One of our first stops on our foray into the “wedding world” was to René at White Wisteria bridal boutique! After I was engaged in late 2014, we excitedly went out dress shopping and just knew from the moment we walked in that this was the place I was going to find the perfect dress: their shop is not too big and not too small…every dress beautifully curated for local brides to peruse. Needless to say, I found the dress of my dreams that I still love pulling out of the closet and reminiscing over. Flash forward to today where René now owns the boutique with her husband and amazing team!
I really hope you enjoy this really enlightening q&a format which will answer every question you ever had about wedding dress shopping and, specifically, special considerations for outdoor weddings.
First and foremost, congrats on becoming a bride to be! These months are going to be full of time consuming planning but we hope to take a little stress of your plate by giving you some tips on selecting your wedding dress. Why is the wedding dress so important? It’s the most sentimental piece of clothing you will own and will be a part of your memories and photographs for a lifetime. Your wedding dress should represent you and encompass your vision for your wedding day. Wondering how to start planning? Begin with selecting a wedding date and compiling a mood board with inspirational images. Once you’ve narrowed down your vibe and wedding date you can book a venue that reflects your vision. Now for where we come in. We have had a lot of brides question what they should wear for an outdoor venue so in this blog we will cover shopping tips geared towards an outdoor venue.
What are general pre-shopping tips?
The process takes a while so plan to purchase your dress a year in advance. Shorter timeframes are do-able but keep in mind you may incur rush fees. Set a realistic budget that won’t break the bank or send your future hubby into shock. Keep an open-mind your style may change throughout the process and the most important is that you stay true to yourself.
Are there season specific dresses?
No! While dresses are released by the designers during specific seasons of the year, they are not designed for “summer” or “winter” like ready to wear clothes. However, some dresses have a floral motif that may give off a more “spring” vibe but keep in mind if you love it you can wear it no matter your wedding date.
Can a bride still select a formal gown even if she’s getting married outside?
Girl, you can wear a ballgown on a beach. Your wedding is what you make it and should reflect your personality! Your personality will shine through everything that you style for you wedding so it will all tie in and be cohesive.
What silhouettes are best for an outside wedding venue?
Trick question! All shapes are great for outdoors. The key is to find a shape that makes you feel the most beautiful and confident. One thing to keep in mind, is if it is hot out you may feel more comfortable in a lightweight dress such as an A-line or sheath. On the opposite spectrum, if it is cold out it might be nice to have added layers of fabric to keep you warm like a ball gown or fit and flare. Sleeves are an added bonus!
Are certain dress necklines more appropriate than others based on the season?
While they are not necessarily based on appropriateness, some could work better for your body sensitives. For instance, if you are someone who has skin irritations when you get hot consider having minimal fabric on your neck ie strapless. Another example would be if you tend to get chilly having more fabric would keep you warm during winter nights such as a high neck or halter. Also, consider a high neck if your skin gets blotchy due to nerves or excitement.
Are certain fabrics better than others?
Heavier fabrics are traditionally better for the colder months. Examples of heavier fabrics are satin, mikado, and taffeta. Light and airy fabrics are more suitable for heat and humidity. Examples of light fabrics are English netting, tulle, chiffon, lace, organza, and crepe. Every fabric has its own unique characteristics that you should prepare for. For example, satin is timeless and elegant but will visibly show stains and perspiration. Tulle is romantic and ethereal but be careful of traipsing through twigs and grass as it can catch and snag.
What undergarments should I wear under my dress?
The undergarments you choose depend on the amount of support you desire. Most dresses do have built in bust support. If you are desiring more support talk to a consultant about bodysuits, longline bras, slips, and other types of support garments. Be realistic! Understand that a longline bra can’t be worn with a backless dress. Pro tip: added layers of spanx underneath your dress during the winter will add warmth but don’t discount spanx for the summer. While it may be unpleasant to address, sweating and chaffing are a real concern in the hotter months and a pair of spandex biker shorts will ensure you can dance the night away.
What style of footwear would you suggest?
Consider the terrain and weather when choosing your footwear. Unless you’re only walking on cement or pavement leave the stilettos at home. Lots of outdoor venues have grass and gravel so flats, wedges, or thicker heels will be ideal. Consider bringing flats to slip on if you are doing pictures in the grass.
What tips do you have for choosing accessories?
If you’re a veil girl and your ceremony is outside, try selecting a veil that is embellished with beading or lace for weight. There’s a chance it may get windy and you don’t want your veil flying around and smacking your fiancé in the face. As for other accessories, remember Ohio weather is unpredictable and can fluctuate from 95 to 40 degrees in a single day. Layering is best! A match back shawl or coat will keep chilliness at bay and will cozy up outdoor pictures. Other fun accessories to add character to your day would be umbrellas for pop-up thunderstorms, gloves and mittens for snow flurries, and boho billowing hats for falling leaves.
No one dress is made for a specific venue, season, or body type. Share your vision and concerns with a bridal dress consultant so they can guide you to your perfect dress. While we hope that these tips help your search, the most important thing is to feel beautiful and confident in whatever dress you choose.
René and the White Wisteria Team
Why White Wisteria? Wisteria has a very special place in our hearts. Our owners, Rene and Nicholas, planted a Wisteria tree during their wedding ceremony to symbolize their two families coming together as one. It has always been one of their favorite flowers, and the meaning behind the fragrant vine perfectly describes their vision as a family and business. The Wisteria is a symbol for:
Good Luck, especially for the start of a business or a new marriage.
Expressing your affections after meeting someone special for the first time.
Serious devotion to a cause or another person.
We hope White Wisteria brings our brides as much happiness as it has brought us!
We strive to make sure that every bride leaves us better than when she came in. Whether she found the perfect gown, learned more about what she is wanting, understands the process better, or most importantly she feels more confident in herself and loves herself more.