Bridal dress shopping can be the ultimate girl time or a stressful experience. Even if you are a seasoned shopping aficionado, shopping for a wedding dress is a completely different experience. Fortunately, your bridal appointment will be successful if you remember these shopping tips.
DO: Your research
Build your confidence before shopping by gathering basic knowledge of wedding dresses. Do some simple research on dress styles and silhouettes, designers whose aesthetic matches yours and the colors you like best (yes, there are actually many shades of white). If you can communicate with your sales rep in her language, your appointment will be more successful.
DO: Start shopping early
Some brides will not start shopping until they have lost 10 more pounds. This is a mistake! The process can be stressful, and the added pressure of a tight deadline adds unnecessary drama. Try to begin shopping 9-12 months before your wedding. Pro Tip: If you are worried about a swing in weight, find a corset style gown.
DO: Bring a strapless bra and pair of heels
If you want to see exactly how the dress will look, have these items handy. Some dresses will look completely differently with a good foundation or when they are lifted just an inch or two with a pair of heels.
DO: Try on different styles
You have always dreamed of a ballgown, but may be pleasantly surprised at how elegant you feel in a mermaid or A-line. Trust your bridal consultants and try on anything they suggest. Your dream dress may be homely on the hanger but gorgeous on you.
DON’T: Get hung up on a size
It is just a number. Wedding dresses do not run the same as your typical clothing sizes. Don’t let a tiny number in the tag stand between you and your dream dress. Remember your dress will probably require some alterations. It’s about the fit, never about the number.
DON’T: Bring your entourage
Bring your trusted advisors–your friends and family that are encouraging yet honest. Do not bring a huge entourage because you do not want to hurt feelings. In this case, the appointment usually leads to confusion and conflicting opinions. It will be hard to focus on your true feelings on each dress.
DON’T: Try on a dress you can’t afford
It is worth repeating. Do not try on a dress that is outside of your budget, even if it is just to get a feel for a style or size. A $2,000 dress will never be able to compete with a $7,000 dress. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Stick to your price range. Pro Tip: If you are working with a low budget, go for a more simple gown and glam it up with a quality beaded sash or accessory.
DON’T: Forget about accessories and alterations
Invest some time in choosing just the right accessories to complement your ensemble and of course, don’t forget to budget for them. Some brides put so much time and energy finding just the right dress and the rest of the details are just an afterthought. You may want a veil, flower crown or hair piece, jewelry, and a pretty sash or belt. Don’t forget about your shoes! You will definitely need cute and comfy shoes!
Your best experience will happen at the best bridal shop. Ask for suggestion to find a shop that offers a great selection in your price range, and helpful bridal consultants.