Tips for Choosing A Wedding Dress

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Are you planning your summer wedding? First of all, congratulations!! That is SO exciting! I’m sure you’re in the middle of so many wedding planning tasks, and finding a dress is probably at the top of your list. Right? It’s perfectly normal to get stuck while choosing your wedding dress. I mean, we’ve all seen Say Yes to the Dress and all the dilemmas those ladies deal with! Well lucky for you, I have quite a bit of experience with wedding dresses, so I’m going to share some of my favorites and some helpful tips along the way! 

When You Should Have Your Wedding Dress Picked Out

The rule of thumb is that you should start shopping for your dress as early as possible. At around the 8-month mark, I recommend making your final decision and putting a down payment on the dress. I know, 8 months probably feels like a really long time. You have to remember that you’re not just buying a dress off-the-rack. Your wedding dress will be custom-created just for you, and that process can take a couple of months! Once you factor in alterations (at 3 months and 6 weeks prior, in case you wanted to know), 8 months is just enough time to get your wedding dress ready in time for your big day.

Wedding Dress Ideas

How to Choose the Right Wedding Dress for You

Deciding on a wedding dress might be the hardest decision of the entire wedding planning process. My #1 tip for future brides is: don’t let anyone sway you if it isn’t your dream dress. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, will have an opinion on your wedding dress. At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be wearing it while walking down the aisle, saying your vows, and dancing with your partner. So, make sure you pick something you’re comfortable in. Choose a dress that you feel looks flattering on you. And do not feel like you have to commit if it isn’t perfect. Your dress is a big investment, and you want to make sure that you love it on your big day, and when you’re looking back at photos.

How to choose the right wedding dress

Wedding Dress Ideas

Outdoor vs. Indoor Wedding Dresses

One factor to consider when choosing your wedding dress is whether your wedding will be primarily indoors or outdoors. If you’ll be indoors for most of the day, you have a lot more range with your wedding dress. You can easily wear long sleeves, or sleeveless, because your venue will be climate-controlled for comfort. If you’re going to be outside in the summer heat part (or all) of the day, stay away from long sleeves or heavy dresses! The last thing you want is to be too hot and uncomfortable in your dress all day long. 

My Favorite Places to Find Wedding Dresses

With the internet, it’s so much easier to find wedding dresses these days! There are so many options for brides, whether you want to shop online, in-person, or fly somewhere to get that perfect dress. One of my favorite online places to shop for wedding dresses is BHLDN, the wedding dress shop from Anthropology. Not only are their prices quite reasonable, but you can shop their entire collection online and even schedule a virtual appointment with one of their wedding dress professionals. In Orange County, I absolutely love Mariposa Boutique. They offer a wide selection of dress makers, and their consultants definitely know their stuff! Blush Bridal Salon is another favorite of mine because of their dedication to inclusive service. They strive to provide size inclusivity in dress options, and I think their consultants are so kind and welcoming! A final one would be Panache Bridal. They allowed for my big group of ladies and were so helpful with the process.


There are so many unique and different wedding dresses out there, and I always find myself falling in love with the dresses I’ve shot at ceremonies! Every time I photograph a wedding, that wedding dress becomes my new favorite! Some of the exquisite dresses I’ve had the pleasure of capturing over the years can be found scattered throughout this blog post above! 

I hope these photos of some of summer wedding dresses I’ve shot in the past have helped you hone in on wedding dress inspiration for your own wedding! If you like what you saw, feel free to keep in touch and give me a follow on Instagram

Looking for a wedding photographer in the Southern California area? Click here to book me. 

Need more wedding planning tips and inspiration? Check out this blog post I wrote about your wedding planning timeline or this one about your first look with your bridesmaids! 

Talk to you soon! 

Xoxo Shelby

About Me

I am a wedding & portrait photographer based in Southern California and beyond!

I started at the young age of 16 in my hometown of Orange in Orange
County, California. As my photography business grew and I got married,
life took me to the Chino Hills area, making me more centered to all
major Southern California counties.

Here on the blog, you will
see a variety of posts regarding tips, sessions & weddings, and my
personal life of being a wife, mother, and business owner. To learn more
about me or to see more daily adventures, follow me on Instagram and/or

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