Wedding dress shopping for any bride can be a massive challenge. Trying to find the perfect bridal outfit to exceed all your family and friend’s expectations along with “wowing” your partner can be a stressful and overwhelming task. Will you wear a bridal gown or a suit? Will you and your partner match outfits? Will you go wedding dress hunting together? These are just some of the very few questions you may have already been asked when planning for your wedding. It’s important that you and your partner do a sufficient amount of research before hitting the stores so you know exactly what to look for and what to ask, so any bridal professional can help bring your vision to life. We understand that planning a same-sex wedding can be quite the challenge as there tends to be very limited resources and ideas to help inspire and guide you for your big day! But don’t fear….we are here to help answer all your questions on how to find the perfect ensemble for you and your loved one.
How to get started!
Regardless of the type of wedding you’re having, it’s always important to do some research before jumping straight into it. Planning a wedding can take a lot of time…and patience! To avoid running around in circles, the first thing you should do is buy a bridal notebook. This notebook will become your holy grail when the time comes for you to shop around in stores. As you begin to gather ideas, pictures and inspirations from online, you should begin writing and sticking them down in a book to discuss and fine tune with your partner. The easiest way to begin your research is to jump online to the following sites: Easy Weddings, Polka Dot Bride, BridalGuide.com and Hello May (just to name a few). These Bridal Directories are full of fantastic ideas and can help guide you to the correct websites and companies to bring to life your bridal vision. Along with this, start searching up wedding outfit ideas on Instagram, Google Images and Pinterest. When looking for your bridal attire, think about the shape and silhouette that you will feel most comfortable in. Look at different fabrics and laces; consider different colorways, along with other intricate detailing or finishes you would want added to your gown/suit (e.g. tulle cape, long scallop-hemmed train, French lace on collars, bedazzled pockets on blazer etc.).
Lotte Jeffs and her partner Jen. Photograph by: Holly Falconer
Plan in advanced
Did you know that getting a custom-made gown could take anywhere between 12-18 months?! If you’re considering this option then it’s extremely important that you get in early. Grab your gal pals and head to the bridal boutiques to try on some stunning dresses. It is always advised to try on a range of different styles from fit and flare, ball-gown, sheath style to A-line and many more; to give you a better idea of what suits your body and what you feel most comfortable in. For brides wanting to opt for a classy, well-tailored suit or perhaps a stunning jumpsuit, then your best option would be jumping online and finding a bunch of ideas to show your Designer and Dressmaker. Our in-store specialists can guide you with what will be most flattering for your body, along with fine tuning the style and providing styling advice. It’s important to note that finding the right Bridal Couturier that specializes in your particular style can be very difficult as they tend to book out quite far in advanced. Along with this fabrics and French laces can take anywhere between 3-6 months to order in, specifically for your custom bridal outfit. As soon as you have a brief ideation and vision of your bridal attire, it’s best to book an appointment and get the process going.
Deidre Downs wearing Lian Carlo and Abbott Jones wearing Sareh Nouri. Photograph by: Kelli and Daniel Taylor
Embrace your individuality
Whether you and your partner decide to both wear dresses or suits or perhaps mix and match; it’s important to embrace your individuality. When researching bridal attire, look at various ideas and styles that reflect your personality and what you will feel most comfortable in. Consider the theme of your wedding, the location, weather and formality, as these factors will play a great part in the decision-making process. Like every other bride, you will feel the pressure of finding that so-called “perfect” bridal gown. It’s important that you try on dresses that you think will flatter you regardless of what your partner will wear. Quite often same-sex brides get caught up in what the other partner will wear and if it will coordinate with their look too. Before ruling out any options, consider anything and everything!! Bridal shopping is a process of elimination and it takes time to say “Yes to the dress”…or in this case possibly a suit?
Cynthia Nixon wearing Carolina Herrera. Photo: Via Gothamist
Make sure you coordinate
The beauty of two women tying the knot, is that there are double the dresses!! Double the glamour!! And double the tulle!! If you and your partner have opted to both wear dresses then it’s important to consider finding something cohesive. It can be a challenge finding your dream gown without clashing or looking too similar to your partner. Coordinating is great but try avoid matching outfits. Select fabrics, colours, laces and trims that complement each other well but are different enough to be able to create your unique style. If the both of you wish to wear a tailored suit, then make sure you research some of the best and experienced tailors in your local area. Finding a womenswear tailor can be difficult as not many specialize in this field. Avoid going to anyone to get this done as quite often Tailors will use a Men’s pattern block and “adapt” it slightly to your body. This can often result in a bulky, poorly fitted suit and nobody wants that on their wedding day. When selecting suits consider the different fabrications, collar designs, intricate finishing’s such as lace or embroidered detailing on the pockets etc. If you’d rather keep it simple and elegant then consider a beautiful high-quality fabric. A material with a pattern or texture could be a perfect way to modernize and customize your bridal look. Explore different options until you discover what works best for you and your partner.
Designer Courtney Adams (left), Hailey Paige (right). Photograph by: Tara Tomlinson
Should you shop together?
Traditionally, the future spouses are to not go dress shopping together as it is known to cause bad luck. However, over the past few years, more and more couples are dress hunting together and we love seeing the joy of two happy couples supporting one another’s decisions. Shopping together is a very personal decision and will vary from couple to couple. If you would rather keep the element of surprise then grab your gal pals together and keep the future wifey at home whilst you shop for your dream bridal attire. When bridal shopping separately- try to enlist some mutual friends or family members to help guide you and your partner when hunting for a dress to complement one another. Alternatively, you and your partner could book individual appointments at the same bridal boutique with the same consultant. A professional Bridal Consultant will be able to suggest dresses and direct you to stunning options to flatter you whilst also complimenting your partners chosen gown.
Cat Cora wearing Pnina Tornai and Nicole Ehrlich wearing Maison Signore gown. Photograph by: Meeno