Say Yes to the Perfect Dress — Just Not the Same One Your Wife Is Buying
For same-sex weddings, brides may spend a little extra time searching for the perfect dress so as not to clash with their spouse-to-be.
Finding the right wedding attire for same-sex marriages ultimately comes down to individual preference. The decision to wear a suit or dress depends on the person, how they envision their wedding, and what they feel most comfortable in.
Pam Olivo, owner of Bridal Beginning, says shopping for two dresses is no different than shopping for one.
“Style is not determined by same-sex marriage or by gender. Style is style. Every bride wants to feel their personal best,” Olivo says.
For Pittsburgh couple Ashley Ames and Michele Stiller, who got married on June 18, 2022 at The Barn at Maple Falls in Rockwood, Pa., the decision to wear two dresses aligned with how they pictured their big day.
“We both individually sat down and thought about what we individually envisioned ourselves wearing on our wedding day, and it was both dresses,” Michelle says. “We definitely looked to other weddings for inspirations for how things would look, what two dresses next to each other would look like versus one person in a suit, how to dance in dresses.”
Going into their dress appointment at the White Orchid in the South Hills, Ashley already had designers and styles in mind, but Michele wanted to see what dresses looked like once she tried them on.
Olivo recommends that most brides begin looking at least a year in advance and visit a store with a range of styles and designers.
“Allow the process of your stylist to work by trying things on that you typically wouldn’t select on your own and keep an open mind,” Olivo says.
However, Michele and Ashley only needed to visit one store before finding their dresses.
“Dress shopping actually was very simple for us. We looked up dresses for a while beforehand, just because I’m very picky, and I had no idea what I was going to want,” Ashley says. “We went to White Orchid first and surprisingly both found dresses.”
During Ashley and Michele’s appointment, their two consultants worked carefully to help the couple find the perfect dress while not catching a glimpse of the other.
The couple tasked their consultants and family members with making sure the dresses didn’t clash.
“We didn’t want to know anything about each other’s dresses that we’ve picked, but we wanted them to make sure we didn’t pick the same dress and that we didn’t pick something that was total opposites and wouldn’t look good together,” Ashley says.
Coincidentally, both brides ended up picking dresses from the same designer, Sophia Toili.
Jefferi Amatangelo, owner of White Orchid, says it’s less about what looks good together, and more about what makes the bride feel good.
“We let [the brides] pick their favorites, and it always ends up that they go well together anyways,” Amatangelo says.
Amatangelo also emphasizes that it’s important for brides to keep an open mind during the appointment, which is how Ashley found herself in a dress that differed from her usual preferences.
“I don’t typically like having my back out,” Ashley says, “which is why Michele was so surprised at my choice because she said it was a very low back.”
When the brides saw each other’s dresses for the first time during their “first-look” on their wedding day, it was “a whole new feeling of love again,” Michele says.
“Even though I had seen Ashley getting ready all morning, it was like I was completely awestruck,” Michele says. “Our first look pictures, you can definitely tell because my eyes are out of my head.”