The Simple Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping

The style of the dress is one thing, but there’s much more to consider when you’re looking for your perfect wedding gown.  A few things to keep in mind for your search:

  • Do your research. Peruse through Pinterest, check out bridal magazines and find out what type of styles you like. You’ll notice the types of dresses you are gravitating towards.  Have an idea of what silhouettes you like:  A-line, Ball gown, Mermaid, Trumpet, 
  • Start your search early. Give yourself the time to look for what you like without feeling rushed. Wedding dresses could take 9-12 months to order, depending on the designer. You don’t want to get into a situation where you fall in love with a dress and find that you can’t get it in time for your special day.
  • Know your budget. The first thing that bridal retailers will ask you is “what’s your budget,” so know what you are willing to spend before making the trek to the bridal salons. Also, be realistic about your budget. Don’t expect to find a designer gown for $1500. You may get lucky at a sample sale, but this generally isn’t the norm.  Keep in mind that your dress may need to be altered, which also costs $.
  • Book an appointment when you’re ready to shop: Although some retailers allow drop-ins, most will see you by appointment only.  Select the retailers you’d like to visit and call in advance to schedule some time to try on the gowns.  This way, you will have the salesperson’s undivided attention for an hour and a half.      
  • Try to limit your travel companions: The more the merrier doesn’t necessarily apply to bridal wear shopping. Limiting the number of people you take dress shopping with you will only make things simpler for you. An entourage usually causes more confusion and too many differing opinions. Limit your bridal crew to one or two individuals that you trust, people who will tell you the truth about what looks good and who won’t add unnecessary stress to the situation. The last thing you want when you’re dress shopping is a Debbie Downer or a cranky pants. The dress shopping experience should be a fun one.
  • Be open-minded: Although you may have a specific style in mind, make sure you try at least one of each silhouette to see how it looks on you. You may be pleasantly surprised.  A style that you never would have considered may look amazing on you.  Sometimes the salesperson will also suggest some options that you may not have considered but would suit your specific body type. Be open to different styles, you never know what might happen.
  • Make sure you order the right size: When you order a wedding dress, don’t order too small of a size (in anticipation of weight loss). A wedding dress can be altered to be smaller but very difficult, if not impossible, to make it bigger.   

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