You’ve said yes to forever, now it’s time to say yes to your dream dress. If you are anything like us, you probably have Say Yes to the Dress filling up space on your DVR! For many, dress shopping is the equivalent to being a kid in a candy store, but for others swimming in a sea of white might seem a bit overwhelming. We are here to help! Below are our top tips and tricks that will help get your dress shopping process started.
As with most parts of the wedding planning process, having a budget in place is the first step. Once you have a good idea of an amount you feel comfortable spending, the search can begin. Whether it be from word of mouth or by reading reviews online, find some trusted bridal boutiques you would like to visit. Keep in mind, most bridal shops will list the price range of their gowns on their website. It’s important to only visit shops that work within your budget. This way you are not tempted to blow the budget or are disappointed after falling in love with a dream dress that may cost five times more than your ability to spend.
Be sure to give yourself enough time before your big day to get a dress. Unless you are shopping at a sample sale or store that has off-the-rack dresses, you will have to place an order for your gown. Most designers take several months for their gowns to be shipped to the boutique. Once your dream dress arrives, alterations are almost always needed to fit the gown perfectly to your body. If you have a tight timeline, be sure to share this information with your consultant at the very beginning of your appointment. That way they are able to communicate if certain designers can do rush orders or if they have a section of sample gowns available for immediate purchase.
Make an Appointment
In order to have the best shopping experience with a knowledgeable consultant, we always recommend scheduling an appointment. This will ensure you have plenty of time to work with an expert and your own space for trying on gowns. With so many styles and fabrics to choose from, navigating a bridal shop can be overwhelming; trust the experts. Also, if you plan to visit a few shops on the same day, be sure you schedule enough time in between to gather your thoughts and refuel. You don’t want to literally “shop til you drop!”
Limit Your Entourage
Having your mom, future mother in law and every member of your bridal party in attendance might seem like a fun girl’s day out, but it’s not the best plan for finding your dream dress. While everyone will no doubt want what’s best for you, we often find, the more people, the more opinions and the more confusing making a decision can become. We suggest bringing 2-3 of your most trusted family members that will offer assistance when needed but will also allow you to be in the driver’s seat.
Have you always envisioned walking down the aisle in a strapless mermaid gown? While having some favorite styles in mind is always a good start, be open to everything. Your consultant might suggest a certain silhouette based on your body type that you might never have considered until you see it on! Remember, never to judge based on the hanger appeal alone. Most gowns don’t come to life until they are on you. And even if you do not want a Cinderella-esque ball gown, try just one on for your mom. You never know, it might just make your heart sing!
Wedding dresses come in a variety of shades and colors. Ranging from pure white to blush pink. The right choice is whichever you think will best complement your complexion. This is the perfect place to rely on your consultant and your family and friends. Here are a few popular choices.
Pure white: This color looks best on dark skin tones. Wearing white might seem to be the most popular choice based on tradition, but the fact is, it’s not. Pure white is typically a challenging color to wear for those with lighter complexions. It also may take on a slight blueish hue in photos.
Diamond white: This color is slightly creamier than pure white and is a very popular choice. Diamond white looks great on most skin tones and looks particularly stunning on silk fabrics.
Light ivory: This is slightly darker than diamond white but still lighter than traditional ivory. Light ivory is also flattering to most skin tones and looks beautiful on most wedding dress fabrics.
Ivory: If you have a light skin tone, this is often the way to go. Ivory will give a nice contrast to your complexion and looks especially gorgeous on lace gowns.
Color: While most traditional wedding gowns are available in the above colors, you can certainly decide to make a more colorful statement. Be sure to let your sales associate know right away if you are looking for a particular color, that way they can pull designers that can order in your dream color!
While this may be your first time wedding gown shopping, it is definitely not your consultants first rodeo. They are the expert, so do not be afraid to ask him or her a lot of questions. A few keys things we suggest asking are as follows. What type of alterations can realistically be done to a gown? What is the timeline for ordering? (All designers’ time frames will vary) Does your shop have an onsite alterations specialist? What is an estimated cost and timeline for alterations once the gown arrives? What forms of payment do they accept and what is the payment process?
Now all that’s left to do is pack some snacks and let the dream dress shopping fun begin!
By: Dana Bates