You’ve got the ring, set the date, and now it’s time to shop for your dream wedding dress. Although this is a stressful time for many brides, it doesn’t have to be. So how you go about shopping for the perfect wedding dress? Our wedding saving guide will help you in your search, and you can use our tips below for wedding dress shopping success!
Set a Budget
Before you set foot into a bridal shop, or start collecting pictures of all of those diamond-encrusted wedding dresses, take an honest look at your wedding budget. Pick out a reasonable number range that you’re willing to spend. This gives you an exact idea of what you can and can’t afford from the start. It’ll help narrow down your choices and set your expectations.
Social Media is Your Best Friend
When it comes to finding a gorgeous array of dresses, you can’t go wrong with social media. Pinterest and Instagram are photo-based platforms. Follow your favorite designers, fashion blogs, and bridal salons to see the newest collections. See pictures of your favorite picks on real brides, hear about flash sales, and get notified of shows. Pin your choices to a bridal board or archive them on Instagram. Bring these ideas to your appointment.
Start Your Search Early
Ideally, you should look for a dress at least nine months to a year out from the wedding date. If you want a dress specially made, it can take anywhere from four to nine months from start to finish. Make sure you factor in shipping time, multiple fittings, and alterations. When all is said and done, your wedding dress could take up to a year to finish. If you only have a few months, be prepared to pay extra for rush fees.
Make Appointments at Bridal Salons
Take a few days and make appointments at multiple bridal salons. Ideally, you should have several in a single day. This helps you keep your favorite dresses fresh in your mind for comparisons. It’s also an excellent way to sneak in a quick lunch with your bridal party to thank them for all that they’ve done for you so far!
Choose Your Attendees Wisely
Check how many guests your salon allows in the room at one time. This is usually four to five people, and this includes the bride. Second, consider who really needs to be with you. Is anyone helping you pay for the gown? They should be there. Also, the attendees you bring should be positive and supportive. They should understand who you are, be uplifting, and understand what you like.
Have a Question List for Your Stylist
Write down a list of questions to bring with and ask your stylist when you find the perfect dress. The list should include how long it’ll take to make your gown, whether or not they alter dresses in-house or send it away, if they ship and shipping charges, and the best way to travel with your dress. If you have to bustle it, make sure they show someone in your wedding party how to do it.
Bring Proper Shoes and Undergarments
Ideally, wear a pair of nude-colored panties. Don’t worry about a bra unless you have an issue with support. If you want a fancy bra, bring it with you. However, plunging or strapless gowns have more support than a traditional gown. They can also sew cups in during the alterations if you’re concerned. Also, bring heels around the same height as you’ll wear with the dress on your wedding day.
Don’t Worry About Sizing
Wedding dresses have sizes that are very different from casual clothing sizes. Don’t get worked up over them because almost everyone needs alterations. When you try on a dress in a salon, it’s a one size fits all design. Alterations later down the line will help tailor the gown to your unique shape and size. In turn, it’ll fit beautifully when you wear it down the aisle.
Dress for Your Wedding Climate
Consider how your dress will feel in your wedding climate. Loads of fabric with a full skirt may not do so well on a hot beach in Mexico. If you’re worried about getting too hot and sweating, stick to silks and show a little more skin in the way of sleeveless and plunging necklines. For late fall weddings, longer sleeves would be best to keep you warm throughout the ceremony.
Keep an Open Mind
Yes, the white wedding dress is iconic. However, you do want to keep an open mind for different colors and styles. Don’t be afraid to try on something different. For example, try on a gown that’s nude, champagne, ivory, or even light blue. It may surprise you how much you like it! Ask your bridal salon attendant for different style suggestions that they think would look great on you.
Ask About Bundling Options
Once you find the gown of your dreams, you have to find the accessories to match it. Ask if your bridal salon will bundle your dress, veil, and other accessories together at a slightly lower price. A lot of salons will do this for you if you ask. You may even be able to find shoes!
Research and Pick Keywords
It’s important that you go into your wedding dress shopping experience with some idea in mind about what you want to buy. This includes the style that you think will look best on you. Go into your salon with few keywords in mind to help your stylist find a good dress range. Your keywords could include things like “tailored,” “sexy,” or “traditional.”
Now you know how to shop for the perfect wedding dress. These 12 quick tips can help you go into your search with confidence that you’ll find the perfect dress for your perfect wedding day celebration.