One of the most important elements of any dream wedding is the dress, which is why selecting a flawless gown can be the single most daunting task facing a bride-to-be. Luckily, you don’t have to wade through rooms of organza to find a dress you’ll love, narrow the scope of your search by considering these three simple points.


1. How it fits your body


Of course, the dress you choose should fit your body in the most advantageous way possible, but it should also feel comfortable. This is a gown you will remember wearing your entire life, and while it might seem chic to suffer for fashion, it’s foolhardy to choose the way a gown looks over the way it feels.


So, when you’re trying dresses on bend over, squat, imagine you need to take an emergency bathroom break, raise your arms in celebratory fashion, let someone hug you, dance around the room. Then, when you’re through, ask yourself if your dress holds up to the expectations of the occasion.


2. How it fits your location


The second part of “fit” is about appropriateness. Long sleeves and lace are obviously not designed for the beach, but there are other subtle choices that can be appropriate or inappropriate depending on where you’ll be wed and what kind of reception you’ll have.


Outdoor weddings accommodate a wider variety of dress lengths and styles. Flowing, bohemian, off the shoulder dresses are are ideal for deserts, beaches, and woodlands, but might feel out of place in a synagogue.


Church weddings, in fact, require the most care. Certainly that extreme plunging v-neck is hot this year, but it honestly just looks trashy surrounded by statues of virgins and stained glass prophets. So, consider your location in tandem with your dress. Always keeping in mind season, extravagance, and what level of modesty is most fitting.


3. How it fits your personality

Didn’t your grandmother ever tell you, “It’s the girl who makes the dress, not the other way around”? Well, she was right. Regardless, of your figure, of current fashions, or what your mother/maid of honor/best friends/sisters prefer, the dress should be all about flattering the personality of the woman who wears it.

Taking this advice will require you to eschew all those who’ll tell you you’ve got to wear a heavier fabric or a corset to flatter your full figure, or you’ve got to avoid straight cut dresses if you’re svelte, or that you’ve got to amp up that bust line with ruching if it’s flat, or tuck it in and minimize cleavage with a higher neckline if you’re busty. These rules are less about emphasizing your strengths than they are about making you feel flawed.

Instead, focus on who you are and what styles attract your attention and emphasize your personality. This is a sure fire way to find a dress you love to wear, you can leave the rest up to the seamstress.