Finding the perfect wedding dress in Pittsburgh is such a personal choice. With each bride carefully choosing the look and style they love the most.
Gone are the days when a white wedding gown symbolized outdated ideas of purity, innocence, and the end of your singledom. The modern wedding gown is all about expressing your personality, empowering the woman you are today, and showcasing your style and vision for your wedding.
Nowadays your options are endless. You can truly find a perfect wedding dress that expresses your personality and the vibe you’re going for. If it’s a more intimate wedding, you might want a simple gown that contours your body, or if your personality is a bit more extravagant, you maybe want a wedding gown with a big train. But the options don’t stop there, you can also find a body suit, pant suits or even a skirt and a cute top, especially if you’re wanting to elope or change outfits throughout the day.
Simply, it’s the epic dress and or outfit that will make you feel the best in your wedding day and the one you will see in all your photos for years to come, so I want you to have that feeling of, “this is the one!” the moment you slip it on.
Your wedding day is all about celebrating the beautiful love, romance and passion of your relationship…but I’d be lying if I said the wedding dress wasn’t a big part of the day too!
So, how do you find the dress of your dreams? There are plenty of Pittsburgh wedding dress stores and bridal boutiques, but it helps to know what you want before you dive in headfirst. Here’s my breakdown of how to find your perfect wedding dress in Pittsburgh!
When choosing a perfect wedding dress in Pittsburgh you’re in luck! Pittsburgh is a city where anything goes, and I love that our wedding gown trends are so diverse. In 2023, I’m seeing so many gorgeous looks on brides, including off-the-shoulder gowns, square necklines, corset bodices and high collars. Loads of brides are also rocking stunning upcycled and vintage gowns.
What’s so great about Pittsburgh is that we have four seasons! So you can really plan your wedding and get the dress of your dreams for any time of the year. So, if you want to rock a white off-the shoulder coat with your wedding gown for a winter wonderland, you can wait to have your wedding in December and any time during the winter months.
But with so many options, how do I pick the perfect wedding dress?! There’s no such thing as the ‘right wedding dress’, after all – only the right wedding dress for you. Every bride is different and unique, so if you’re not into trends, forget ’em and do whatever works for you. There’s no one style that’s the best, as it all comes down to your individual preferences.
In Pittsburgh, I photograph everything from barn and chic winery weddings, by Lake Erie, in the Mountains, and in the city, big fairytale extravaganzas. Even low-key elopements in the city followed by dinner and drinks. Before you start visiting wedding gown boutiques in Pittsburgh, spend some time thinking about the type of wedding you’re planning and the kind of dress that would work best for that environment, your ideal scenery and the weather you’d love to have.
Sure, it’s all about style. But don’t forget about the practicalities. A summer adventure elopement in the outback, for example, is going to be hot! You’ll want a dress that isn’t too heavy, you can move around in and don’t mind if it picks up a few tears and a heavy fringing of our iconic red dust.
Next, do some research on wedding dress styles – there’s nothing wrong with picking up some European bridal magazines or investing a few hours on Pinterest! Whether your style is minimalist, glam, vintage, boho-chic or a full ball gown, screenshot some looks you love and bring them with you so that bridal shop staff can help you find something similar.
I love photographing Blanc de Blanc Brides with their gorgeous wedding gowns because the gals there are so passionate and caring, working with every bride to find a dress that they fall head over heels for. Believe me when I say, when you’re radiating confidence and happiness in your gown, this translates to amazing wedding photos!
There are so many wedding gown shops in Pittsburgh. You’ll find both independent boutiques and larger bridal shops scattered all over Pittsburgh in neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, Mount Washington, Dormont, South Hills and North Hills to name a few. What can I say, Pittsburgh takes wedding fashion to the next level!
While the larger shops tend to have a bigger range, I find that brides often prefer the more bespoke experience of shopping with a boutique or independent designer. You may need to visit several types of stores to decide what’s right for you.
Do some research online and then pop into a few stores to get a feel for their selections, pricing, and customer service. You want to find a shop you really love – the best wedding dress shops in Pittsburgh are the ones that make you feel welcome, go above and beyond to help you, and make the experience as easy as possible. Remember you are getting your dress sometimes 16 to 12 months prior to your wedding day, so if you can have a boutique you love to work with to make sure they can do fittings and possible alterations if needed is fundamental.
One of my personal favorites is Gemma Bridal located in the heart of Pittsburgh in Liberty Street. Take half a day to visit Gemma Bridal, go get some brunch, coffee and go find your wedding dress!
Emma, owner and leading stylist of Gemma Bridal has some says sometimes it takes a bit more deciphiring before you know which dress is ‘the one’, which might give you some clarity when starting the journey of finding your wedding gown.
“We are asked all the time, “how do I know the gown is the one?”. If we are being honest, not everyone cries, not everyone knows it’s “the one” the second you put it on, or has the “ahah” moment shown in movies. It takes some deciphering! Which gown did you spend the most time in?
Which gown did you have the biggest smile with? Which gown can you imagine walking the aisle in? Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, you’re left with a gown that is a true reflection of your personality.. If you can make a meaningful connection with bridal staff, this will help them help you – you can work together to find the perfect dress for your big day.“
You’re probably going to try on plenty of gowns, but brides often say they know ‘the one’ when they find it. Saying yes to the dress is a big decision, though, so it helps to trust your instinct and follow your first reaction before you start overthinking it.
Set aside the dresses you like the most and take your mom and your best friend so they can give you an opinion once you walk out and show them the beautiful dress. Before making the decision final, go back another day to try them on again.
Once you’re ready, go for the dress that makes you feel unbelievably amazing, comfortable, and at ease. Yes, take the advice from your mom and bridesmaids, but at the end of the day remember that it’s you’re wedding or elopement, so it needs to feel right to you. You’re the one wearing the dress, so the choice should be yours alone!
Please don’t leave your dress shopping until the last minute! In Pittsburgh, and different parts of the United States, many industries are experiencing shortages and delays due to manufacturing delays. This means that if your dress will be made overseas and then shipped to Pittsburgh, it can take months to arrive.
Plus, you need to leave time for any alterations – your bridal shop can advise you on timeframes for this but expect that they may take a few weeks at minimum. I don’t want any brides to miss out on their beautifully unique wedding dress in Pittsburgh due to production delays!
Wedding dress shopping is such a big and fun part of the wedding planning process, but I know it’s also a huge decision. If you have any questions about how your dress ideas might match up with your photography vision for the day, I’d be happy to help. Your dress should be modern, romantic, and unique – just like you!