So you just got engaged. Or maybe you’ve been engaged for a while. But either way, you’re here because you’re about to tackle wedding dress shopping. This blog post includes 10 tips for your best possible experience wedding dress shopping, but can we give you one big piece of advice first? Take a breath.
There’s a lot of excitement that surrounds finding THE dress, but there can also a lot of anxiety and stress around it too. You’ll find a dress, we promise. And we know it will look gorgeous on you! But your whole experience will be so much better if you just take things as they comes and try not to sweat the small stuff.
Know Your Budget.
We know budgets can be annoying. But it’s really important to look over all that money stuff, especially if you don’t particularly want to look over. Take the time to be sure what you can afford before taking the leap of making the appointment. It will truly save you a lot of stress later.
And then the second part of this tip is this: only try on dresses within your budget. If you’re budget is $2000, please don’t try on that $5500 gown you saw walking in “just for fun”.
Just don’t. Trust us.
Do Your Research.
There are so many talented designers and gorgeous dresses out there, that it’s easy to get caught up in the Pinterest whirlwind. What you don’t realize at the time, is that Berta wedding gown you have saved to your wedding board, you know, that one with the jewel encrusted bodice and hand stitched lace? Those gowns START at $8000.
Now, different boutiques will start at different price ranges, and cater to different price points, so it’s good to know what those prices are before you walk in and realize their gowns start at $1000 over your budget… OR that they don’t have a wide range of the more expensive dresses that you were wanting to look at.
Go online and look up the boutiques in your area! They will often list the designers they carry, so you can see what designers and dress styles you like, as well as if they seem to be in your price range! If you do a bit of research beforehand, you can pare down the list of boutiques to the ones that best suit your budget and style.
Invite People Who Will Bring Joy and positivity to the appointment.
This seems easy enough… but invite who you want to invite.
Invite people to the appointment who will bring joy and positivity and who will make you feel good. You honestly don’t need another reason to be insecure, or stressed out, or doubting yourself. So leave that Negative Nancy at home.
Boutiques often have a 3-5 person limit, so you can be pretty selective of your entourage without offending people. If that Negative Nancy ends up being your mom or sister or someone else integral to the appointment? …Well not much we can help you with on that front., but just stay positive and try to bring as much joy as you can yourself!
Be Open To Different Styles.
Bridal gowns are quite drastically different than most people’s normal attire. So for your first appointment, be open to trying on different styles and silhouettes. You might be surprised with something you never thought you’d like! But at the very least, it will help you to rule out what you don’t want.
It’s Okay to Know What You Want.
You get to be picky. You’re the bride. And you’re trying to find the most important gown you’ll ever wear (most likely anyways). So if you don’t like something, or you know there’s a certain style you prefer, tell the person helping you with your appointment! They don’t want to waste time either! So let them know at the beginning of the appointment what you like, what you don’t like, and share anything else important along the way.
It’s Okay to Not Know What You Want.
If every bride knew exactly what she wanted, all of us wouldn’t go through the hour-long appointment trying on different gowns with our closest friends and family sharing all their opinions. But that’s the standard, because it’s okay to figure it out as you go! And as you realize what you like and what you don’t like, you’ll slowly narrow down your style. Or who knows, maybe you’ll magically find THE ONE in the first or second dress you try on!
Get All Dolled Up.
On your wedding day you’ll have your hair and makeup professionally done. So even though it seems like a minor thing, trust us when we say putting on a little extra mascara and utilizing some kind of hot tool to tame your mane is a really good idea. It’ll not only help you look closer to how you’ll look on the day itself, but also it’ll add a little boost of confidence when you’re looking in the mirror.
Consider Your Wedding Venue, Theme, & Style.
Is your wedding outside? Well that could change your dress options because now you have to consider which silhouettes or styles would be best suited for an outdoor wedding. Consider your theme, style, location, and all those important details before you go dress shopping. If you want to plan an entire wedding around your gown, you do you! But we suggest getting some main items checked off (indoor vs outdoor, style, location, and theme) so you can choose a dress that best suits those details, rather than the other way around.
Take Photos of Your Top Picks.
This is the perfect time to get that friend (you know, the one that’s always on her phone) to document all your favourite dresses you try on. This way, if you don’t pick a dress by the end of the appointment, you can look back at your favourite options later. Also, dresses can look so different from a different perspective, and they can photograph differently as well. Having pictures (even if they’re on an IPhone) can help you see what the dress will really look like in your wedding photos.
Don’t Rush The Process.
It’s great if you find your dress in the first appointment, but don’t feel like you have to buy one that day if you didn’t love any. It’s a big purchase and you don’t want to have regrets. So feel free to take your time, and schedule a couple appointments at different boutiques until you find your dress!
photography by Common and Co Weddings