When planning a wedding, you will go through a period of looking at different gorgeous dresses. With so many pretty wedding gowns out there, you may wonder which dress is the right fit for you.
As part of the wedding planning process, finding the perfect gown is one of the first things on their to-do list. However, before you encounter that sea of white or blush or blue dresses – there are a few pieces of advice.
Before you decide on a dress you need clarification on, consider these elements. It will make your decision-making process a lot easier.
Have a budget in mind.
As with any aspect of your wedding, you should set a budget before heading out. It is equally important to be upfront with the bridal consultant about what you are willing to spend.
Sometimes you may get caught up in the moment and find the perfect dress – and then they tell you the price. Just be upfront and honest about your budget. Then ask them to show anything that is within your budget.
Try to figure out how much you plan to spend. Tell your salesperson before she starts bringing out wedding gowns. The process will not allow you to lose your heart to a dress you can not afford. Typically, a wedding ensemble, including veil, undergarments, and any other accessories may account for 10 to 15 percent of the total wedding cost.
Bring a few guests.
Of course, you may want a second or third opinion when selecting your gown. It is always appropriate to bring your sister, sister, best friend, or even your brother if he has a fabulous style. However, try to cut off the list at some point, so your opinion is balanced.
Stylists believe it is always a great idea for brides to bring some of their most trusted friends and family to the appointment. The reason being two to three guests can help narrow down your favorites. On the other hand, a plethora of onlookers can be a distraction. As it is rightly said, too many opinions may drown out your own. Finally, it is essential to remember that it is your wedding dress.
Reflect on your style.
Remember that a quick peeks into your closet will help you determine your choice – prior to heading to the bridal salon. Always search your wardrobe before you go dress shopping. Also, wear one of your favorite outfits. Your outfit will help your bridal stylist learn your personal style as well.
If your closet is filled with solid clothing, you should consider a clean, minimalistic dress. In contrast, if you love a loud print, consider a wedding dress with an underlay and off-white lace.
Shop with an open mind.
What may look fabulous on a model in a photo might not be a good fit for you. Note that everyone has a different body size and shape. So what you may expect to look fabulous might not be flattering on you. One thing brides need to consider when shopping for a wedding dress – is to always keep an open mind. What you may think you will not like, you may end up falling in love with.
You should indeed come in with a few ideas. But stay open-minded to other dresses or silhouettes your stylist may suggest. You may come in searching for a fit and flared wedding dress. Instead, you may find yourself in love with a ball gown or vice versa. It is even possible that your least favorite dress on the hanger might fit your figure in the best possible way.
Take the venue into account.
Whether you are getting married indoors or outside – is a factor to consider. However, beyond that, also check about any guidelines the venue might have. Especially if you are having a church wedding.
Most indoor places are very flexible today. However, some areas might still require your shoulders to be covered. If this does not fit your dream dress, consider a bodysuit or bolero you might remove after the ceremony.
Get into a “yes” mindset.
Many brides today often go into their appointment with the mindset that they are just browsing or will not find the perfect gown. However, go into your try-on, realizing that the next dress you try on may be the one. When booking your appointment, be mentally prepared to find your gown.
Once you have the experience of trying one gown – you can envision yourself walking down the aisle. Then – ‘say yes to the dress at that very moment.
You should begin shopping six to nine months before your wedding. Remember that it will take about four months for a manufacturer to make your wedding gown. And another two months to complete the alterations.
Very elaborate wedding gowns will take longer. So short on time? Note that many shops do rush orders for an additional fee. In such a scenario, your choices will likely be limited. They might also have a sale section with samples you can buy off the rack. But only if you are lucky can you get one that needs minor alterations and is within your budget.
Location, location, location
Knowing the time and place of your wedding will help focus your search. Do you have a daytime ceremony on the beach? Then you can rule out ball gowns with long trains having dramatic embellishments. Are you exchanging vows in a candlelit cathedral? Then avoid short slip dresses or any dress that looks like it could be worn to a cocktail party.
Moreover, the fabric will matter. Most fabrics are suitable year-round, but some of them, like linen and organdy, are more appropriate for warm weather. In contrast, velvet and brocade are best suited for winters.
Be sure you can breathe.
Remember that it is the job of the love of your life, not your dress – to take your breath away. So while you try your gown, consider whether or not you can breathe comfortably.
You might have seen videos of brides fainting from not being able to take a full breath.
Do Your Research
It is not every day you see terms such as the basque waist or Watteau train or try to differentiate between three shades of white. Try reading different bridal magazines, books, and websites so that you can learn more about fabrics, silhouettes, and the lexicon. It will help you get better versed in what you are looking for. Start a folder with pictures of dresses or details that might appeal to you. Also, take it with you when you shop.
Make a Game Plan
Decide where you want to go and call stores in advance to find out which designers they carry. In addition, you also need to find out the price range of their dresses. You should also check if they sell accessories and provide alterations.
Note that most salons require that you schedule an appointment. Try shipping on a weekday but not during your lunch hour when you are in a rush. Try to limit yourself to two stores in a day, so you do not get exhausted or forget what you have seen. Also, carry a notebook and jot down dress descriptions or photos ( though photos are usually prohibited until you decide to buy a gown).
Design a custom gown.
It is essential to get a custom-made dress. It may be challenging to find the wedding gown that checks off all the boxes. For instance, you may like the attributes of one dress. But at the same time, you wish you had the sleeves of another. If that is your case, consider having a custom piece designed. If you have shopped around and still have not felt your heart skip a beat. Then consider having it custom-made.
If you have already purchased, then, consult an expert on how to customize or add the essential features of your choice. Note that having an existing one reworked might not be as cost-prohibitive as you may expect. Search for a talented professional in your area to take your thoughts and turn them into your gorgeous wedding dress.
No matter which wedding gown you choose, remember that it is your day and your marriage. So figure out your style, decide on a budget, and take a few guests to your appointment. You may find the perfect fit at your first try-on. But there are times when you may have a custom gown designed. Saying “yes” to the dress is a significant step towards your perfect wedding day.