One of the first things most brides think about when they get engaged is what they’ll wear, and even brides who say they’ve never considered their future wedding much usually can tell you a bit about what they want to put on. Of course, things get a little more complicated the moment you step in a wedding dress shop and see the plethora of options available (and, sometimes, can’t find one dress that’s even close).
In the end, however, there are some good guidelines to picking a dress that you’ll feel great in and that will stand the test of time (pictures last a lifetime, people).
Opting for a classic is an easy way to ensure your dress will still look pretty in 20 years (think simple lace styles with relatively minimal detailing and sleeker silk designs). Stay away from trends except in subtle ways since wedding dress fashion changes just as fast as street styles, and never opt for any trend that doesn’t do great things on your body.
All that said, it’s equally important to wear something you really love, and if that means something the opposite of classic and neutral, follow your instinct. If you truly and passionately love something now, chances are you’ll still feel good about it when you flip through your wedding photos years from now.
I love that the bride pictured above had no qualms about wearing cute white overalls to her city hall wedding—and I think she’ll always feel fondly about the choice—and many of my favorite weddings that I’ve seen have featured dresses far from the norm.