How to Choose a Photogenic Wedding Dress
A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view. ―
In our experience as destination wedding photographers all over Europe, you could easily say we know a thing or two about what makes a wedding dress stand out and photograph well. While there are loads of things to consider when shopping for a wedding dress, it’s well worth taking wedding pictures into account. Choosing a bridal gown that works well on camera makes it that much easier to ensure that you get some great photos on the day. We thought that it would be helpful for all our brides to share with them our knowledge in the matter, that is why today, we’re sharing our top tips for choosing a wedding dress the camera will love.
We will be talking about:
- Identifying the Occasion
2. Keeping an eye to the Details
3. Focussing on the Fabric
4. Body types
5. Considering a veil
Continue reading for a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a photogenic wedding dress.
Identify the occasion
First off, choose the right dress for the type of wedding you’re having. Were always saying how diving into the shopping process and trying lots of different wedding dresses, will educate you about what you like. It’s not uncommon to like silhouettes and fabrics you wouldn’t think you’d like. However, do not be tempted to purchase a dress until you have confirmed your wedding date and venue. For the best photos, your dress needs to be seasonally correct, and it needs to make sense of your environment.
For a wedding in fall or winter in a big venue with large staircases and lots of marble, a ball gown would be a perfect choice. However, wearing a ball gown on the beach will not highlight the style of your wedding in the best way. If you have a wedding on the beach, that’s the polar opposite in terms of style. Choose a wedding dress that is as light as possible and a dress that you can walk in the sand in. This will result in breezy and effortless photos of your ceremony by the water. For a warm-weather wedding, your dress needs to have a lightness – it works so much better when your fabric echoes your environment.
Keep an eye for the Details
Choosing a gown with details that stand out – such as embroidery, beading, or lace – is a great way to ensure that it looks great on camera. Small and subtle details give us a focus point as we capture your wedding photographs, perfect for close-up pictures highlighting how unique your gown is. Moreover, don’t forget to think about the back of your dress. Any details in this area, make for great pictures. Similarly, necklines, hems, and sleeves are other areas where a bit of detail can add to the wow factor. On the day, make sure to point out your favorite details of the dress to your photographer. That way they can make sure these details are focused on and captured.
It’s a matter of fabric
Certain materials photograph better than others. Did you know that satin wedding dresses are some of the best for photography due to their smooth and high-sheen fabric that looks amazing under any light?
While some wedding dresses may be great for the ceremony they may not work as great for the reception. Satin-made wedding dresses are great for both due to the silky fabrication that makes them work for most body types which makes the bride not only look great but feel confident and comfortable. Also, light, floaty fabrics provide instant glamour and can be used to create beautiful pictures. Lightweight veils, long trains, or airy sleeves are another way to achieve the magical effect. A bonus is that having something to hold onto and play with is a great way to break the ice when it comes to posing for pictures.
When it comes to color there is not a right or wrong answer. Champagne, ivory, bright white, soft white, or light pink, mauve or grey, color does not set a limitation in terms of wedding photography. Color has more to do with your style and how it ties in with the rest of the design of your wedding.
Trust your Style
When choosing a wedding dress remember your sense of style and let your style come through in your dress choice. This will make you radiate confidence on the day of your wedding and it will surely pick up on the photographs. There is no one way to be a bride. Need more help with your wedding dress shopping? Read our Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide!
Choose the right dress for your body type
It’s all a matter of Fit. Wedding dress shopping is such an exciting and emotional once-in-a-lifetime experience. While you may be prepared with questions you have for your consultant, inspiration pinned on Pinterest, and dresses favorited on our website, you may be still wondering, “what will look best on my body shape? A properly fitted dress that flatters your body type will photograph best. The good news is this is something that gets sorted out ahead of time, leaving you less to stress about on the day. Listen to other people, your best friends, take someone you trust with snapping you from all angles when you’re trying on because that’s the best way to get a sense of how something truly looks on you.
If you’re a rectangle
If you have relatively equal measurements from your bust, waist, to hips, then you’re most likely a rectangle or square shape. You’re not particularly curvy, so you’ll need a silhouette that shows off the curves you do have. Our pick for you would be a sheath style—body-hugging but not too tight, this silhouette will give off an illusion of more curves. Adding a belt or choosing a style with a defined waist also helps to create the illusion of curves.
If you’re an hourglass
If your hips and bust are nearly equal in size and you have a defined waist, you’re most likely an hourglass shape! Show off your curves in a body-hugging mermaid or fit to flare silhouette—they are both perfect to complement your proportions.
If you’re an inverted triangle
Apple (or inverted triangle) shapes have shoulders and a bust larger than their narrow hips and legs. Because you’re top-heavier, go with a style that balances out the bottom half, like an a-line or ball gown! A voluminous skirt creates more even proportions.
If you’re athletic
Women with an athletic shape usually boast equal shoulder and hip measurements with a slightly smaller waist and defined shoulders. Lucky for you, you have a great décolletage and shoulders to show off—do so in a halter, racerback, or strapless style. Give your waist a bit of definition with a belt, and stick with a slim sheath or fit and flare silhouette.
If you’re a triangle
If your shoulders and bust are narrower than your hips, you’re sporting a pear or triangle shape. With that, you want to choose an a-line or ball gown style that emphasizes your small waist and bust but does not cling to your hips—creating the illusion of an hourglass. If you have a particularly small bust, try a style with visual detailing on top to create more of that hourglass shape, such as sleeves, an interesting neckline, beading, or lace.
Be conscientious with attending fittings as the wedding gets closer and make sure you’re happy with how the dress sits. Remember – on your wedding day you’ll be seen from all angles. Have a friend you trust capture you from every angle in each dress, and then review the photos. When you’re in a wedding dress, it’s always going to be an emotional experience, and that might cloud your judgment just a tiny bit. You shouldn’t have to worry about pulling on the material and fidgeting with the dress on the day, constantly making adjustments. This goes double for strapless dresses – getting the right fit is essential to avoid having to pull the dress up constantly on the day. Ultimately, a well-fitting dress that flatters will boost a major part of being photogenic: confidence. So make sure you spend time picking a dress that you love and that shows off your best features. Having the objective resource of iPhone snaps can be so helpful to help you realize that you love a plunging back, or an off-the-shoulder neckline, far more than you ever imagined.
Consider a veil
The tradition of the bridal veil dates back centuries. One of the original reasons for veiling the bride was to hide her face from the groom before the wedding because it was and still is for most people, thought to be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony.
The original meaning of the veil, nowadays a veil is worn for style reasons. It’s a fashion piece. There are several schools of thought on veils and bridal hair accessories, but if your goal is an incredible bridal portrait or an image with serious visual drama, always consider a statement veil. A way to add that extra “something” to a bridal look or just to add detail to an otherwise plain gown. It also helps set the correct tone. It is a universal symbol of a bride in her element, and we think some of the best, most authentic moments include the bridal veil.
All in all, a photogenic wedding dress is a dress that makes you feel confident, fits your body the right way, allows you to move around easily, and expresses your personality. A well-tailored wedding dress goes a long way, with just enough detailing to catch the eye. Now that you have the tips you need to pick out the most photogenic wedding dress, there’s only one thing to do: get shopping. Just remember, you can choose to keep it simple — or not — because this is your day! Taking the time to fully explore your options and staying true to your style will help you find a wedding dress that will look perfect in your wedding photos. Trust your intuition and love the process!