Plan Like a Pro: The Costume Designer Behind Our Favorite Wedding Movies Reveals Her Top Style Tips

Wedding Dresses
Leesa Evans Costume Designer Wedding Style Tips

Photo: Getty Images

When L.A. socialites and movie producers need an amazing wedding gown, they turn to fashion guru Leesa Evans. Here, the pro-stylist, who has worked on films like Bridesmaids and The Five Year Engagement, spills all her dress-shopping secrets to help you find your dream gown — and then some!

The first rule of wedding-dress shopping: don't settle.
You should try on six to eight gowns before picking the One. Start with three in totally different styles, then choose an additional three dresses that match the style of the one you liked best in the first round. And when you step in front of the mirror, keep this in mind: If it's not 100 percent yes, it's no.

You can get something stunning in any price range — and off-the-rack too.
I love BCBG, Zara, and Truly Zac Posen for David's Bridal; David Meister does a great dress too. The Valentino gown Emily Blunt ends up wearing in The Five-Year Engagement was from an off-price department store. It cost about $900!

See More: Trending Now: Sparkly Metallic Wedding Dresses

Sorry, strapless doesn't work on everyone.
Sometimes our shoulders, décolletage, and arms are not our best assets — and in that case, a strapless dress is not the way to go. FYI, the most universally flattering silhouette is a fitted top with an A-line skirt.

Bring your shoes to all your fittings.
At one of your final ones, sit down and take a deep breath. You're going to spend a good portion of the night seated, so be sure your dress is comfortable in that position. Then lift your arms al the way up and extend them out to the sides (especially if you have sleeves or an off-the-shoulder style). People want to hug you. Kids want to be picked up. And bad things can happen if your dress is too tight.

I swear I'm not a control freak, but it helps to give guidelines to your entire bridal party on what to wear.
Offer your bridesmaids some choices, but keep options to a minimum. It may feel a bit direct, but explicit direction helps people — especially if they want to make you happy on this one special day. I've been a bridesmaid 13 times, so I should know.

See More: 30 Amazing Ceremony Altars

PS: Your 'maids don't need to look the same.
And your mom and mother-in-law shouldn't be too matchy. Everyone does need to be in the same family of tones.

I love the idea of letting your girls rent their dresses.
I often recommend and, for groomsmen, Renting bridal-party attire is kind of a thing now, and it makes sense.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from