You just got engaged! Congratulations! While it can be super exciting to book your bridal appointment as soon as you get the ring, there are some things you should know before you shop.
What’s first? It’s best to set a wedding date and secure your venue before you shop for a wedding gown. These two details will help guide your selections so that you can keep in mind the level of formality, what season your getting married in and your budget. Also, talking with your fiancé to decide overall vibe of the wedding could influence your dress selection. Are you eloping, or having a big wedding with friends and family?
Determine a budget. Wedding dresses can be pricey, so having an idea of what you’re willing to spend will prevent you from falling in love with a dress that simply isn’t within your budget. On the other hand, have realistic expectations about what dresses and alterations cost. Most brides don’t even consider the cost of alterations and how that impacts their overall gown budget. Doing some research and calling shops and seamstress to ask about their prices will help you decide where to spend your time (and money).
Make an inspiration board. Do some research and get an idea of what type of dress you might want. Think about what style, silhouette and dress features appeal to you. You may want a ball gown, mermaid, A-line, or something more relaxed. Getting an idea of the style you want will make it easier to narrow down your choices. With that said, don’t be surprised if you end up liking a style that you thought you wouldn’t. We love to see screenshots or your Pinterest board before we start to pull dresses.
Schedule appointments in advance. Most bridal shops operate by appointment only, and many may have limited availability, so it’s best to make an appointment well in advance. You don’t want to be rushed into making a decision because of a scheduled appointment or to be disappointed by not being able to try on the dress you’ve had your eye on.
Take a Friend. Bringing someone whose opinion you trust is helpful to give you feedback on each dress you try on. But try not to overwhelm yourself by bringing too many people – this can be counterproductive and sometimes confusing. Laura wrote a very informative blog on this subject.
Be Open-Minded. While having ideas of what you want is helpful, being open-minded can lead to unexpected surprises. Sometimes dresses look different in person than they do in a picture, so be willing to try on a few different styles and try things on suggested by your stylist.
Think About Alterations. It is rare for a dress to fit perfectly off the rack. Most dresses will need fine tuning for the best fit. Seamstress are capable of many wonderful things such as adding custom sleeves, adding bustle to your train, and adjusting the length of the gown just to name a few.
Shopping for a wedding dress can be challenging, but with these tips in mind, you’ll have more control over your shopping experience. Remember, the goal is to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful, confident and comfortable on your special day.