Monthly Archives: December 2022

I Just Got Engaged! When Should I Shop for My Dress?

Engagement season is between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but be careful of shopping too soon!

Between Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, the next few months mark a special season when many couples choose to take their relationships to the next level. For many newly engaged brides, the list of to-dos that lands on their plate in the immediate aftermath of announcing their plans to family and friends can quickly feel overwhelming. Of these decisions, the one they are asked most is: have you found your dress?

Wedding dress shopping is fun, so it’s no surprise that so many brides are excited to get started. But shopping too early—or before you’ve made some other major decisions—can lead to problems down the road. Here are three big things you should have pinned down before you start shopping for a wedding dress, and three decisions you can save till later.

3 things to know before you go wedding dress shopping.

photos of 2 brides in different settings, and a photo of a wedding invitation card with two wedding rings

1. Have a date and venue in mind.

First things first: you need a wedding date, and it’s good to have at least some idea about your venue. The wedding date is essential, because it will determine a lot of the rest of your bridal timeline. If you’re hoping for a summer 2023 wedding, your choices may already be limited to gowns with fewer embellishments.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to get married in mid-to-late 2024, you may want to hold off a little! There will be plenty of new dresses coming out over the next few months, and you may find that your top three dresses in February have changed when you come back in June and see the new stock.

You should also have an idea of where you plan to get married, even if you don’t have a venue completely picked out. The dress you choose for a chapel will be different from one you choose for a barn wedding or the beach.

3 brides in different style wedding dresses

2. Determine your budget.

Few things are so gut-wrenching for a new bride as finding her dream dress only to discover it’s out of her price range. For some brides, this can make the search for a dress she can afford only more difficult, as each new dress gets compared to the one she can’t have.

When thinking about your budget, remember that dresses do come in a range of prices. Generally, the more detailed the gowns are, the more the final cost will be. Wedding gowns are custom made and some of the more intricate work can be done by hand, so if you’re considering a gown with lots of glitz and glam, make sure you give your budget some extra padding.

And don’t forget about alterations and accessories! If you’re planning to change your gown significantly, or if you have your heart set on a cathedral-length veil, remember that these will add to your overall bill. Balancing your priorities ahead of time will make it easier to stick to your budget once you’re trying on your perfect gown.

3 different wedding dresses of different styles

3. Research your options!

Finally, take some time to familiarize yourself with current bridal trends! Look up designers and see if there’s one you like who makes gowns within your budget. Think about the kind of wedding you want to have, and how your dress choice will fit into that. As we’re about to see, you don’t have to have answers to everything, but coming in with some bridal inspo can narrow your choices down and make it easier to find the gown that ticks every box.

…and 3 decisions that can wait till later!

3 brides in different silhouette wedding dresses

1. You don’t need to know your silhouette.

A lot of brides assume that if there’s one decision they absolutely must make before they start dress shopping, it’s the silhouette. We certainly encourage you to think about it—and we even made a handy silhouette quiz to help you out! But if you’re feeling torn—or if you have no idea at all—that’s all the more reason to seek expert advice.

Some brides know exactly what they want, and their vision doesn’t waver. But we’ve also seen plenty of brides who are certain they wouldn’t look good in a ballgown, and are stunned by how good it makes them feel once they try it on. Plenty more are torn between a mermaid and a sheath, but soon realize that they easily prefer one over the other. There’s nothing like experience to overcome indecision!

3 photos showing different wedding themes and colors

2. You don’t need to know your colors/theme/style.

If you’ve been dreaming of a wedding in certain colors or styles, then maybe it will be easy for you to envision how your dress will look alongside your bridal party. But many brides prefer to make their decision the other way around—dress first, everything else second.

There’s wisdom in this approach. You may find yourself drawn to a champagne-colored gown, or one with a blush underskirt, and it could end up throwing off other choices you thought were set in stone. Or maybe the beading on your dress gives you inspiration for your overall theme. Either way, those other choices are usually more flexible than your dress, so don’t stress about them if you aren’t settled.

3 photos of different bridal parties in different style and colors dresses

3. You don’t need to know your entire bridal party.

We don’t recommend that brides shop with their entire bridal party. Too many opinions can make it difficult for a bride to come to one of her own, and coordinating with a larger group makes it tricky to settle on a day. Moreover, some brides struggle to know who to ask, especially if some of their bridal party lives a ways away. If you’re waiting till a long-distance friend is in town to ask, that can add a delay to your timeline which you can’t afford!

Instead, think about who you most want to have with you when you go shopping, and worry about picking your bridal party later. For instance, if you’d prefer to just go shopping with your mother and your grandma, or your sister and your Maid of Honor, then start there.


Ready? Book an appointment at The White Dress!

If you have your wedding date set, your venue selected, and a good sense of the direction you want to go with your gown, then we’re here to tell you: it’s time. Take a deep breath, gather your entourage, and set a date! And if you’re looking for bridal boutiques near Brighton, MI, we’d love to have you come by. Our TWD-ettes are ready and waiting to hear all about your plans and help you find your one true dress.

Featured Collection: Adore by Justin Alexander

One of our favorite designers is back with gowns more stunning than ever before. Check out the latest from Adore by Justin Alexander.

As you can easily imagine, we love a good wedding! And this fall featured a spectacular one between Justin Warshaw, the President and Lead Designer of Justin Alexander, and his bride, Kelsey Anne Turchi. Of course, all of Kelsey’s looks were fabulous, and designed by the team at Justin Alexander. We thought we’d take this as an opportunity to share with you some of the latest designs we carry in our store—plus a few that evoke a similar vibe to the looks Kelsey chose for her nuptials.

While Justin Alexander launched the Adore line a few years ago as budget-friendly gowns with short turnarounds, more recent collections have come in at a slightly higher price point. Nevertheless, the amount of detail and embellishments on these dresses still makes them a great choice for any bride who is dying for sparkle but isn’t ready to drop two grand on her gown.

If you’re looking for a collection that can drop jaws and turn heads, look no further. Here are some of our top gowns from Adore, by Justin Alexander.

Kenedy and Fynn wedding dresses

1. Kenedy and Fynn: for just a little bit of edge to your chic.

One of our favorite looks from the pre-wedding celebration was the pantsuit Kelsey wore to the welcome party. Many brides are looking for ways to step beyond tradition with their own style choices, and a sleek jumper or two-piece look is one way to go. We’re particularly fond of Kenedy, a wide-legged number with spaghetti straps, an illusion back, and a trailing, oversized bow.

Another option for those who want to keep their look sharp is Fynn, a sheath gown in all crepe with clean lines and minimal embellishments. Instead, the stand-out details are all in the construction: off-the-shoulder sleeves and a thigh-high slit.

4 Beautiful wedding dresses by Justing Alexander: Andrea, Gabriela, Burleigh and Leandra

2. A daring trend: high slits in satin, tulle, and crepe.

While we loved the minimalism of Fynn, it certainly wasn’t the only gown to feature a high slit in the skirt. In fact, this seems to be a popular design feature for Adore gowns, as Kelsey’s first reception dress also featured a high slit. Needless to say, we’re all for it.

To start, we’d like to introduce Andrea, which mirrors the slash in the skirt with a plunging illusion neckline in the bodice. Gabriela has a similar aura, as the skirts of both gowns are made of layers of tulle. While the material on Andrea is more shimmery, we adore the pearl beading on the bodice of Gabriela.

For a smoother gown, Burleigh combines satin and lace with a keyhole back that makes the gown a stunner from all angles. Finally, Leandra uses illusion lace on both the skirt and the bodice, adding a layer of interest to the skirt and a whole lot of daring to the top.

Karleen and Minka wedding dresses, sheaths in all-over lace

3: Karleen and Minka: sheaths in all-over lace.

The all-over lace look has been a favorite for several years now, and it remains popular in the latest collection. For brides who are planning a more traditional church wedding, Karleen offers a just off-the-shoulder lace strap along with a scooped backline and a plunging neckline that is subtly obscured by the leafy floral pattern of the lace.

Going in the opposite direction, the knockout feature on Minka is an open back with a narrow, beaded waistband. This is a great choice for brides who want to draw on old Hollywood glam for their look.

flowing lace and fuller skirts on the beautiful wedding dresses: Marchella, Suyana, and Evangeline

4. Flowing lace and fuller skirts.

Don’t worry, we’re not out of lace yet! In fact, we think the next set of gowns are the closest match to the one chosen by Kelsey for the ceremony. Marchella matches a low back with a plunge in the front, as well as lace cutouts on the sides, but we think it’s the cloudy bow that brings it all together. Suyana is a wonderful choice for brides who want sparkle and lace, with sequins sewn directly into the tulle overskirt. Finally, Evangeline incorporates boning details in the bodice and illusion lace in the back for an overall look that is softly romantic.

3 beautiful breezy, boho wedding dresses in chiffon and tulle

5. Breezy boho in chiffon and tulle.

Sometimes it’s hard to pick why you think a set of gowns go together. Griffin, Callan, and Audrey Kay are all very different dresses—but maybe it’s their subtle quirkiness that makes them stand out. For Griffin, we just adore the bishop sleeves with the buttons along the wrist, but we are also in love with the lace pattern used at the cuffs and waistband, which looks almost crocheted.

Callan incorporates the crochet lace more thoroughly into the pattern of the dress, but for a completely different look—almost beachy and a little more laid back than other gowns. Finally, Audrey Kay features a bustier top that we wish we could wear on its own. The intricate beading on the oversized lace combined with the ballet skirt are a power combination if ever we saw one.

Zinedine and Violet wedding dresses: oversized unusual lace.

6. Zinedine and Violet: oversized unusual lace.

While both these gowns could have been included in either of the above two categories, we thought that the unusual patterning of the lace set them in a category of their own. The lace on Violet brings to mind a fleur-de-lis pattern that is carried in appliqués all the way to the hemline. Meanwhile, the solid statement lace on Zinedine makes the oversized roses look almost like a stained glass window pattern—perfect for a bride who has her heart set on a garden wedding.

Think one of these dresses may be the one? Come try them on for yourself!

All the dresses featured in this article are ones that we carry in our Brighton, MI store, so if you see one that catches your eye, book an appointment with us today! Throughout this month we’ll be running special promotions for the holiday season, so it’s the perfect time to get some shopping done and enjoy the festive atmosphere in our charming downtown. And if you aren’t sure about what you’re looking for, our TWD-ettes can guide you through—from choosing the perfect silhouette, to offering guidance on how to style your accessories. We can’t wait to have you in our store!