Match Your Dress to Your Venue

June 29, 2015
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Anya Bridal

Once you select a wedding venue and determine your wedding date, the real fun begins! Typically, a bride’s next step is to go shopping for a dress, and it’s definitely important to have your venue in place before doing so. Not only will you know exactly what season your wedding will be set in, but you’ll also have an idea of the overall theme. You wouldn’t want to buy a long sleeve ball gown if you end up booking a beach wedding in July!

In addition to the practical decisions that come along with choosing a wedding dress (long sleeves in winter versus strapless in summer), you can also establish a cohesive scheme for your wedding by paying attention to the aura of your venue. Below are some common wedding settings, with examples of venues and dresses that are perfectly paired.

Rural & Rustic

The Venue: Barn, Farm, Ranch

The Dress: Casual, Comfortable, Pretty

To fit the natural and easy-going setting of a rustic venue, which usually involves an outdoor component, you’ll want a dress that is charming without feeling fussy. Comfort is key for this setting.

Urban & Contemporary

The Venue: Warehouse, Gallery, Loft

The Dress: Structural, Unique, Artistic

If you’re choosing a contemporary and modern wedding venue, you’ll want your wedding dress to make a similar statement with clean lines and structure. A heavier fabric like taffeta will create a sheen without the need for a lot of beading or sequins and a square (or even asymmetrical) neckline will finish the strong look. 

Formal & Elegant

The Venue: Hotel, Reception Hall, Country Club

The Dress: Sophisticated, Stunning, Sparkly

When your wedding venue is big and beautiful, your dress needs to stand out. A traditional “bridal” look is perfect for this setting: think strapless top, full skirt and a lot of embellishment. 

Casual & Natural 

The Venue: Backyard, Park, Gardens

The Dress: Simple, Sweet, Classic 

To fit the natural and casual setting, which usually involves an outdoor component, you’ll want a dress that is charming without feeling fussy. Comfort is key for this setting.

Vintage & Romantic 

The Venue: Plantation, Museum, Vineyard

The Dress: Feminine, Flowy, Textured

If your wedding venue pulls a page from the history books, let your dress continue the story. By choosing romantic textures and vintage embellishments, your bridal look is sure to be remembered.

Beautiful & Beachy

The Venue: Resort, Seaside, Boat

The Dress: Easy, Breezy, Lovely 

Comfort and classic style is key here. With tropical temperatures and sea breezes, dresses with light fabrics are great options.

It can certainly be overwhelming to start searching for the perfect dress, so knowing your venue setting and overall wedding theme will help you narrow down what you’re looking for. Happy shopping!

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