Gown

Your To-Do List for Wedding Dress Shopping

You’re engaged, and the time has come to find the perfect wedding gown. You’ve dreamed of this moment for years, and now it’s time to start shopping. To assist you in discovering the dress you’ve always wanted, follow these tips to make the most of your bridal appointments.

  1. Bring pictures. You’ve been poring over wedding magazines for weeks, and stockpiling photos of dresses you love. Not to mention all those dresses you’ve pinned on your Pinterest wedding boards. These photos provide a great starting point when meeting with your bridal consultant and deciding what type of dress you want.
  1. Consider your wedding vision. Perhaps you are thinking of a timeless, elegant wedding accented by pearls and soft hues. Or maybe you want a fun, vibrant wedding full of bright colors. Whatever your theme, finding a dress that complements it will be key to fulfilling that vision.
  1. Think of the time and season. A spring wedding on a sunny afternoon demands a completely different style than an evening wedding in the winter. Generally speaking, the later in the day you have your wedding, the more formal your dress should be. In a similar vein, you don’t want to be buried in a heavy fabric when the temperatures are high.
  1. Choose a dress for your venue. If you want a church wedding, talk with your officiant to see if the church has specific requirements regarding your dress. For instance, should you have a bolero to cover up a strapless dress? Likewise, for a beach wedding, consider a gown that is light and moves well across the sand.
  1. Be comfortable in your choice. Although this is a momentous occasion in your life, do not lose sight of who you are. Your wedding day is not the time to experiment with new styles; instead choose a dress that reflects your personality.
  1. Shop within your budget. You should never try on a wedding gown that is outside your budget. You don’t want to leave without your dream dress when you find out you cannot afford it. To get the most for your money, check with your local salons to see if they are holding sales or any “gift with purchase” offers. Also consider trunk shows, which may have special offers on specific designers’ lines.
  1. Listen to your bridal consultant. While it’s important to head to your bridal appointment with an idea of what you want, don’t close your mind to suggestions from your bridal consultant. He or she has been working with brides long enough to know what silhouettes look good and how a dress will fit. Trust in his or her experience and knowledge to help you find your ideal wedding gown.
  1. Ignore size and focus on measurements. Bridal designers never use traditional dress sizing for their dresses, so do not get caught up in the size on your order form. Instead, order your dress based on the measurements taken at your appointment. This will ensure a more proper fit with minimal alterations.
  1. Limit your shopping party. Yes, you’re excited to share this big shopping day with your family and friends, but it’s crucial that you bring just two to four trusted people with you to your appointment. Having too many voices in the audience could leave you confused when it comes to making a choice.
  1. Solicit valued opinions but choose for yourself. Yes, you should ask those you brought with you for their thoughts on your dress. After all, that’s why you brought them, right? However, listen closely to what they say: Are they offering constructive criticism about why a dress does or does not look good on you? Or are they speaking up based on what they would want? If you find a dress that you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to get it. After all, it is YOUR wedding.