I’m having flashbacks of shopping for my wedding dress.  I must have tried on 200 dresses at every bridal shop in DC, MD and VA before I settled on an all lace number that I am still in love with to this day.  Going through the same drama looking for your wedding dress??  Fret not, we have Sara from Baltimore custom wedding dress designer Jill Andrews Gowns offering up some things for you to consider before selecting your wedding day look.

As added bonus for our local couples:  This Sunday April 3rd, Jill Andrews Gowns is hosting a wedding etiquette workshop in Baltimore.  You can visit their dress design studio for a reception, refreshments, hor d’oeuvres, cake tasting and a fun, interactive workshop about all things weddings.  Each participant will receive a reference booklet to take home and a swag bag full of goodies from MD vendors. They are generously offering 40% off the ticket price if you mention United With Love! You can register here.

Take it away, Sara:


Photo credit:  Korie Lynn Photography

Ah, the gown. It’s perhaps the most quintessential symbol of a wedding – second only maybe to the ring.  For many, it’s one of the most important parts of the whole day – a vision that has been appearing in dreams since our pre-teen years.  Who was that bride in a billowing, voluminous ball gown riding a unicorn?  It was you.  And now, you are faced with the reality of finding said gown, which can feel as hopeful as finding that unicorn.

While it is always good to have an open mind when beginning any search, it doesn’t hurt to stick to a set of parameters to focus your search.  We’ve put together the following considerations to help you determine what you need from a gown.  Only you can decide what you want, but doing some homework before you get to the salon should relieve some stress and allow you to enjoy the experience!

What is appropriate for the ceremony, reception and me?

If you are having a ceremony in a church or a synagogue, you must consider any religious dress requirements first. F or example, do you need to have sleeves, a collar or wear a veil?  This is especially important if you are being married outside of your religion or usual place of worship.  If you aren’t sure, there is no harm in asking!

Even if there aren’t any religious reasons for modesty, think about how you will feel on your day.  Those low cut, deep V necklines may be flattering and beautiful, but do you really want to hug Uncle Bob with your ta-tas on display?  Think about your comfort level.  You will be greeting, hugging and dancing all night and you should be able to focus on your guests and having fun.

Where your ceremony and reception are held should also influence your selection of a gown.  A mini-dress would not be appropriate for a chapel, but a tea-length gown could work.  The time of day can dictate accessories, too.  If you would like to wear gloves, keep in mind short gloves work for daytime and long for evening. Part of planning a perfect event includes making all of the elements work together such that no one stops to focus on something that seems out of place.

ivory-wedding-dress-on-bed-korie-lynn-photography lace-wedding-dress-hanging-korie-lynn-photography

Photo credit:  Korie Lynn Photography

You really don’t want to be comfortable

You might think that you want to be comfortable, but you don’t.  These pictures will outlast you and your pain, so suck it up and wear the right underwear!  Even those of you blessed with “perfect” figures sometimes benefit from shimmying into a pair of Spanx.  And some undergarments help improve posture and enhance how you walk.  This is a sticking point for all of us at Jill Andrews Gowns!  Proper undergarments can change everything. Even if you just leave them on for your formal pictures, you will thank yourself later!

Incorporate trendy to make a new classic

We often get requests for gowns or veils that are quite trendy.  That isn’t necessarily bad, but for most of us, it is better to mix a trendy element into an otherwise classic gown.  Many looks stolen from the runway will just look ridiculous coming down the aisle.  Scale it back and really think about what you like about the trend, then look for ways to turn it into your own classic.  There are two reasons we suggest this approach.  The first is that it’s easy to get lost in a look that is too fashion forward.  People will see you coming and start thinking hard to process what you are wearing instead of seeing you come down the aisle.  The second reason is “regret avoidance.”  Remember those pictures?  Choosing a look that is too of-the-moment will have your photos looking dated sooner rather than later.  You might as well wrap yourself in a newspaper and call it done!  Ok, that’s extreme.  (And, P.S. – I do love my parent’s ultra 70s wedding photos with my Mom in the Juliet cap and my Dad in the powder blue tux!)

The most important rule to shopping for a gown is that it should be fun! This is one of the greatest times of your life and probably the most expensive dress you will ever buy.  It should reflect who you are and make you feel beautiful.  You will be so breathtaking in this gown; it should make your Mom cry – and your partner!


Thank you so much, Sara!  For more from Baltimore’s custom wedding dress designer Jill Andrews Gowns, visit their website.  Don’t forget to register for this weekend’s wedding etiquette event in Baltimore here (mention United With Love and get 40% off)!

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