Lori Allen opened Bridals by Lori in 1980, and after three decades of helping brides find their wedding dresses, she’s got the process perfected. Her 10 Commandments should guide your own wedding dress search. We guarantee they’ll lead you to your dream gown. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the tips below and videos of brides she’s saved from the brink of dress disaster!
10: Thou Shalt Keep the Bride’s Eyes on the Prize
Shopping for a wedding dress is emotional (and can be exhausting). Some brides get defeated because they think they’re just not the girly, bridal type. Truth is, everyone has bridal style! You just have to find yours and let it shine through. (Taking this bridal style quiz is a good place to start! ) On your wedding day, be the best version of yourself — if you’re a tomboy that might mean wearing your usual running shoes under a crinoline skirt.
9: Thou Shalt Not Let the Bride Overshop
It’s easy to talk yourself out of the right dress if you keep on shopping for new and different styles. Don’t chalk it up to being indecisive. Trust your gut when you find a dress you love. After all, you stopped looking for guys when you met your fiance, right?
8: Thou Shalt Keep an Open Mind
There’s a reason bridal salons are staffed with consultants. These experts are trained to dress various body types and to make recommendations based on the type of wedding you’re having and in what season or location you’re getting married. Listen to them! Even if you’re determined to wear a mermaid dress, trust the consultant when she pulls a lace A-line for you. Maybe he or she knows something you don’t.
7: Thou Shalt Leave the Past Behind
Maybe you’re a little older than you thought you’d be when you got married. Maybe you’re pining for a dress that’s no longer being produced by the designer. Maybe you lost or gained weight, and your body isn’t what it used to be. Inhale deeply and let it — whatever “it” is — go. Shop for the woman you are at this very moment, not the woman you were five years ago.
6: Honor Thy Mother and Father…Up to a Point
Whether you’re a daddy’s girl or mom’s best friend, it’s important to take their opinions into consideration when choosing your dress. You might have a different perspective entirely if you’re not close to either parent. Point is, if your parents are paying for the dress, they get a say in what it looks like. Plus, some good, old-fashioned respect for mama never hurt any relationship. Your wedding is emotional for her, too, so be sensitive to her feelings.
5: Honor Thy Bride’s Opinion Over All Others
The second you started wearing that ring, you developed bridal intuition. That’s a sixth sense that lasts through your wedding planning and instinctively guides you in making some pretty tough decisions. (Peonies or roses? Cut your parents’ friends from the guest list or nix the Rolls Royce for the grand send-off?) Listen to that voice inside your head when shopping for a dress. If you want the princess dress your friends hate — and you know you look good in it — the choice is clear.
4: Pick Thy Wedding Posse Carefully
Ten years from now, you may not remember who accompanied you on your dress shopping mission, but you’ll remember how you felt when you left the salon. Were you elated, having found your dress and ready to celebrate over lunch? Or were you disappointed, leaving empty-handed after hearing too many opinions or (heaven forbid) criticisms? Shopping with those who love you and support you unconditionally will lead to shopping success. That’s not permission to bring your entire sorority pledge class. Limit your entourage to just 3-5 people with sound judgment.
3: Thou Shalt Not Bring Thy Fiance’s Ex
This point needs no explanation.
2: Thou Shalt Not Covet a Dress Outside Thy Budget
There is no possible scenario in which buying a dress you can’t afford has a happy ending. Don’t even try on a dress that’s over budget. Say you fall in love with a $10,000 dress and your budget is $2,000. What now? A) You put it on your credit card and go into dress debt before you walk down the aisle. Fail. B) You guilt whoever’s writing the check into spending more on you, and you strain the relationship. Big fail. C) You get your dress and look amazing, but you have to slash costs elsewhere, and you give up the band, premium appetizers and open bar. Biggest fail of all because your wedding will be a lot less fun.
1: Thou Shalt Leave Thy Fiance At Home
Leave a little something to your future husband’s imagination by letting him skip dress shopping. It’s incredibly special to see your fiance at the end of the aisle waiting for you. Blow him away with how gorgeous you look, and keep the dress a secret. If you bring him shopping, you risk boring him, shocking him with the cost of bridal attire or compromising your vision for something he prefers.