Wedding Wednesday

The Non-Strapless Wedding Dress

Wedding Wednesday

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


Top Categories

Browse All

read more


Browse All


Browse All


A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony


Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

It was almost 7 years ago when I was newly engaged and searching for a wedding dress of my own! I tried on ONE dress and bought it that day! ONE!! That was my first mistake! Why didn’t I try on more than one just for FUN?! I was weird I guess! That’s a post for another time. What I want to focus on today are OPTIONS. When I was thinking about this post I worried that my words would come across wrong and so I have a few disclaimers I would love to share before I continue!

– I don’t dislike strapless wedding dresses! I LOVE them! My very own wedding dress was strapless!!!

– Every bride needs to select a dress that they feel 110% confident in and my goal of this post is to educate and encourage brides to be open to ALL dress options!
– I love ALL of our bride’s dresses because I love our BRIDES!! So this post isn’t about what Katelyn doesn’t like, it’s about sharing and educating on a topic that I don’t hear mentioned very often!

So, lets be honest and talk about strapless dresses. They are gorgeous!! I LOVED my wedding dress. However, when you have a strapless wedding dress, you have a few extra concerns to consider:

– Tighter than Others : Strapless wedding dresses are usually a lot TIGHTER throughout the chest and waist. If there are no straps, the dress has to be held up somehow and it needs to be secure! So naturally, it has to be significantly tighter than a non-strapless dress.
– Beware of Bending Over & certain arm movements : I learned this by my own wedding dress experience! During one of my fittings I had my dress on and I leaned over to grab something and my mom said “Whoa! We have to fix that!”. We tightened the dress under my arms in order to avoid the top gaping open whenever I would lean over! This meant that my dress had minimal breathing room… until I started sweating a little…. which leads me to my next point.
– Sweat = Stretch : Your dress should fit perfectly at your fittings, however, you have to realize that your dress WILL stretch a little bit once you start dancing the night away. If this happens, you want to make sure you’re not having to dance AND hold your dress up at the same time! That’s too much for you to worry about! You need to be having fun!
– Body Types : Strapless dresses usually work best for brides with average to smaller chests and higher chests. This isn’t always true though! I’ve see so many gorgeous strapless dresses that look amazing on those who have larger chests. However, I’ve also noticed that if you have a lower chest, you may want a dress that connects your shoulder area to your chest area instead of having a large amount of open skin.

Again, strapless is not BAD! I love photographing gorgeous strapless gowns! However I want to encourage brides out there that there are SO many options for you!! I WISH that I had taken the time to try on some other options just to see what I really loved. Back in 2010, most brides wore strapless and so I never even considered having straps of ANY kind!!! I kinda wish that wasn’t the case because there are several things that I absolutely LOVE about non-strapless dresses! :

non strapless dresses…..

– Are easier to sit in
– Are easier to bend over in
– Don’t require as much adjusting/pulling up throughout the day
– So classy! Especially with lace sleeves! ah!
– Photograph better on the hanger during detail time!

So! If you’re a bride who has been on the fence about the style of your dress, maybe now you’ll try on a few non-strapless dresses just to see if you like them! If you’re a bride who has a strapless dress, you’re going to look amazing!! I LOVED my strapless gown! I paid a whopping $350 for my wedding dress and I loved it! … If only I could still fit in it!!! #goals. Be sure, no matter what, that you feel like yourself in your dress. Don’t go trendy if you’re classic…. don’t go ball gown if you’re more simple and don’t go strapless if you really LOVE the look of sleeves!!! There are so many options out there!! Look around, take your time and try on a TON of gowns! I mean, you only get to try on wedding dresses once in your life! You might as well take advantage of this season of life and have fun!!!

non-strapless wedding dresses_7964

non-strapless wedding dresses_7963 non-strapless wedding dresses_7962 non-strapless wedding dresses_7961 non-strapless wedding dresses_7960 non-strapless wedding dresses_7959 non-strapless wedding dresses_7958 non-strapless wedding dresses_7957 non-strapless wedding dresses_7956 non-strapless wedding dresses_7955 non-strapless wedding dresses_7954 non-strapless wedding dresses_7953 non-strapless wedding dresses_7952 non-strapless wedding dresses_7951non-strapless wedding dresses_7948 non-strapless wedding dresses_7950 non-strapless wedding dresses_7949

Some Thoughts On Non-Strapless Wedding Dresses by Katelyn James Photography

Check out other Wedding Wednesday Posts!

Find out how bridesmaids can make or break the timeline!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Ep. 11 | We Started A Micro School! Here's What We Learned After 2 Months!

Starting a school for our kids and community was going to be a big undertaking, we knew that! But we have learned so much alongside our kids that has made this endeavor all worth it.

The Katelyn James Podcast

It’s hard for me to remember the last time that I took portraits at the infamous Virginia Tech Duck Pond but I know it had to have been several years ago!


John + Lauren | Engaged Virginia Tech Duck Pond Engagement Portraits


Featured : BRIDES Magazine Paige + Nikhil's Wedding

It’s no surprise that this GORGEOUS wedding was picked up by BRIDES Magazine! Between the perfectly paired color scheme, beautiful florals, an amazing venue, the list goes on. The details that Paige + Nikhil thought about for their wedding day are simply stunning. 

I pushed my R6 to the limit

I Pushed My R6 to the Limit ISO up to 40,000!

I walked into the venue for the welcome dinner.. And I knew it was going to be dark.. But I didn’t think it would be THIS DARK! 


There are several seasons of starting a business and what it looks like to continue to grow and scale as the business changes! We’re on the last episode of the Startup Series and the stage of business that I’m still in.


Ep. 10 | The Start Up Series Pt. 3 Specializing and Scaling

The Katelyn James Podcast
Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L

Lens Review: Canon RF 50mm 1.8 vs. RF 50mm 1.2L Is it worth the $2,000 price difference?

Can a professional photographer use the Canon RF 50mm 1.8 or is it necessary to have the high end Canon RF 50mm1.2L? We’re going to put them to the test to find out!



"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”


"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ


Join 65,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.


and none compare to what I get from KJ!"