Choosing Your Wedding Dress
Congratulations! You have said YES to the partner of your dreams and now it’s time to find your other perfect match – your dream bridal gown!
Dress shopping can be fun, exciting, and maybe a little scary. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when preparing for your first appointment at the bridal salon.
Don't waste everyone’s time trying on a bunch of gowns out of your price range. You're much better off determining your budget ahead of time. This will allow you to focus on the amazing options you can actually afford. Your dress budget doesn’t just include the gown but also the cost of alterations, taxes, and any shipping fees – plus your veil, shoes, lingerie and jewelry. Trust your consultant with your budget so they can help you find the perfect gown you will fall in love with.
Are you a decisive shopper and already have in mind what you want? If so, you’ll still need at least 6 to 8 months to get your gown. If you're a picky shopper or don't really know what you want, start looking 8 to 10 months before your wedding.
Dreaming of a custom gown? Custom gowns take an average of 6 to 8 months to create, and heavily embellished ones can take up to a year. Give yourself plenty of time - if you put dress shopping off for too long, your selection could be limited, or you might make a quick decision you may regret later. Once you’ve found that perfect dress it will generally take eight weeks for alterations.
Determine What You Like
Take cues from your venue, the season, and the time of day you're getting married to help narrow down your dress style. Consider what styles will flatter your shape and quickly rule out fabrics and silhouettes that won't work. Peruse various magazines and online sites for inspiration and to find out about stores and trunk shows in your area. Be sure to save pictures of the dresses you really love to show your dress consultant so they will have an idea of what shapes and styles you gravitate towards.
Skip The Entourage
Although it may be tempting to include all your friends in this experience, too many people add up to too many clashing opinions. Too many opinions in the bride’s posse can mean too many people to please, which can make the bride lose sight of herself and what she wants! So, keep the party small and take the people you love and trust most.
Make An Appointment
While you may get lucky and snag a salesperson just by walking in, scheduling an appointment guarantees you'll get a full hour of undivided attention. Saturday afternoons are the most popular times to shop for a wedding dress, which makes it the worst time. Consider taking off a half day from work to shop on a random Tuesday or Wednesday morning when it’s less likely to be crowded. A calm store means a more personalized shopping experience for you and consultants will be fresher earlier in the day and able to offer you more attention.
While most salons will have shoes and a slip on hand for you to try on with your gown, you should still come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the fittings. If you already have some accessories you want to wear, bring them too so you will get the full picture of what you will look like on your big day.
Keep An Open Mind
If the salesperson brings you a wedding dress and says you should try, TRY IT! It's possible to fall for a wedding gown you didn't think you'd like or want. Not every dress looks great on a hanger, so let go of any preconceived notions and keep an open mind.
Narrow your inspiration down to a few favorites, and let your consultant take care of the rest. From there, they can make suggestions based on your favorite styles and what works for your body type. You’d be surprised at how many brides have fallen in love with a gown they never expected!