6 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping
The day is finally here!!!! You are engaged to the love of your life and you get to go shopping for the perfect wedding dress!! Eeeeek! Wedding dress shopping is one of the most fun parts of wedding planning and we’ve got 6 tips to help make the process the (second) best day ever!
Select a date that both you and whoever you are choosing to bring with you (more on that later!) are all free for the day. Then you’ll need to set an appointment with the bridal boutique(s) of your choice, as most will require on appointments as opposed to walk-ins. Especially during busy times like evenings and weekends. You should schedule your wedding-dress-shopping-day around 9 months before the wedding date. Gowns typically aren’t ready for you to walk out of the shop with; you’ll need to order it and it will be specially made just for you (#awesome). The dress will typically take around 3-4 months to come in, and then you’ll need plenty of time for multiple alteration appointments and last-minute details.
Less is More
When it comes to who you bring with you, that is. More people equals more opinions. We suggest only bringing 2-3 people who you are really close with, and who know what you’re really looking for. If you want to include your family, your husband’s family, and the entire bridal party, save that for the fittings. Bonus: at the fittings, they will learn how to help you with the dress so it will be easy to bustle when the time comes!
Stick to Your Budget
Have your budget figured out before you try on dresses and stick to it! There is nothing worse than trying on a dress and falling in love with it, but not being able to afford it. After that, it will be difficult to get the “perfect” dress out of your head and find one within budget. If someone else is paying for the dress, it’s a good idea to discuss the budget with them beforehand so you don’t have to have an awkward conversation in front of others. It’s also a good idea to do a little research on bridal shops beforehand, so you know if most of the designers they carry are within your budget or not. The bridal shop will also be appreciative of this – you don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
Don’t Forget About Alterations
Speaking of budget, don’t forget to add in the cost of alterations! Alteration prices can vary significantly. To be safe, it’s smart to call the alterations shop you’ll be using to figure out what kind of prices you can expect. (If you don’t know which shop you’ll be using yet, the bridal shop you go to should be able to give you suggestions or advice on recommended alteration shops and how much their brides typically spend.) The shop will either charge per service or a flat fee. Per service is usually cheaper if you only need standard alterations like shortening the dress, but custom alterations and add-ons can get expensive. You’ll also need to factor in the timeline of alterations. Once you receive your dress, get your appointments set up ASAP! Do not wait until the last minute thinking you only need a few, quick things done. It almost always takes longer than you think it will. Better safe than sorry! One more thing: don’t forget to take your shoes with you to your alteration appointments! This is so important for getting the length of your dress right.
Hair and Makeup
Wear your hair and makeup similar to how it’s going to be on your wedding day. It will be easier to visualize yourself as a bride, plus you’ll just feel better in the dress if you’re happy with your hair and makeup as well. If you want to splurge or make it a fun girl’s day, get your makeup done (hello trial run!) or go get a blowout before the try-on sesh!
Remember when you were a little girl and you dreamed of the day you would get to dry on all the pretty wedding dresses?! This is that day!!! It’s finally here! So keep an open mind and try not to get too stressed out. Trust your stylist and don’t be afraid to try on something you weren’t planning on. Also, take the pressure off of finding the dress on the first day. If you do, great! If not, that’s why you started the process with plenty of time to make your decision!
Remember to move in the dresses. See which one you love dancing in and feel the most comfortable in. When you know, you know! Don’t feel like you have to try on a bajillion dresses. If you love the very first one you try on, then that’s the one! Do a little happy dance!