It’s every girls dream to look absolutely breathtaking on their wedding day. Besides choosing the right person to marry, choosing the right wedding dress is the most important aspect. Most women feel overwhelmed with the task of finding the perfect dress. There are so many styles, colors, and designers to consider. You should choose a dress that showcases your beauty and feels “right” to you. Making the right choice takes time, planning, consideration, and most of all patience! Enjoy a few of our tips to make dress shopping easier:
- START EARLY-You should begin shopping for your dress anywhere from six months to a year in advance of your actual wedding day. Dresses take time to create! On average it takes about four to six months for a manufacturer/designer to make a dress. And let’s not forget about alterations; this could add another two months. Customizing your dress by adding beading, lace, modifying the neckline, or train can take even longer. While many shops do offer rush orders at an additional fee, your choices may be limited. So plan accordingly!
*Photo by Ivey Photography
- BUDGET– The perfect dress does not have to cost you a million bucks. Come up with a realistic budget. When creating your budget you should also factor in the cost for alterations; which can vary in price depending on how elaborate your alterations are and where you go to get them done. Don’t forget to add on shipping fees if your dress is not being purchased off the rack. Your dress budget can also include shoes, veil, headpiece and accessories or you can figure these cost separately. Once your dress arrives, it may require some additional care such as pressing or steaming, which can tack on an additional cost as well. *Gown by Anjolique Bridal from Bliss Bridal Boutique ; Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography
If you are looking to save on your wedding dress as you see it as a one-time wear; try shopping on the sales rack. You may be able to find one that needs minor alterations. There are also many salons that hold big annual sales to clear out their inventory as well as sample sales, where brides can get off-the-rack styles with major discounts.
- PLAN AHEAD- Decide where you want to shop for your dress. You can call stores in advance to find out their price range, if they carry the designer(s) you’re looking for, if they offer alterations, and even if they sell accessories. Most wedding dress stores require that you schedule an appointment. If possible, schedule your appointment or shop during non-peak hours. Normally a weekday when you are free; this will give your more time to shop and your consultant’s undivided attention. Carry a notebook to jot down store information with the descriptions of the dresses you like (most bridal stores forbid photos) in case you decide to return back to try on the dress you can’t stop thinking about.
- SHOPPING- First and foremost before you set out to go dress shopping, wear good undergarments! This will give you a better visual of how things will look and fit on you. And you’ll thank us later when your consultant see’s you in your undergarments when their helping you into the dresses you’ll be trying on. Before your consultant starts to pull dresses for you to try on, inform them of your budget! You don’t want your dreams crushed by a dress that is out of your price point. *L-Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography ; R-Photo by Amy Karp Photography
To keep your dress shopping experience exciting, do not be afraid to speak up on what you do and do not like. We promise their feelings won’t be hurt; you’re actually making their job easier! Not sure of the perfect silhouette? Bridal dress silhouettes fall into six broad categories: ball gown, empire, A-line, sheath, fit-and-flare, and mermaid. Try on one of each style the first time you go shopping for your dress. Selecting the right silhouette will help narrow down your options. From here, you can decide on the details such as neckline, sleeves, embellishments, etc.
*Photo by Tracy Autem
- NO ENTOURAGE- While it may sound like a good idea to bring all of your eight bridesmaids, your mom, your great grandma, and your aunts for this important purchase; it’s not! The more people you invite, the more opinions you have to consider. An overly opinionated entourage can be confusing and frustrating. Feeling overwhelmed can cloud your judgment on what you actually want. Bridal consultants advise selecting two or three loved ones to attend dress shopping with you. They should know your style, be honest, and have your best interest in mind. If you feel bad for not including everyone, just bring them along to your fitting.
*Photo by Nicholas Leitzinger Photography
- IGNORE THE SIZE– In most cases bridal wear runs about two to four sizes smaller than ready-to-wear items. Buy the dress that fits right now or that is closest to your size. Even if you plan on losing weight; don’t insist on a smaller size! A dress is easy to take in, but difficult and can be costly to let out.
- KEEP AN OPEN MIND- Don’t be afraid to try on something that doesn’t seem like your style. Also, keep in mind some dresses look different on and off the hanger. A dress that seems average while on the hanger may be the dress of your dreams once on. The same thing goes for the dress you thought was “the one” from the pictures online; it may be a big fail in person. While it’s always great to have an open mind, do not let yourself be talked into purchasing a dress that you’re not absolutely in love with.
- FOLLOW YOUR GUT– Don’t go with the dress that everyone else wants you to wear. This is your day and your dress! You should choose the one that makes you the most happy. You don’t want to fight with your dress instead of enjoying your day. In the end you must do what is best for you by choosing the dress that feels right to you. You should feel beautiful in your wedding dress! If you aren’t truly sure if it’s “the one”, try adding a veil or other accessories to help you envision yourself walking down the aisle. *Photo by Sarah Kate Photography