Wedding Dresses: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Your wedding should be your special day, so you want to look your best in the wedding dress you pick. But which one do you choose? There are so many out there in different styles and fabrics that the choice can be quite a difficult one. Why not equip yourself with all the knowledge out there so that you can find the perfect dress for your shape and the occasion? Here are some important details to remember when looking at wedding dresses.

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Dresses come in a wide variety of silhouettes and shapes that are flattering to different body types. And don’t forget to take a look at some bridal accessories to go along with the right dress silhouette. There are different names for these silhouettes so that when you take a trip to go dress shopping, you can understand the terms that the boutique owners are using.

A-Line Silhouette

This is considered to be the most flattering across the various kinds of body shapes. A-line silhouettes are fitted at the waist and then flare out at the bottom into a soft A-shape. The shape works well on curvy brides to bring in their waists and petite brides to make them look taller.

Mermaid Silhouette

A mermaid dress hugs the body from the bust down to the knee, and then it flares out at the bottom, creating the illusion of a mermaid tail. It is known to emphasize the waist and hips so that they can gain the spotlight. Because of the fitted shape of the dress, you should move around in the dress to see if it’s easy to walk and sit down.

Trumpet Silhouette

This is a toned-down version of the mermaid silhouette; instead of the flare starting at the knees, it starts mid-thigh. It’s a wonderful silhouette for slender frames and hourglass shapes. This is a great choice for brides who want to flaunt their curves.

Ball Gown Silhouette

If you want to feel like a fairytale princess, then you may want to look at ball gowns. There’s volume, there’s drama, and it still has a classic appearance that most brides are looking for. The voluminous skirt is the perfect balance for those who are a bit top-heavy or who are self-conscious about their hips. Because of the size of the dress, it’s a good idea to keep the embellishments to a minimum.

Slip Silhouette

The slip dress is very chic, with a very minimal appearance that makes it very easy for you to accessorize. It has a sophisticated look that most brides appreciate because it can be tailored to fit their body in the exact way that they want.

Column Silhouette

A column dress is designed to be seamless, and is often given a lot of structure with thicker fabrics like brocade and taffeta. The design and structure of the dress as designed to give you a sleek and slender look so that you can look your absolute best on your wedding day.

Tea-Length Silhouette

Looking for a long dress that sweeps the ground? You may want to take a look at tea-length dresses. They’re down to the ground and provide an old-fashioned look that some brides love. It has a more traditional air about it that can make your wedding day feel timeless and classy. Most times, it’s an unconventional choice, so it’s good for those who want their wedding days to stand out.

Fabric Choices

With the types of dress silhouettes out of the way, it’s time to look at fabrics. The fabric of your wedding dress should be chosen based on what kind of wedding you’re going to have. You shouldn’t go for a thick fabric if you’re going to have a summery, beach wedding. Here’s what you should know about the different kinds of fabrics there are for wedding dresses.


This is usually made from synthetic or silk fabrics and is set apart by jacquard (raised designs) woven into the fabric. The material can be stiff but it is much lighter than satin, making it the perfect choice for winter weddings.


Chiffon is typically used as an overlay on other fabrics because it’s so light. It can also be layered over itself to provide a sheer and elegant appearance. It’s usually made from woven silk or rayon and has an airy structure that is reminiscent of a fairytale. Keep in mind, however, that because of its light structure, it can be very delicate and is quite prone to snagging.


Lace is one of the more popular wedding dress materials out there and for a very good reason. Lace can be incredibly detailed and add a much-needed texture to any dress that needs some dressing up. Lace can be quite diverse in pattern, texture, weight, and embellishments, with some of them even sporting pearls or jewels. Lace is pretty flimsy on its own, however, and does need the support of other fabrics in order for it to keep its shape.


Mikado is a heavier silk with a high sheen and thick weight. This makes it easy for it to be tailed and structured into the exact shape and presentation the designer is looking for. It’s the perfect fabric for year-round, but it works best in cooler temperatures because of how thick it is.

Point d’Esprit

This is a polyester net that is usually sewn in the formation of a diamond pattern. Typically used for veils, it can be incorporated into dresses as well in order to add some extra dimension. It works well in all seasons of weddings, providing a light and airy feel to any occasion.


Taffeta is typically made from silk or synthetic fibres and works well for both summer or winter weddings. It is a versatile fabric that can be dyed in any color and almost appears iridescent, depending on the weaving process. It has a very structured quality that makes it easy to work with to achieve specific shapes in dresses.

This is, by no means, a complete list of all the fabrics that are out there. But hopefully, this beginner’s guide has given you some insight as to what the make choices and features are when looking for the perfect wedding dress for you. Be sure to contact a local wedding boutique to help you out if you have any further questions.