OMG! You are getting married, and now comes the moment every bride dreams of:
** Saying yes to the dress **
Wedding dress shopping may be the most important process in planning, and while you have dreamed of this moment your whole life, it can be a little overwhelming in knowing where to start. A few of the RW gals have been through the processes and we’ve got some tips for you!
It’s great to do some research on styles and trends before dress shopping. Bridal magazines, and Pinterest, can have the perfect dress inspo for your big day. However, it’s always important to keep an open mind, as the dress you least expect could be the one for you! Don’t be afraid to try on various styles and do not get discouraged if the type of dress you thought you’d love doesn’t work out. Most boutiques will pair you with a bridal stylist who will be a wealth of knowledge. Let them know your wants, but also listen to their suggestions. It’s their job to make sure you look fabulous!
This may be the most important point, and the one that is so often forgotten by brides!
Shopping for your dream dress should be exciting, memorable, and stress-free so make sure you are bringing a group that will be supportive to your vision for the big day. It may be tempting to bring a large crowd with you, but it can get overwhelming quickly! Plus, many boutiques are smaller and cannot accommodate larger groups so make sure to call ahead if you think you may have a big entourage.
A great suggestion is to bring an intimate group when initially shopping, and filter your favorites. That way you can include more people once you have selected the top few gowns to help you decide. You could also include people during the alterations process once your dress has been selected but they can still be apart of the final fitting.
Also if you have a specific style in mind that you know may clash with your group, be prepared to stand your ground! It is your big day and the biggest mistake a bride can make is buying a dress to appease someone else, and not what they want.
Every bridal shop can be very different in the style of inventory they carry, designers, sizes, order process, and price range. It’s not only important to let them know your needs, but to also probe them when wanting to schedule an appointment to make sure that boutique is a good fit for you.
Nothing can make a fun day of bridal shopping more stressful than going to a shop that may not meet your needs or wants. For example, if you’re adhering to a strict budget, but the entire inventory is way beyond that price. Another instance could be if you need a size inclusive line, but the shop does not carry your sizing in store.
It’s also important to note that many shops will only carry one sample of each dress in store, meaning they have to special order gowns. The order process can often take 6-12 months depending on designer, and some may charge hefty rush fees. If you are planning a short engagement, make sure to find a boutique that can assist with getting a special order quickly, or will sell stock pieces off the rack.
This might be a no brainer but wedding dress shopping is not like going to the mall to buy a pair of jeans. This is arguably the most important garment you will ever wear, and the dress search for most is a very new experience.
With most boutiques you will get a one on one experience with a trained stylist. They are there to help you dig into the crazy world of bridal fashion! Don’t be afraid to ask questions; they know this is a new experience for you.
The biggest difference you may notice between regular clothing and bridal is that wedding dresses can run notoriously small. Most designers use a European sizing chart, and the boutique can assist you in proper sizing. Many boutiques will use clips and other methods to help you visualize the dress fitting you perfectly.
Another point, which can be new to many, is that wedding gowns (yes, all wedding gowns) will need some kind of alterations, some more than others. Make sure to allot for alterations in your dress budget! The boutique will assist in helping your order the closest size and then a skilled tailor will help in making it your unique size.
This is a once in a lifetime experience so just remember to enjoy it! If the dress search starts to get stressful, take a step back and take a breath. If you adhere to the points listed above then you’ll lay the groundwork to have a truly enjoyable wedding gown experience. Go in with a positive attitude and remember at the end of the day it is all about the experience, and the big day!