The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress: From Classic Elegance to Bohemian Chic

Papilio Wedding Dress with roses

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, a momentous occasion that deserves the perfect wedding dress to match. Whether you envision yourself gliding down the aisle in a classic ballgown or twirling through a garden in a bohemian frock, finding your dream wedding gown is essential to wedding planning. But with so many styles, designers, and trends to choose from, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why we have created the ultimate guide to help you navigate the world of bridal fashion and discover the dress that will make you feel like the most beautiful bride on your big day.

From timeless elegance to modern sophistication, we’ll explore different wedding dress styles, provide tips on finding the right silhouette for your body type, and offer advice on shopping for your ideal wedding dress. Get ready to say “yes” to the wedding dress of your dreams and create unforgettable memories as you embark on this magical journey toward ‘forever together.’ Let our guide inspire and assist you in making informed decisions that align with your unique style and vision for your wedding day. With our expert tips and insights, you can confidently navigate the exciting world of bridal fashion and find the dress that captures your heart.

Understanding different wedding dress styles

Wedding dress styles come in a variety of designs, each with its own unique characteristics. Understanding these styles can help you narrow your options and find the perfect wedding dress that reflects your style and vision for your big day.

Classic elegance: Timeless wedding dress styles

Classic elegance always stays in style. Timeless wedding dress styles, such as the ballgown or A-line silhouette, exude grace and sophistication. These wedding dresses typically feature a fitted bodice and a full skirt, creating a dramatic and romantic look. Classic fabrics like lace and satin are often used to enhance the elegance of these dresses. To complete the classic look, consider choosing a wedding dress with delicate beadwork or embroidery for a touch of sparkle.

Romantic and whimsical: Fairy tale wedding dress styles

If you have always dreamed of feeling like a princess on your wedding day, a fairy tale wedding dress style might be perfect. These dresses are characterized by their dreamy and whimsical designs. Think ethereal layers of tulle, intricate lace detailing, and delicate floral appliqués. Opt for a ballgown or a sheath silhouette with a flowing skirt to achieve that princess-like look. Don’t forget to add a touch of magic with sparkling accessories like a tiara or a cathedral veil.

Modern and minimalist: Contemporary wedding dress styles

Contemporary wedding dress styles for the modern and minimalist bride offer clean lines and sleek silhouettes. These wedding dresses exude sophistication and simplicity, with minimal embellishments and a focus on architectural details. A sheath or mermaid silhouette can accentuate your figure, while modern fabrics like crepe or silk add a luxurious touch. Consider opting for a high neckline or a plunging back to add a contemporary twist to your wedding dress.

Bohemian chic: Free-spirited wedding dress styles

If you’re a bride who loves bohemian vibes and embraces a free-spirited style, then a bohemian chic wedding dress is an excellent choice. These dresses are characterized by their effortless and relaxed designs. Flowy fabrics like chiffon and lace and delicate floral patterns create a bohemian look that is romantic and whimsical. Opt for an empire waist or a sheath silhouette to achieve that boho-chic vibe. Complete your look with accessories like flower crowns or statement earrings.

Factors to consider when choosing your wedding dress

Choosing the perfect wedding dress involves considering several factors to ensure it meets your expectations and suits your wedding theme. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:

Venue and theme

Your wedding venue and theme play a significant role in determining the style of your wedding dress. A classic or contemporary style dress might be more suitable for a formal indoor wedding. If you’re having a beach or garden wedding, you may prefer a more lightweight and bohemian-inspired dress. Consider how your dress will complement the overall atmosphere of your wedding to create a cohesive bridal look.

Comfort and practicality

While you want to look stunning on your wedding day, it is essential to prioritize comfort and practicality. Remember that you will wear your dress for several hours, so choose a fabric that breathes and allows you to move freely. Additionally, consider factors like the weight of the wedding dress, ease of walking, and the ability to dance comfortably. Do not sacrifice comfort for style! Finding a balance that allows you to enjoy your day to the fullest is essential.

Season and weather

The season and weather of your wedding day can influence your wedding dress’s choice of fabric and silhouette. If you’re getting married in the summer, opt for lightweight fabrics like chiffon or organza to keep you cool. Consider dresses with long sleeves or heavier fabrics like satin or velvet for winter weddings to keep you warm. Consider the temperature and climate to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the day.

Tips for shopping for your wedding dress

Shopping for your dream wedding dress can be an exciting and memorable experience. Here are some tips to make the process smoother and more enjoyable:

Do your research!!!

Before you start wedding dress shopping:

  1. Do some research to get an idea of the styles and designers you are interested in.
  2. Browse bridal magazines, websites, and social media platforms to gather inspiration.
  3. Save images of bridal dresses you love to show your consultant; this will help them understand your vision and style preferences.

Set a budget

Establishing a budget for your wedding dress is essential before you begin bridal shopping. It will help guide your choices and prevent you from falling in love with a dress beyond your price range. Be transparent with your bridal consultant about your budget so they can show you dresses that align with your financial expectations.

Schedule appointments in advance

Bridal boutiques and designer showrooms often require appointments, especially on weekends. Schedule your appointments well in advance to ensure you have the best selection and personalized attention. It will also give you more time to explore different stores and compare styles and prices.

Bring a trusted companion

When shopping for your wedding dress, having a trusted companion with you is helpful. Choose someone whose opinion you value and who understands your style and vision. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and help you make decisions with confidence.

Be open-minded

While having a clear vision of what you want is essential, be bold and try on wedding dresses outside your comfort zone. You may be pleasantly surprised by how a dress looks on you, even if it’s not what you initially imagined. Keep an open mind and trust the expertise of your bridal consultant.

Trust your instincts

Ultimately, the decision to choose your dream wedding dress is yours. Trust your instincts and choose the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful and confident. Refrain from conforming to trends or other people’s opinions. It is your special day, and your wedding dress should reflect your unique style and personality.

Finding the perfect wedding dress for your body type

Every bride has a unique body type, and finding a wedding dress that flatters your figure is key to feeling confident and beautiful on your big day. Here are some tips for finding the perfect dress for your body type:

Papilio Wedding Dress for pear shape


Consider dresses that accentuate your waist and elongate your torso if you have a pear-shaped body with wider hips and a smaller bust. A-line or ballgown silhouettes are great options, as they balance out your proportions and create an hourglass shape. Look for wedding dresses with fitted bodices and full skirts to highlight your waistline.


Most wedding dress styles suit those with an hourglass figure, well-defined waist, balanced bust, and hips. Embrace your curves with mermaid or sheath silhouettes that hug your body and accentuate your waist. Consider dresses with sweetheart or v-necklines to complement your bust.

Papilio Wedding Dress for hourglass shape
Papilio Wedding Dress for Apple shape


If you have an apple-shaped body with a fuller midsection and slimmer legs, opt for dresses that create the illusion of a defined waistline. Empire waist or A-line bridal silhouettes are perfect for this body type, as they draw attention away from the midsection and emphasize the bust and legs. Look for wedding dresses with flowing skirts that skim over the stomach area.


If you are petite, with a smaller frame and shorter stature, look for dresses that create the illusion of height. A sheath or A-line silhouette can elongate your figure and make you appear taller. Avoid wedding dresses with excessive ruffles or layers, as they may overwhelm your frame. Opt for simpler designs and consider alterations to ensure the dress fits you perfectly.

Papilio Wedding Dress for Petite shape
Papilio Wedding Dress for Tall shape


If you are tall, with a longer torso and limbs, you have the advantage of being able to pull off various wedding dress styles. You can opt for ballgown silhouettes to create a dramatic look or choose a sleek sheath silhouette to showcase your height. Consider dresses with high necklines or long sleeves to balance out your proportions.

Customizing your wedding dress: Adding personal touches

Adding personal touches to your wedding dress can make it even more special and unique. Here are some ideas for customizing your dress:

Embellishments and beadwork

Consider adding embellishments and beadwork to your wedding dress to add sparkle and dimension. Delicate lace appliqués, sequins, or pearls can transform a simple dress into a work of art. Work with a skilled seamstress or designer to create a custom design that complements the overall style of your dress.

Statement accessories

Accessories can enhance your wedding dress and reflect your personal style. Add a belt or sash to accentuate your waistline or a detachable train for more drama. Statement earrings, a sparkling tiara, or a delicate veil can complete your bridal look and make a lasting impression.

Color accents

If you want to break tradition, consider adding colour accents to your dress. Soft pastel hues or vibrant pops of colour can add personality and uniqueness to your look. Whether it’s coloured embroidery, a coloured petticoat, or coloured accessories, embrace your individuality and make a bold statement.

Alterations and tailoring

Remember to alter your wedding dress to ensure it fits you perfectly. Working with a skilled seamstress or tailor can help you achieve a flawless fit and make minor adjustments to suit your preferences. From hemming the length to adjusting the neckline, alterations can transform a good dress into the perfect dress for you.

Where to find your dream wedding dress: Bridal boutiques, online stores, and designer showrooms

When it comes to finding your dream wedding dress, there are several options to explore. Here are some popular places where you can find the dress of your dreams:

Papilio Boutique Bridal Store Toronto

Bridal boutiques

Bridal boutiques offer a curated selection of wedding dresses from various designers. Visiting a boutique allows you to try dresses and receive personalized attention from bridal consultants. Most boutiques require appointments, so be sure to schedule in advance. Please take advantage of the consultants’ expertise, as they can guide you toward wedding dresses that suit your style and body type.

Online stores

Online stores have become increasingly popular for wedding dress shopping. They offer various styles and price ranges, making it convenient to browse and compare options from the comfort of your home. However, remember that buying a dress online can be risky, as you will only have the opportunity to try it on after purchasing. Be sure to read reviews, check the store’s return policy, and order well in advance to allow for alterations if needed.

Designer showrooms

If you have a specific designer in mind, visiting a designer showroom can be a great option. Showrooms often have a more comprehensive selection of dresses from a particular designer, allowing you to explore their entire collection. Keep in mind that designer wedding dresses tend to be more expensive, so be prepared to spend more if you choose this route. It’s also important to schedule an appointment to ensure you have dedicated time with a consultant.

Wedding dress fittings & alterations

Once you’ve found your dream wedding dress, the next step is ensuring it fits you perfectly. Wedding dress fittings and alterations are crucial to achieving the ideal fit and making necessary adjustments. Here’s what you need to know:

Timing is key

Schedule your first fitting several months before your wedding day, allowing ample time for alterations. Depending on the alterations’ complexity, you may require multiple fittings. Be sure to discuss the timeline with your seamstress or bridal boutique and follow their recommendations.

Choose an experienced seamstress

Finding an experienced and skilled seamstress or tailor is essential for achieving the desired fit. Look for professionals specializing in wedding dress alterations and with a strong track record of delivering high-quality results. Your bridal boutique may have recommendations or provide in-house alteration services.

Be open and communicate your preferences

During your fittings, be open and communicate your preferences to the seamstress. Let them know if there are any adjustments you’d like to make or specific areas you’d like to emphasize. They can offer professional advice and suggestions to ensure the alterations enhance the overall look and fit of the dress.

 Don’t forget about undergarments

Wearing the proper undergarments during your fittings is crucial. Ensure you have the correct bra and any shapewear you plan to wear on your wedding day. It will help the seamstress make accurate adjustments and ensure the dress fits you perfectly.

Bring your accessories

When attending your fittings, bring any accessories you plan to wear on your wedding day. It includes your shoes, veil, jewelry, and any other items that may affect the overall fit of the dress. This will allow the seamstress to make necessary adjustments to accommodate these accessories.

Wedding dress accessories & styling tips

Completing your bridal look with the right accessories is essential to elevate your wedding dress and reflect your personal style. Here are some tips for choosing and styling your wedding dress accessories:


Choose shoes that complement your dress and provide comfort throughout the day. Consider the heel’s height, the shoe’s style, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. If you’re wearing a long dress, prioritize comfort over visibility, as your shoes may be seen less.


A veil can add a touch of romance and tradition to your bridal look. Consider the length, style, and embellishments that will complement your dress. Opt for a cathedral-length veil for a classic look, while a birdcage veil can add a vintage or retro feel. If you prefer a more modern look, consider a statement hairpiece or floral crown instead.


When it comes to jewelry, less is often more. Remember, the key is to strike a balance and ensure that your jewelry enhances your wedding dress rather than competes with it. Try different combinations and consult a trusted jeweller or stylist to find the perfect pieces to make you feel radiant and confident on your special day.

Finding your dream wedding dress is a deeply personal and exciting journey. Whether you envision yourself in a classic and timeless gown or prefer a bohemian-inspired look, the key is to stay true to your own style and preferences. Consider the silhouette, fabric, embellishments, and details that resonate most with you. Feel free to explore different bridal boutiques, try on various styles, and seek the guidance of a professional stylist. Remember, your wedding dress reflects your unique personality and the love story you’re about to celebrate. So, embrace the process, trust your instincts, and enjoy every moment as you find the perfect dress to make you feel like the most beautiful bride on your special day.