5 Rules for Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Wedding Dress

With spring upon us and summer just around the corner (wedding season 2017!), now is a great time to discuss what kinds of wedding dresses work well in the great outdoors.

You probably won't be trekking through mountainous areas, but if your aisle is a woodland path, a sandy beach, or any other natural area, you'll want to make sure you choose a wedding gown that can stand up to the challenges an outdoor celebration can present.

Here are some rules to help you pick the perfect outdoor wedding dress.

1. Choose a Fitting Fabric 

Dresses made of lighter fabrics work well in the outdoors and especially during the hotter months. Think chiffon and cotton or lace work that is breathable. The dress doesn't have to be completely casual, but the more comfortable the better, since you'll be strutting down a natural aisle. 

If your wedding takes place during the cooler months and you're braving the temps by having a ceremony/reception outdoors, choosing a fabric that is lightweight might not be the best choice. You can keep warm in fabrics like velvet and heavier cotton, but still be comfortable enough to move around.

2. Think About the Silhouette

Just as you'll want to keep in mind the fabric of your dress, you'll also want to think about the silhouette. Comfort and flexibility are the keys to a wedding dress that works well outdoors. A dress that allows for easy movement is best when you're walking through sand, leaves, or stone paths. 

Fit and flares, a-lines, empire, and tea length dresses are ideal for outdoor ceremonies and receptions because they a) look good on any body type and b) provide comfort and flexibility when you need them most.

3. Consider the Venue

Obviously the venue is nature, but what kind? Beach? Forest? Lakeside? What surrounds the area you'll be using? What's the general mood? Asking questions like these will help you choose the perfect outdoor wedding dress. 

A garden wedding might call for a vintage lace gown with floral appliques whereas a beach wedding is the perfect time to wear an organza or tulle dress with whimsical touches.

4. Dress for the Season

Some places are hot during the day and get cool at night. Some places are windy. And in some places it rains off and on depending on the season. You get the point. 

Even if you've booked a summer beach wedding, don't assume that you'll be comfortable from day to night. Look into the area's weather patterns to see if you'll need to plan on covering up with a shawl later into the evening. You can also choose a convertible wedding dress that allows you to go from ceremony to reception as you see fit. 

5. Mind the Details

When having an outdoor wedding, you'll want to keep in mind your dress details, like how long the hem is (you don't want to be tripping over your skirt in the sand), what kind of coverage it offers (do you need to wear sunblock?), and what kind of accessories are appropriate (too much sparkle could detract from the natural beauty...or blind guests!). 

I know you have a ton of things to think about when planning your wedding, and choosing the perfect wedding dress comes with its own set of thoughts and choices, but don't let it bog you down. Just do a quick assessment of the season, venue, and dress details and you'll be on your way to finding a gown that works for you. 

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Size Chart (inches)

 

Size 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 16W 18W 20W 22W 24W 26W 28W 30W
Bust 32 33 34 35 36 37 38.5 40 41.5 43.5 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57
Waist 25 26 27 28 29 30 31.5 33 34.5 36.5 37 39 41 43.5 46 48.5 51 53.5
Hip 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 40.5 42 43.5 45 47 48 50 52 54.5 57 59.5 62 64.5
Hollow to Hem 59 59 59 60 60 60 60 61 61 61 61 61 62 62 62 62 62 62

 

 

Bolero & Jacket Size Chart (inches)


Size S M L XL
Bust 34 35 38 41
Shoulder 15 16 17 18
Arm's Eye 12 13 14 15