5 Steps to Style Your Dream Dress Like a Pro
You said yes!
The date was set, a flurry of arrangements made, Pinterest board of all boards lovingly pinned. A squad of bridesmaids assembled to support you on your exciting journey to "Mrs".
Hours were spent on Instagram, you visited a wedding blog or 5, enjoyed a coffee date curled up with Martha Stewart Weddings?
Then, seemingly against all odds, you found The Dress.
The wedding gown that spoke above all others & made you cry "This is it! This is the dress for me."
Great! So, now what?
Maybe though, like many brides, you wanted time to digest the decision of saying yes to the dress, before deciding on the rest.
Next to the venue, for many brides The Dress is the centerpiece of The Day. It's challenging to visualize other details without the gown in place to set the tone.
This should be the fun part! It’s all about making the gown your own, a perfect extension of your style & personality.
Sadly though, some brides encounter accessory overwhelm & stress on the journey.
Rest assured, you’re not alone, we've got you, & you got this!
We’ve helped sooo many brides write their accessory love stories.
Now we'd love to share with you our easy way to marry
your style + your dress + your day, for a look you love that’s uniquely your own.
5 Easy Steps to Accessorize Your Wedding Dress- (without stress)You will learn:
- How to hone in on your unique bride style based on what’s meaningful to you & check overwhelm at the door.
- How to incorporate pieces you already own & build your look around them.
- How to fill in the rest to create a shortlist & inspiration to shop with.
Prefer doing over reading (or want a step-by-step checklist to follow along with)?
Click here to grab the Bride Style Sheet & start right away, you can always come back later for more info.
First, a quick story (we’ll be fast, promise! Eager to start? Grab the download & scroll to Step 1).
Recently, we had the pleasure of helping Sarah choose her third veil. With her wedding mere days away, what should be a joyous & fun process was one of self-doubt and angst.
We helped Danielle that day too. She second-guessed her gown while styling it with a mash-up of accessories. All purchased at different times, none conveyed her vision; let alone a cohesive style.
Both women left with hugs and tears, thrilled with their choices and relieved. We were happy to help. This is our “why”, and these stories are not rare.
Today's limitless selection often brings overwhelm; and more questions than answers for brides-to-be.
How Accessory Overwhelm Happens
Dress decided on, you set about other W-Day to-dos. Florals, invitations, bridesmaid gowns...so many decisions! Weeks, maybe months passed. Countless Instagram screenshots & Pinterest pins later, overwhelm set in- snap!
You may feel caught in an anxiety-inducing loop of questions leading to more questions... and more than a little overwhelm over the answers!
Do I choose a headpiece before hairstyle?
How do I know what veil goes with my dress?
What!?! Veils come in different colors?
You anticipated a search to find the perfect gown; but never thought twice about accessories.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone; many brides share versions of this story. Or, maybe you’re not overwhelmed; and simply want to find perfect bridal accessories to express your style & personalize your gown.
We're here to help. If overwhelm is on board, let’s backbench her. On to the path of looking & feeling beautiful as you take those final steps toward “Mrs.”!
5 Easy Steps to Accessorize Your Wedding Dress- (without stress)
Every walk begins with a first step. A simple concept, but sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. If there’s too many choices and you can't decide how to begin; drilling down to 3 key actions is a go-to:
Focus on what’s important, narrow the choices, take one step at a time.
Accessorizing is about pulling parts of a look together to emphasize your best points and express your personal style. Think of the time-honored LBD & how many ways to change up the vibe by adding or leaving off accessories.
Your wedding day style ups the ante. Aside from the usual style considerations, there’s the emotional factor of how you want to feel on this day. These five steps helped many of my brides visualize what matters to them. This gives a foundation to style their perfect wedding day look. I’m excited to share it with you too!
Step 1: The Dress
You fell in love with her for a reason, likely more than one. You saved deciding on color scheme, bouquet, etc. until you selected your gown. Take a moment and visualize yourself wearing it:
- What’s your favourite feature of your dress?
- Focus on one element that first comes to mind. Picture yourself wearing it; what made it stand out from others you tried on? If you can’t narrow to only one, choose the top 2-3, no more.
- Now, what 3 words best describe how you feel in the gown?
Step 2: The Day
- Picture calling a friend to tell them about your wedding, and 3 words you’d use to describe it.
- Imagine a Google search for your wedding (may sound odd, but trust me, it’s fun!):
Nicole and Jeremy’s vintage, retro, quirky wedding; Jessica and Ryan’s chic, elegant, glam wedding… now you try. Brainstorm some until you find what fits your vision of your day.
Step 3: Your Style
This is the fun part where you get to personalize the look to be uniquely you:
- Think of 3 words to describe your personal style. Now, visualize wedding day, right before the “big reveal”.
- You're wearing The Dress, carrying your bouquet...are the 3 words the same?
Don’t worry if they’re not. It’s OK to step out of your everyday style if you want to. Priority one, you want to feel great. If you stretch your style too far and it's not a fit for you, you won’t enjoy it.
- Picture your best and most beautiful self walking toward your fiancé among family and friends, feeling awesome! What three words apply?
- Fill in any elements you already plan to wear.
Examples are your engagement ring, “something borrowed” like family heirloom, or possibly you for sure want to rock a pair of sexy shoes, even if you don’t have the exact pair yet!
- Include all the "knowns" in your vision, including hair and makeup ideas if you have them
The goal is to visualize everything in place already; and style the rest of the look around it. If there’s nothing to fill in yet, that’s OK; move on to Step 4.
Recap! Now you know:
- Your fave feature & 3 words that describe how you feel wearing it.
- 3 words to describe your wedding vibe
- Your 3 Bride Style words; and any pieces/specific style elements already in place for your look.
If not, take another run through steps 1-3. These visualizations help narrow your focus as you select your perfect accessories. Bonus: they are boss warriors for keeping overwhelm at bay!
Step 4: Your Bride Style Inspiration Board
Remember the huge Pinterest board you created right after you got engaged? Now’s the perfect time to revisit it & start a new one only for your Bride Style and the specific pieces already chosen.
- Gown- ideally, both front and back view (if possible, you wearing it); a close up view of the fave feature you chose in step 1.
- Bouquet, ring, plus any other pieces from Step 3.
- Top-level (if you have them) hair and makeup ideas – I stress, if you don’t, not a problem!
- Your key gown, wedding, and bride style words from steps 1-3.
Jot these on a piece of paper, take a pic & upload to your board; or type, take a screen grab and upload. Use pretty writing or a nice font in keeping with the vibe!
Tip: Make this board “secret” if you don’t want to share before your big day! Not into Pinterest? Throw images into a Google or Word doc, or any visual format- a scrap book page works. Have fun with it!
Step 5: Your Accessory Style
Ready to sprint across the finish line? Let’s do it!
You’ve plugged in all the elements in place so far, now you’re ready to tackle the missing pieces. Check out this list of options, cross off what you have or know you don’t want.
Example: (if your gown has long elaborate sleeves, you probably won’t wear a bracelet).
If you're unsure; but are open to considering it, list it for now.
- Sash or Belt
- Bracelet/Hand Jewelry/Gloves
- Shawl or Capelet
- Now rank what’s left on the list from most to least important to your look.
Continue to rank each one with a priority number.
You guessed it! Number 1 is where to begin to style your look.
Items 2 & 3 follow right after.
You’ll choose the rest around the top 3, and may drop some along the way.
This shortlist, and your Bride Style Board, are your personal stylists & trusted shopping companions! Bliss!
(Optional) If you’re visual, and want to add a couple inspo images for your shortlist items to your Bride Style Board, go for it.
Remember to keep it focused and avoid cluttering with too many options. Stick to max. 1-2 images for each item.
Review your key words as you go, ensuring your inspo & BrideStyle vision stay aligned. This makes it easier as you start shopping.
Now you're ready to shop & style with a clear vision in mind. If you feel overwhelm creep in, simply:
- Go back to your Bride Style.
- How ever you choose to create it, ensure it's accessible while shopping,
- Re-focus on the key words and vision you created.
- Share your vision with your bridal consultant to help them pull the perfect looks for you!
It’s normal not to end up with everything you short-listed as a possibility, don't worry about it.
Starting with a ranked list of options will help you focus as you shop & keep you on the path toward a wedding day look you love that’s uniquely you!
Ready to go? Click here & snag your copy of our printable checklist to follow as you go through the steps.
Need help selecting pieces for your vision or want more info? Feel free to hit us up on our Instagram DM's or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to help!
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Found this helpful & want to share how you used it to pull together your look? Tag @laurajaynebride #accessorylovestories on your pics, or email us, we’d love to see your photos.
Images: Hello Inspira from a creative shoot styled by Alana Klein of Swoon Events featuring florals by Quill + Oak | Gown: Hayley Paige | Engagement Ring: Anouk Jewelr | Makeup: Velsie Mak | Hair: Styled by Nadia