If you’re in the market for a wedding gown, you know that the choice can be pretty daunting. There are so many different styles, and they often look so different on “real” bodies – even the practically perfect ones. Shopping for a wedding gown brings together all of life’s “best” insecurities – budget concerns, body image, fashion sense, and sometimes even the pressure of loved ones with far too many opinions.
You can set yourself up for success, however. Simply review our tips and make a plan of attack before you head to your first bridal salon.
- Do not bring the entourage. While it’s tempting to haul the whole family to the shop to make sure you leave no possible point of view unturned, it can be extremely overwhelming when trying on gowns to have dozens of opinions “shared” for each dress. Bring only your most trusted confidants and decision makers. You can always bring a key player back with you another day.
- Do bring an open mind. If we had a dollar for every bride who said, “I wasn’t even going to try it on, but it was meant to be,” we’d be writing this from a very exclusive tropical island. Assuming you are like the majority of the population, you don’t wear a wedding gown every day, and you might not realize that your very best look is one that you would never have guessed. Trust the consultants at the shop when they suggest you give a slightly different style a try. You may be introduced to your new favorite style!
- Do bring inspiration with you. Capture those pins and pics on your phone, or go old-fashioned and tear out pages from magazines and bring them all with you to your initial trials. The photos will give your consultant an idea of where to start, and might even reveal something about your taste you didn’t realize.
- Do bring a realistic budget. You need to know what you can spend before you decide what you want, and sharing your budget with your consultant will help her steer you towards the walls and racks that match your means.
- Do shop early. It is mind-blowing, but some gowns take six months or more to deliver once ordered. Factor in dropping by at least two or three salons and you may need to time your decision very carefully. Talk to the experts at your shops and get a reasonable time estimate for delivery, as well as an idea of how long alterations and final touch ups could take. Plan accordingly.
And as always, do your due diligence and check into your prospective shops before paying for anything. Bridal shops have been known to close down and leave couples stranded, so make sure you are working with an established and reputable business. Follow these simple tips, and you can rest assured that you will survive your gown search and emerge victorious on the wedding day.