Wedding Dress Do’s and Don’ts

He asked and she said “YES!” and the next day she is out dress shopping!! Yep. The dress, it’s so important. Most women have dreamed about their wedding dress since they were little girls.

The first time you walk in to a wedding dress store, you may be overwhelmed. The vast selection, cost and options. We, at Farrell Photography, are NOT wedding dress experts! But, we DO know a few things that you should look for to get the best photographs at your wedding, and the dress choice is a BIG one!

The number one thing we would advise is fit. Make sure your dress fits you. If it’s too tight to sit down, you will look uncomfortable in your photos. If it’s too loose, you will find yourself constantly adjusting and some of the photos won’t be flattering.

Consider sleeves, straps or halter for the most comfortable and easiest to wear. Strapless are the most popular, however, as with most strapless dresses, they can show more than you want when you bend forward and they may give you a sensation that feels like your dress is falling down, which leads to constant adjustment. And for your closeups, the dress may not even show in the photo. Beautiful wedding day jewelry is a great addition.


Many wedding dresses have a train. That means that the dress is intentionally longer in the back and gracefully glides down the aisle. Some trains are longer than others, and they are beautiful in photographs. After your ceremony, the train can get in the way, get stepped on and become a nusiance. The solution for this is called a “bustle”. A bustle is a series of hooks, snaps, buttons or ties that lift the train and make it functional. You usually will have to add the bustle as an extra cost when you purchase your dress. Dresses with a train have a loop underneath that is for the hanger. Don’t confuse that loop with a bustle. If you intend to use it instead, you might end up carrying around your train all evening. The 1 button bustle hardly EVER works! That is a lot of weight for one button. Once it breaks, you are back to carrying your train around all evening. The best bustles are well thought out and go with the style of the dress. They look as though the dress was intended to look that way. These better bustles can be confusing though. If you want to avoid losing precious time trying to figure out how your bustle works, have a practice session with your maid of honor and or bridesmaids. It’s a time trap to try and figure it out on your wedding day.


The only time in your life that you will were a veil is on your wedding day! Even if you don’t think you want one, try one on. You may be surprised. Of course, as a photographer, we are biased in favor of veils. They are a fun prop to work with. Veils used to be a must have for every bride. At some point, wedding dress manufacturers stopped using them in their advertising because they wanted to feature only the dress for selling purposes. Brides got used to seeing photos of dresses without veils and the trend was set. If you do opt for a veil, you may be tempted by beautiful beaded embellishment. If you choose to have any beads, your veil will NOT blow in the wind at all. We prefer the simple veils. A little breeze and you have an amazing photo.


When you choose your shoes to wear with your dress, you will then have your dress hemmed at just the right length for those particular shoes. If they are heels, and you decide at any point in the evening to take them off, your dress will be too long and won’t look good in photos. Solutions include, choosing comfy shoes, flats or having a comfy alternative that is the same height as your wedding shoes.

We love to take a photo of your dress by itself. We hang it in a pretty spot. It’s nice to have a special hanger for this purpose. We always bring a satin hanger with us. We have also seen some very interesting personalized hangers for your wedding dress.

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