Say Yes to the Dress - Tips to Help you Find Your Dream Gown
Choosing your wedding dress is arguably one of the most exciting wedding planning events. (Aside from marrying the love of your life, of course.) And in a sea of chiffon it's hard to know where to even begin the hunt for your dream dress. That's where we come in! Our guide below will help you prep, plan and have the best possible wedding dress shopping experience.
Pop the bubbly! It's going to be a blast.
Before You Go
This is the fun part! The first few weeks of planning are when you spend your evenings poring over bridal magazines and filling your Pinterest board with ideas. It's okay to go a little overboard in the initial inspiration stage, you can edit these mood boards in a bit.
Give Yourself Time
Rare is the moment when you can walk into a bridal shop and leave with a wedding-ready dress. So plan accordingly! You should start your dress hunt about 10 months before your wedding and plan on placing your order 7 months out.
Narrow it Down
Revisit your Pinterest board and start making some cuts. You don't want to go into the boutique totally overwhelmed, so pick some favorite colors, cuts and materials to use as your road map for trying on dresses. That said, don't be afraid to try something totally out of your comfort zone too. You never know what's going to look incredible until it's on!
Set a Budget
There is nothing more disappointing than trying on your dream dress only to find that it is thousands of dollars out of your budget. So have a number (or a range) to give to your stylist when you arrive. They will help pull dresses that you will not only adore, but can afford. Because if there was ever a wedding golden rule to follow it's this: make a budget and do everything you can to stick to it.
Read more on our Wedding Budget 101 post here.
Shop around, but not too much. Set appointments with a small handful of shops that have styles, designers and prices that are on your wish list. Too many options get overwhelming (and confusing) fast. So do yourself a favor and do some research (and don't forget to read reviews!) The more information you have going into your try-on the smoother the day will go.
The Day Of
Bring a few inspiration photos and a fresh notebook. Have someone record notes on price, fit, and how each dress makes you feel as you're trying them on. Going home with specific mentions of things you liked, loved and hated will go a long way in choosing your dream dress.
(Pro Tip - read to the bottom of this blog and get a FREE bride notes with purchase!)
Bring Your Accessories
If you know you want to wear a veil on your wedding day, make sure you are trying some on with your dresses. Something as simple as a flower crown can change the entire mood of an ensemble so if you have any accessories you know you need, bring them!
Do Your Hair
You don't have to arrive with a full face of makeup and your hair done, but a loose version of your day-of look can help you envision what the final product will be. If you know you want your hair up, wear it up! And vice versa. A little extra preparedness will go a long way.
Don't judge a dress by how it falls on a hanger. The only way to truly know if you like something or not is to try it on! So listen to the advice of your stylist and don't be afraid to try something outside of your normal comfort zone.
Focus on Fit, Not Size
Any dress you end up buying is going to need to be altered. So don't get caught up on the numbers and instead focus on how the garment looks and feels on you.
Bring a Second Set of Eyes
It's always good to have somebody else to help you sift through all of the emotions dress shopping can bring up. So choose wisely. Bring a friend or family member (or a few) who know your style, give good advice and don't try to steamroll. At the end of the day the final decision is yours alone to make, so surround yourself with friends who love and support you and you'll have an incredible time.
READ the Contract
This one may seem silly, but make sure you read the paperwork you are signing before you hand over a hefty deposit. It should layout the alteration schedule, cancellation policy and all of the small print meant to protect both you and the store should problems arise. Take it home, read it over and sign with fresh eyes the day after your appointment.
With a little preparation, and a pocket full of inspiration, you'll find your dream dress in no time. You're going to look incredible, Bride!