For Brides-To-Be the wedding dress shopping experience is either the most thrilling or the most dreaded part of the wedding process. No matter which category you fall into you will inevitably have to go shopping for a dress. In order to make it easier and be totally prepared here are 10 things you need to know before wedding dress shopping.
1. Start Early
You really need at least six to eight months to get your dress and at least eight weeks to make alterations. There is a reason why you need to get an early start on your dress search-you’re not purchasing a wedding dress off the rack, so your wedding dress is essentially custom made for you. This means it will take months of work to create and you may have to have multiple alteration appointments to fit your body perfectly.
2. Always Book An Appointment
While you may get lucky and snag a salesperson just by walking in, scheduling an appointment is strongly encouraged. The bridal shop wants to ensure you have a dedicated consultant (and a fitting room!) and will give first priority to their scheduled appointments. When booking your appointment keep in mind that Saturday afternoons are the most popular times-which makes them the worst. Best piece of advice is to target an appointment for a slower time which will afford you a more personalized shopping experience.
3. Mind Your Budget
If you know you’re not going to spend $10,000 on your wedding dress, don’t waste time trying on a bunch of dresses out of your range. You’re better off focusing on your realistic price point so you can spend more time editing down the amazing options you can actually buy. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in the cost of alterations, taxes and shipping fees, plus your veil, shoes, lingerie and jewelry, which can add up to $500 or more altogether.
4. Do Your Research
Before you make an appointment with a bridal boutique, take your time and get an idea of what you’re really looking for in a wedding dress. Pull pages from magazines and create a Pinterest board for ideas. Knowing what you like and don’t like is important but you also want to also keep an open mind. That gorgeous off the shoulder dress you set your eyes on might be stunning online but when you try it on in person it may not work for your body type like you envisioned. There is a fabulous dress out there for you, you just need to get out there try on dress and listen to the experienced consultant who is there to help you.
5. Limit Your Entourage
It may be tempting to include all of your girlfriends in this experience, but any more than one or two adds up to too many clashing opinions. Bring either your mom or a trusted friend when you go shopping to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
6. Wear Just Enough Makeup To Feel Pretty
Being surrounded by a sea of white fabrics can make you hyper-aware of your appearance. carats & confetti girls are always glamourous but there is no need to go overboard. You want to feel pretty enough that you aren’t distracted by your appearance under the florescent lighting but you don’t want your makeup or a spray tan to damage the gorgeous dress.
7. Trying On Wedding Dresses Is Emotionally Draining
Wedding Dress shopping can be a scene out of a romantic comedy: the excitement in the bridal shop is palpable, you’re sipping champagne, everyone “ohhh’s and awww’s” over how stunning you are, and you wish you could bottle the excitement that you feel. On the other hand, you could be like a friend of mine who was totally mystified by how detached she was to the dress she bought. This girl goes wild for shopping for the latest pair of Manolo Blahnik’s but when it came to purchasing what is supposed to be the most important dress of her life, she felt nothing. Nada.
You may feel excitement, an overwhelming sense of anxiety (OMG you are trying on a wedding dress!), or you may not feel all that much. No two brides will ever have the same exact experience and I don’t think you will be able to even anticipate the kind of experience you will have until you step inside those bridal shop doors.
8. Let The Consultant Make Recommendations
Don’t eliminate anything at first glance. If the consultant brings you something she says you should try, try it—even if you don’t initially love it or think it is a reflection of your style. It’s possible to fall for a wedding dress you didn’t think you’d like or want. Not every dress looks great on a hanger, and you might have to let go of some preconceived notions and keep an open mind.
9. Forget About Size and Focus On The Fit
So here’s the thing: wedding dress sizes are often times VERY different from the size you normally wear. The reality is no two designer size charts are created equal. If you’re a size 6 in the ready-to-wear world, you could be anything from a 2 to a 10 on Planet Bridal. Ignore the size printed on your dress and focus on the fit.
10. Trust Your Instincts
If you have to be reassured that the wedding dress looks great on you, it’s probably not “the one.” If you can’t see yourself walking down the aisle in it, move on. When you find the right dress, you’ll know—you won’t want to put on anything else. Heck, I wanted to wear the dress home!
When it comes to preparing for wedding dress shopping of course there are more than these 10 things to keep in mind. Have anything to add? Comment below for your addition!
Check out this great video by blogger and Youtuber Alexandrea Garza for her wedding dress shopping experience and tips!
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