As a wedding photographer in the Raleigh area for well over 10 years now, I have come across about just every kind of dress imaginable. I thought it might be helpful for you to be able to see what I see as a photographer because that will be what  eventually ends up permanently displayed for years to come. Whether it’s my camera or Uncle Joe’s SOMEBODY is going to post it all to Facebook. Boutiques will be able to tell you some of the obvious details like which dresses will give you a beautiful waist line  or which dress will make you look taller or skinnier.  But I sometimes wonder what they don’t say… When trying on a dress, we all do the same thing. We stand straight and tall with our tummies sucked in and our chest pushed out. Normally our hands are on our hips or in some other pleasant position. This is GREAT if you plan on standing around like that the whole night of your wedding. But even though I give modeling classes at the beginning of my day to both the bride and bridesmaids, those lessons usually only last through the posed shots. Most of the night is filled with fabulous pictures of you laughing, dancing and mingling the night away… So what is the big question when choosing your dress that can make you look absolutely fabulous in all of your wedding photos? The winner is…. whether or not you should wear a strapless gown. Strapless is so incredibly difficult to pull off and yet it is the MOST COMMON bodice I see while photographing. There are many challenges to strapless: back fat, bulges near your arm pits, slipping down with the bride constantly tugging it back into place or making your arms appear larger than normal since they are pressed against your body when you are in a relaxed position. BUT DO NOT DESPAIR! Before I decided to write this article I went on a search for some FABULOUS dresses that hid these little problem areas. What surprised me most was the Royal Weddings. Everyone I saw had SOME way of covering these problematic areas. Of course royals are all skinny, beautiful, and have tons of money to hire the best consultants to help choose the best dresses. But clearly they know no matter how skinny or shapely you are and how good the photographer some of these areas just can’t be avoided.  Below is a picture of my wedding Pinterest board where I have pinned TONS of amazing dresses that hide all those areas that show up when we aren’t paying so much attention to our body posture. Click on the picture below to go to my board or just use this link .  But for the best test, stand in the mirror, take a deep breath, let it out,  just relax and stand normal. If you still love it, GO FOR IT!  If you don’t like what you see… keep shopping. You’ll eventually find JUST the right one and be all the better for it! And for those of you who just CAN’T live without strapless, yes we do retouch you so you look fabulous. Usually in the images  included in your album or large prints since otherwise it would probably take over a year to get your pictures back if we did heavy retouching in all 600-700+ but YES it can be done! 😉

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