You just got engaged and you are ready to start searching for the wedding dress of your dreams. If you haven't been dress shopping before, your first experience can be a little overwhelming, however its our mission as bridal stylist to make the experience as seamless and memorable as possible. There are somethings you might not have thought of, or might be surprised to learn once you step into your first appointment. In order for you to be prepared, here are our top 10 tips for wedding dress shopping.
#1 Talk Budget
Before you schedule your appointments its important to determine what your budget will be. This will not only help you, but your consultant as well. The biggest no-no in wedding gown shopping is trying on a dress you cannot afford. Be honest with your consultant from the beginning, this way they will make sure that they are only pulling dresses within your budget. Keep in mind that any alterations, accessories and customization's will be an additional cost to the dress, so make sure to budget accordingly for those as well.
#2 Give yourself time
Most wedding dresses will take anywhere between 5-6 months to arrive, so give yourself enough time to shop. Wedding dresses are almost always special ordered, which means the dress is being made specifically for you. We typically suggest to start wedding dress shopping 10 months prior to the wedding. This way you have enough time to shop around, allow for production time and alterations.
#3 Do a little research
By now Pinterest and wedding magazines should be your best friend. Even though pictures will not compare to actually trying on dress, start looking at styles, details, and fabrics that you might like. This will help guide your consultant in suggesting dresses that will fit within your style.
#4 Eat Breakfast
A lot of brides think not eating before their appointment will make them look better in the gowns, however we strongly suggest eating prior to your appointment. You will be surprised how much of a workout trying on dresses can be! If you are feeling "hangry" you wont be able to focus on the task at hand.
#5 Choose your squad wisely
Its understandable that you want to share this experience with those nearest and dearest to you, however having to many opinions can be confusing and at times frustrating. Limit the number of people you go shopping with, this way you can find the dress that is right for you, and not necessarily the one that is right for everyone else. Always remember YOU are the bride, and this is your special day.
#6 Get dolled up
You would be surprised at how much a little hair and makeup can help you make a decision when choosing your wedding gown. Having an idea of what you are actually going to look like on your wedding day can be a huge help! If you are not sure what you are going to do with your hair, bring a hair tie, your consultant might even be able to give you some suggestions when going through accessories.
#7 Get comfortable
Getting in and out of wedding dresses can be tricky, so there might be a chance that your consultant will see you naked. Just keep in mind that they are all professionals and used to this. However we understand that not everyone feel comfortable baring it all, so talk openly with you consultant about how comfortable you fill with them being in the room with you. We suggest wearing undergarments you don't mind people seeing you in and that wont distract from the dresses you are trying on (ie. nude underwear and a strapless bra)
#8 Trust your consultant
Think of your consultant are your best friend for the day. Remember that they know the dresses in the store and have seen many brides before you with varying body types and sizes try on these same dresses. Trust in them to guide you in the right direction and be open to their suggestions. Be open to trying on different styles, even if they are outside of your comfort zone. You might be surprised and end up loving something you never thought you would.
#9 Don't be surprised by sizing
Warning, wedding gowns typically run two sizes smaller than street clothes, so don't be surprised that you might need to order your wedding gown in a size larger than you are accustomed to. Remember, size is nothing but a number, and 99% of brides will still have to do some kind of alteration for the dress to fit them perfectly. Boutiques will carry a variety of sample sizes (we carry dresses from a size 4-24) and your consultant will be able to clip you or panel you in order to give you the best idea of what the dress will look like in your exact size.
#10 Have fun!
This will be one of the most memorable experiences in your life, so have fun with it! Laugh, cry, dance, and everything in between, make sure you enjoy every moment. And trust us, you will know when a dress is "the one"!
Ready to start your shopping experience? Book an appointment with us today.
All photos by Nuva Photography
Hair and Makeup: GAD Artistry