Natalie Choi Events
event planning + design // CA


Follow along on our creative journey.

How I Planned My Wedding: Finding a Wedding Dress


A Wedding Planner's Personal Journey

My original dream wedding dress had lace cap sleeves and a frothy skirt with a slit (what was I thinking??). Obviously, that's not the dress I ended up wearing on my wedding day.

My first dress shopping experience was at Sarah Seven in San Francisco, the day after I got engaged. My maid of honor had made an appointment for me, and we went with my mom and my future sister-in-law. I felt like 4 was a decent sized group: I had my closest friends and family with me, but there weren't too many different opinions to confuse me. 

After trying on the dress I thought I wanted, I realized it wasn't the one for me; lace cap sleeves made me look like a little girl, and the frothy skirt with a slit overwhelmed my small frame (I'm only 4'11"!). My wedding dress ended up being one of the first few I tried on, and I knew almost right away that something about the dress just felt right. I liked how the support of the bodice felt, and the flow of the silk chiffon skirt around me made me feel giddy envisioning myself twirling in it. I knew from the "oooh!"'s as I emerged that the others felt the same way about the dress as I did. The A-line skirt elongated my body making me appear taller (and not 13 years old), and the lace detail of the bodice was perfectly feminine without being overly girly. However, I thought it was too early on to commit to a dress since I had only been engaged for 1 day, so I visited two more bridal boutiques, hating every other dress I tried on because none of them compared to this one. I eventually returned to Sarah Seven, where I said yes to the dress and we had our happily ever after!

I could've twirled forever in this dress! 

I thought it'd be fun to share a few more wedding dress happily ever afters, so I asked a few of my brides to tell us about how they said yes to the dress! These questions are a few that I struggled with as I was dress shopping, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and indecisive. I hope these will help any brides out there who are going through the same thing to realize that you're not alone! 

How many dresses did you try on before you found your wedding dress?

A: I tried on around 10 dresses before finding my wedding dress!
M: I tried on a total of 8 different wedding dress in a variety of styles.

When you tried on your wedding dress, how did you know it was the one for you?

A: I had a certain style and vision in mind, and when I tried on my dress, it was like my dream dress coming to life!  It just felt right.
M: The one I chose was actually one I had my eye on when I first started browsing online! Trying it on in person confirmed my choice. The dress is very comfortable and fits the style and vision of my wedding.

Was the wedding dress you ended up buying what you originally thought you wanted?

A: It was not actually.  When I first thought of my dress, I wanted something boho, with lace, and long sleeves.  I ended up changing my vision to something classic, simple, form fitting, and of crepe material.
M: It actually wasn't! I had an completely different style in mind. Although all the styles I tried on looked good on me, the dress I settled on grew on me over time.

What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a wedding dress?

A: Know your body!  There are certain styles, materials, and even shades of white that look best on your specific body type.  You want to look and feel your best by wearing a dress that complements and accentuates your best features.
M: Definitely be mindful of your budget. You also want to make sure that you pick a dress that you feel most beautiful and comfortable in, as well as a dress that you can see yourself wearing when you marry the love of your life!

Any advice you'd like to give brides looking for dresses right now?

A: Definitely be open-minded.  It's great to come in to a fitting knowing what you want, but also be open to trying different styles because you never know what will look good on you until you put it on!  Also, when you go to a dress appointment, don't bring your whole family, but choose a select few individuals who know you best and will provide you with honest feedback.  It can be difficult trying on different dresses with numerous voices and opinions floating around!  You want it to be stress free and fun :)
M: Certainly start sooner than later regardless of how long or short your engagement may be. It may take you more time if you don't already know what style you want. There are millions of dresses of out there. If you find yourself unsure to take the plunge to buy that dress you love and that fits your budget, just go for it and stick to that dress. After that, no more shopping!

image taken by me at Sarah Seven's salon in San Francisco.