a bridal stylist shows a future bride some potential options at a bridal salon

Guide to Selecting Your Destination Wedding Dress


June 21, 2024
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of various

With so many factors to consider beyond the traditional white dress, selecting your destination wedding dress can feel overwhelming. Fear not! This guide will help you navigate the process and find a gown that makes you feel radiant and comfortable on your special day.

Know Your Shape (and the Venue)

Before diving headfirst into a sea of lace and tulle, it’s wise to explore different silhouettes. Even a trip to a department store’s evening wear section can be a launching pad. Trying on a variety of styles – A-line, ball gown, mermaid – will give you a sense of what flatters your figure and makes you feel confident. Here’s the key: keep your destination in mind. A voluminous ball gown might look majestic, but navigating soft sand on the beach with it could be a challenge.

Budget with Reality (and Alterations) in Mind

Wedding dress prices can vary widely, but the national average sits around $2,000. Be realistic about your budget and remember to factor in alterations. Having a dress tailored to fit perfectly can make all the difference in your comfort and confidence. Don’t forget to account for this cost upfront to avoid any surprises later.

Entourage Matters: Choose Your Crew Wisely

Your dress-shopping experience should be filled with joy and support. Surround yourself with loved ones who will celebrate your choices, not critique them. We’ve all seen those episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” where a well-meaning, but perhaps blunt, relative throws shade on a bride’s dream dress. Select a supportive group who will help you find a gown that makes YOU feel amazing.

Move with Grace (and Groove!)

Your wedding day will likely involve walking, dancing, and celebrating. Make sure your dress allows for ample movement. If the thought of hitting the dance floor in your ceremony gown fills you with dread, consider the growing trend of a separate reception dress or jumpsuit. This allows you to switch into something more comfortable for the celebratory part of the evening.

Don’t just take it from us though! Watch our latest episode of Destination I Do, The Podcast where our host, Jennifer Stein, interviews Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride, an expert wedding stylist to soak up all her wisdom. Also, hear about how you can avoid having similar pitfalls that Jennifer and Julie faced during their own wedding dress shopping experiences.

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Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Destination I Do Podcast
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