confusion brides go through when one bridesmaid doesn’t like a particular neckline, or another votes for a different silhouette. When there are too many opinions being shouted at you, you can easily forget your own vision, and doubt your choices. Jordan, one of the partners of The Wedding Present, believes in being true to yourself when you’re shopping for a gown. “Although it is great to have the support of friends and family when wedding gown shopping, the bride should listen to herself instead of being influenced by conflicting comments from the accompanying entourage,” he says.

“One of the biggest mistakes a bride can make when wedding gown shopping is bringing too many friends, and ending up confused by too many opinions,” agrees Amanda Lee, designer of Amanda Lee Weddings. Each of your friends and family members has her own style, and while each opinion may be valid and well-meaning, ultimately, you are the one wearing your wedding dress. Don’t sway to conflicting ideas, especially when you’re custom-making a gown and it’s at a late stage of the design. Bring only one or two people who know you well, and whose opinions you really trust, to a gown fitting. “It is your wedding after all,” cautions Euzart, designer of Jawn Happy.Ever.After, who believes that even his professional opinion shouldn’t dictate what a bride wants to wear on her special day. “All opinions from professionals, friends and family are to assist a bride to fulfil the dream that only she knows best.”

wedding gown shopping mistakes Vivian and Josh’s Parisian Garden Wedding at Grand Hyatt Singapore by Bloc Memoire Photography

Mistake 2: Ignoring the quality of the gown’s fit

A good bridal boutique ensures that your wedding gown fits you like a glove, to accentuate your curves and flatter your figure. Amanda shares that depending on the complexity of the gown, a bride will usually come for two to three fittings before her wedding. Euzart recommends a similar number. “During the first fitting, brides try on their gowns with the intended shoes, taking in minor alterations on the gowns if needed,” he says. “After seeing the overall visual impact, we will advise them on details they want to be added, such as beading, embellishments, and lace.” A second fitting at Jawn Happy.Ever.After will have the finished gown ready for the bride to try on, along with a trial hair and makeup session. Final fittings are arranged nearer to the wedding date, to ensure perfect fit.

A great fit is also essential to how good a gown will look on you, as opposed to how good it looks in designed sketches, or on the mannequin. “After all, a great design looks good only on paper or on the rack unless there is an able tailoring team to capture the spirit and feel of the design,” explains Jordan. “There are gown designers with gown making abilities and there are gown suppliers with a good eye for designs—without an adequate in-house seamstress and production team, a good-looking gown plus a great fit is then reliant a lot more on luck.”

Mistake 3: Only trying on one silhouette

The sweetheart ball gown is probably the most popular wedding gown choice in Singapore, but is it the best choice for you? “Brides should learn to understand their body shape in order to find a style that is flattering to them,” says Amanda. “Women come in all shapes and sizes and there is really no one gown that fits all.” Don’t set your heart on a gown design based on how fabulous it looks in a photo. It doesn’t matter how good it looks in pictures, or even on the rack; it only needs to look good on you.

It’s definitely helpful to begin your wedding gown shopping with an idea of the style and silhouette you like, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you pigeonhole your choices. Don’t restrict yourself to only one silhouette or a favoured neckline if you want to find the most flattering fit for your body. “Brides should allow designers to recommend different variations based on their expertise, and try those gowns with an open mind to find the best fit for their body types,” urges Euzart. “Brides may be pleasantly surprised with the recommendation, as compared to what they had envisioned themselves to look like.”

The best wedding gown for you is one that complements your figure while staying true to your personality. “We believe a well-fitted bridal gown should be one which brings out the best features of the bride without completely changing her natural character,” shares Jordan. On your wedding day, you definitely want to be yourself!

The Rabbit Hole wedding 18 Jocelyn and Marcus’ Gorgeous Succulent Wedding at The Rabbit Hole by Click! Photography

Mistake 4: Forgetting about comfort

Wedding trends from overseas abound on Pinterest, and the first bridal gown references you’ve gathered are likely to feature beautiful dresses that suit cooler climates. While every fashion-forward bride wants to keep up with the bridal styles in vogue, don’t limit your search to what’s trending right now. As Jordan from The Wedding Present shares, it’s more important to consider what styles you feel comfortable in: “Brides should consider what looks and feels good on them rather than blindly following bridal design trends.” Don’t feel pressured to get a particular design just because it’s in fashion right now, but stick to your style instincts about what looks best on you, and you’ll feel more confident and comfortable in your wedding dress.

Your wedding gown should not only look great on you, it should be physically comfortable too, for you to really enjoy your special day. “Always provide as many details of the wedding as possible, so designers can give better advice, recommending the appropriate design, cut, silhouette, and fabrication to suit the venue,” advises Euzart. It’s easy to get swept away by the grandeur and beauty of your multi-layered ball gown, while you’re standing on a pedestal in an air-conditioned room, but don’t forget to think about your wedding venue, and the length of your celebration. If you’re holding an outdoor solemnisation followed by a wedding dinner that’s expected to last three hours, consider choosing a more lightweight wedding dress for your comfort. The last thing you want is to feel sweaty or itchy on your wedding day!

Mistake 5: Being unrealistic

You might fall in love with a gown on the rack, only to discover it’s three sizes too big. While it may be possible to drastically resize a gown, it’s unrealistic to expect that the gown will fit perfectly, since it was proportioned for a different size. Alterations are limited for certain fabrics too, such as lace, or heavily beaded fabrics. “Depending on the gown design, we do advise against shortening the hem of certain lace-edged gowns if the lace has to be compromised, affecting the overall visual impression of the bride in the gown,” says Euzart. If lace can be altered, it is often costly. “Alterations that involve fabrics like lace, or beaded fabric, is more time-consuming to do, and hence more expensive, as it involves plenty of hand work,” shares Amanda. Jordan recommends leaving such alterations, if necessary, nearer to the wedding date, so that fittings are most accurate. “The more complex and time-consuming alteration jobs are those which involve major alterations on fully beaded fabric or patterned embroideries on bridal gowns. For such gowns, we recommend that the gown is made-to-measure and fitted not earlier than two weeks before collection date,” he advises.

Consider having a gown designed and made to measure for you, so that you can have the details you love on a gown that fits and flatters your body. But here, you should also be realistic with your expectations. “Think about your budget and the kind of gowns you’ll want to have,” says Amanda. “You can’t expect a $10,000 gown design with a budget of $1,000. Also, allow yourself a buffer when it comes to the actual price for some flexibility.”

Nikoi_SGB_152 Joy and Ben’s Steampunk Wedding on Nikoi Island by Daniel Beh Photography

Mistake 6: Second-guessing yourself

It’s certainly not an easy decision to make, choosing the perfect gown in which to celebrate your love. How do you know when you’ve found The One? “With the prevalence of reality shows these days, some brides imagine that they should be emotionally moved when they wear the perfect gown,” shares Jordan. “Finding THE perfect gown becomes a stressful affair because one might think that there is another better gown out there.” But the absence of tears doesn’t mean your wedding gown doesn’t look perfect on you.

Don’t second-guess yourself by worrying that there is a better option out there. Smart brides know that while there may be another wedding gown you’ll like the look of, it’s better to commit to the one you’ve chosen so that you don’t waste time and expend negative emotions being indecisive. “Be courageous and responsible when making a decision on the gown,” encourages Amanda. “There will always be beautiful gowns on the rack, but stick to your gut feelings about what you want and focus on your gown once you have made a choice. Leave the nitty gritty details to the designers and enjoy the process of becoming a bride!”

Ultimately, you will look incredible in whichever gown you choose, so long as you’re glowing with joy and confidence. As Euzart puts it, “A bride should choose a gown design that is about her; a gown that she can stride down the aisle in comfortably; a gown that she will not regret marking the beginning of her marriage, for only with confidence and utmost happiness would a bride look her best.”

Amanda Lee is the designer behind Amanda Lee Weddings, located at 46 Niven Road, Singapore 228394 (by appointment only). Contact them at 6333 6678 or enquirewithamandalee@gmail.com. View a gallery of their gowns in our Lookbook.

Euzart is the designer behind Jawn Happy.Ever.After, located at 100 Orchard Road #03-06, Concorde Hotel and Shopping Mall, Singapore 238840. Contact them at 6736 1178 or enquiry@jawnhappyeverafter.com​. View a gallery of their gowns in our Lookbook.

Jordan is one of the lead designers behind The Wedding Present, located at 30, Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427754 (by appointment only). Contact them at 6323 2182 or weddingpresent@hotmail.com. View a gallery of their gowns in our Lookbook.


Credits: Feature image of Spring/Summer 2017 Lookbook by SingaporeBrides.