Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting and at the same time stressful purchases you will ever make. The pressure which you will feel when searching for “The One” may become a bit overwhelming. To help you fight your frustrations, the tears, the hair pulling, and the mental anguish, we have compiled this handy dandy guide of do’s and don’ts along with some practical advice you should consider before going out there.
Research early, give your self plenty of time
More times than not, finding perfect dress takes time, due diligence, Sherlock Holmes style snooping ability and patience. Your bible for the feasible future is – Pinterest. The trick to figuring out what style of dress and even dress color you should target is to look for dress models that resemble your body type and you skin tone. If you are slim and/or of athletic built with a small chest, you should concentrate on images of dresses worn by similarly built models. If you are short and bodacious, you need to stay away from a “column dress”. That look will not be flattering on you as it would be on a tall frame. If you are beginning to get frustrated with the process, take the time to go window shopping, maybe browse a large wedding dress shop like David’s Bridal. The goal is not to buy anything but rather familiarize yourself with how dresses feel and look in reality. Then you are ready to jump online and narrow down your search for a dress and see what speaks to you.
So now you have seen a few dresses online and would like to try them on in person. You should call a few local dress boutiques and see which shop has dresses of your choice in stock for you try on. (Alternatively, your wedding planner can do all the leg work of calling the right shops in the area and arrange for appointments)
Give yourself 10 Months, minimum, for the Dress Search
It is preferable that you start 12-14 months, If possible, before your wedding to account for time to order, possible delays, alterations, and contingencies. We strongly encourage you to secure your venue before going dress shopping. It is critical! No doubt your wedding will have a theme like most do. So if your wedding is being held in a barn with barrels and bales of hay to sit on while a hog is being roasted over an open pit, a jeweled glittering, mermaid style dress may not be something you ought to consider as a dress of choice. In short, your wedding dress has to be able to compliment the venue you will be in, correlate with the theme of your wedding, be comfortable as well as to make you feel like a bride on you special day.
No one wants to say it, but it is very possible that your body may change significantly in a year. You may want to wait to get your alterations done at a point when you believe that your body won’t change much and will be very similar to what it will look like on your wedding day. It is not advisable for you to try to lose weight for your wedding. If you insist on a diet ahead of your wedding, only go dress shopping when you’ve reached and maintained the target weight for a time.
Wedding Boutiques Are Not Created Equal
The plus-size ladies will have a more difficult time looking for “the one”. Trust when I say that you will not be able to sashay into a typical wedding boutique on a whim and find choices galore, you will not! That is not because the shop does not cater to plus size women, it is simply a question of “styles and lines” of dresses that they stock, measured against the quantity of units they carry and ultimately the rack space. In your case, there are plenty alternatives like specialty boutiques that cater only to larger sizes and understand your body type. Altogether, this dress shopping experience will be exponentially better than at the other place.
To be fair, all brides looking for that perfect dress must discriminate in their choice of a boutique. All stores are different, some make every client feel like you are the only client they have, others don’t care cause the owner feels like they have made it, yet others don’t have the time, the resources, or experienced management and staff. Do some leg work beforehand; do the research, read reviews, ask you Wedding Planner to help with the recommendations and select few shops where you’d feel comfortable. You may even get Champagne if the boutique is of the right caliber. Wedding Dress shopping is one of the most crucial stages in the Wedding prep. It is a purchase of a lifetime, it is expensive, and the boutique should make you to feel special.
You Need to Limit Your Entourage
Put some though into whom you’d like to bring with you for this already stressful exercise. It is not advisable to bring the whole team of judge and jury. Your job is to keep sane and happy not everyone around you. Take one or two people whose opinion you trust. And that will make your experience more enjoyable. But if you don’t take this advise seriously and bring the entire gang (assuming the shop will even allow it), multiple and varied opinions will make you nuts and you will second guess yourself all the way through.
Again, can’t say it enough —- for your dress appointment bring a maximum of two people. Maybe your mama and your BFF.
Trying on 3-7 Dresses, is the sweet spot
If you opt for a marathon of dress trying, if the prospective quantity of dresses starts to climb to 10 or beyond, abandon the exercise or you will be more confused and more upset than at any previous time in this exercise. To avid all that, make a short list of styles you would like to try on, limit the quantities and stick with the plan. That way you will not get frustrated or overwhelmed and you will find your dress.
One of the best things you can do is to engage a Wedding Planner in your dress search. It is not only advisable to have a Wedding Planner for your wedding in totality, but also, Wedding Planners have a ton of experience with Wedding Dress shopping. Your Wedding Planner is the best possible resource you can have at your disposal. And while you should certainly listen to the sales people in the boutique as well as your entourage who is locked in a debate, the right Wedding Planner will be your personal shopper, a friend, and a trusted advisor. Not only you will potentially decrease the amount of time it will take for you to find the perfect dress, you will have an advocate on your side who is not your family. Someone who will tell you what works and what does not, without any bias. Because your Wedding Planner by now knows you better than you know yourself, because the Wedding Planner knows the venue and the vision for aesthetic and décor. Additionally, you may get introduced to a style of dress that you would have never thought of trying on your own, but it would be “THE ONE”!
Bridal Dress Sizes are Cut Small
Bridal sizes typically wind up being smaller than the regular clothes you’d buy from Marshalls or Gap. It’s as unpleasant as it gets but it is a true fact that can leave you feeling upset and disappointed. Forget the labels, forget the numbers, don’t even think twice about it. The only thing that matters is that your dress fits and you feel fantastically bridal in it
A HUGE DON’T: Don’t by a dress a 2 or 3 sizes too small with an intent to slim down in order to fit into it. You don’t need that kind of stress. Frankly, buy for your size. And if so happens that you loose a few pounds, fantastic. Believe me when I tell you that it is much easier to have your dress taken in that let out.
Put Your Dress to a Test
Once the dress is on you at the boutique, try to sit in it, jump, move and roll. See how you stretch when you bend. This is a road test for your dress. You need this dress to be as functional as it is beautiful. Speaking honestly, your dress will be heavy. You’d have drunk a lot of everything and toasted to every speech, acknowledgement and congratulatory accolade. You will need to use a restroom at least once maybe elevendy times during the evening. Think about the realities of various functions you do daily to make sure that you and the dress can cope. Can you go to the bathroom by yourself, will you need help, can you slip in and out of the dress without calling the fire department? All this is important stuff to consider
Be True to Your Style
You are the only person who knows precisely what style of dress you like and what type of address you feel like a bride in.
It is quite possible that after a while you will become immune to trying on dresses and when you do, you will only pay attention to a dress and not how you look in it. Having had the experience myself, I became dress blind. I was looking at the dresses in the mirror but forgetting to look at myself in the dress. I forgot to look at the whole package. It’s all about you on your day, so make sure you search for a dress that makes you happy and you feel like the best version of you in it.
Don’t rush to buy…..
You walk into a boutique and the very first dress off the rack you put on seems to be “The One”. And it may very well be. But take a deep breath and try on a couple more dresses to make absolutely sure. It is quite conceivable that all the running around and the excitement and the sales lady pouring Champagne through a funnel down your throat and you are finally trying on wedding dresses, is very exciting and all of that made you feel ready to pull the trigger. Take a moment to think things through. If you have any doubts or maybes floating in your head, you are not there yet. Keep looking. When you find ‘The One’, you’ll know.
Stay in Your Budget
You will be devastated if you fall in love with a dress that you can’t afford.
A wedding dress should suit you and you should love it, no matter who designer is or a price tag. It does not matter where the dress is from or who it’s made by as long as you can’t imagine yourself wearing anything else. If you find a dress for $99.00 at David’s Bridal Trunk Show that you adore, never let yourself feel like it’s not a ‘proper’ wedding dress.
Things Not to Do When Choosing a Wedding Dress
>DON’T Buy a too-good-to-be-true discount ‘designer’ dress online. It’s probably a scam.
>DON’T Dismiss color. White or ivory do not work for everyone; be bold!
>DON’T Ignore your budget. We can’t say this enough.
>DON’T Not communicate with the shop assistant. They need to know what you and like and what you don’t.
>DON’T Wear a “laundry-day” underwear. You’ll be getting pretty intimate in the changing room with the shop assistant, and you’ll want to wear underwear similar to what you’ll wear on the day.
>DON’T Feel embarrassed to ask questions. However silly, they’ll have heard it before.
>DON’T Forget to calculate in alteration costs and extras.
>DON’T Do it all online. You’ll want to feel the fabric and try on the dress in person.