Most girls dream of finding the perfect wedding dress to walk down the aisle in. Whether you’ve imagined a simple silk gown or a princess-style flare with lace, imagining the different styles, cuts, and fabrics for your wedding dress is a dream.
However, the actual process of shopping for a wedding dress can sometimes be less than magical. In fact, finding the perfect gown for your wedding can be a significant stressor for any bride. Between finding a flattering style, navigating price points, and corralling your team of bridesmaids, gown shopping can quickly become an unpleasant experience.
We’re here to make sure your shopping experience goes as smoothly and magically as possible. Continue reading this blog to learn more about our wedding gown shopping tips. We’re sharing what every bride needs to know before stepping inside a bridal store. Let’s get started!
- Make a salon appointment as soon as possible
- Know your budget
- Keep your support entourage small
- Browse different dress styles beforehand
- Dress for the occasion
- Don’t be afraid to shop around
- Take photos
- Enjoy the experience!
Make a Salon Appointment as Soon as Possible
Even though the average engagement period for couples is 12 to 18 months, planning a wedding can somehow still feel like a mad dash. Since many couples get married seasonally, wedding vendors often require couples to book consulting appointments and services up to nine months before their wedding date. Some vendors may even require earlier reservations.
Bridal shops are not excluded from this rule. There are several reasons why it’s essential to book a bridal shop appointment as soon as possible.
Salons Book Up Fast
First, availability is simply limited. Since there are more brides than bridal shops, it’s essential to consider that salons must have enough heads up to make time for your appointment.
The second reason it’s vital to book and buy your wedding dress early is that designers need time to create and send the dress. Depending on the type of dress you buy, some brands may be more readily available than others. However, most bridal shops quote up to six months needed for brands to create a dress with a bride’s measurements.
If you choose to create your very own personalized wedding dress, it is even more crucial to put in this order as soon as possible. Often, brides can’t decide between two different styles of dresses and ultimately choose to blend various components to create the gown of their dreams. If you think you may want to order a customized dress, book an appointment with a bridal salon as soon as possible.
The last time consideration to take into account before ordering a wedding dress is alterations. Since brides order their dresses months before their actual wedding day, these gowns often require alterations.
Ensure that you book your bridal appointment and order your dress with enough time to complete these alterations before the big day.
Know Your Budget
Our next wedding gown shopping tip is to know your budget. It’s essential that before even walking into a bridal shop, you know the exact maximum price you are willing to pay. Having an explicit roof on your budget will prevent you from falling in love with dresses outside of your price range.
Even the most beautiful wedding dress in the world doesn’t take away buyer’s remorse. So don’t make the mistake of blowing your budget on your dress. Instead, walk into your bridal appointment with a maximum spending margin locked in place.
Keep Your Support Entourage Small
Trying on wedding dresses is incredibly emotional, so having a supporting entourage of close friends and family is crucial. However, as you organize your shopping trip, it’s essential to keep your entourage small. Several friends and family members may ask to join you but be aware that having too many people at your bridal appointment is a recipe for disaster.
It can be overwhelming when you have more than three or four people join you for a wedding shopping trip. Oftentimes, having too many people at a bridal appointment can also lead to too many opinions. For example, bridesmaids, mothers, or in-laws may hate gowns that you love.
Don’t let your special shopping day turn into a disaster. Instead, prioritize yourself and your comfort. Keep your bridal support entourage small and share this intimate moment with only your closest loved ones.
If you have several close loved ones you’d like to include in this process, consider inviting different people on different shopping trips.
Browse Different Dress Styles Beforehand
Just as it’s essential to know your budget before walking into a bridal shop, it’s also vital to know what gown styles you prefer. Having an idea of what dress style, fabric, and cut you envision for your dress will be instrumental.
During your first appointment, a store associate will ask you to summarize your vision for your wedding and gown using a few keywords. The words you choose will help them locate different pieces they think you might like.
Of course, you can shop around yourself and look for dresses, but having an idea of your favorite styles will make your shopping experience much smoother.
How To Find Your Wedding Dress Preferences
Not sure how what dress styles, fabrics, and cuts you prefer? Browse online! There are plenty of places to scroll past and explore to see different wedding gowns.
Start by saving some of your favorite dresses. Once you have a collection of your favorite gowns, consider what these dresses have in common. What do you like about each of them? Is it the style, cut, or fabric? Note what similarities your favorite dresses share and bring these observations into your bridal shop appointment.
Also, note what styles and cuts you’d like to avoid. Again, giving these notes to your store associate will be incredibly helpful.
It’s true that sometimes you won’t know what type of wedding dress you want until you try it on. However, knowing your dress preferences will make finding your dream gown much more effortless.
Dress for the Occasion
One of the most common mistakes that brides make when going wedding dress shopping is not wearing the proper shoes and underwear. While it may not seem like an important detail, the underwear and shoes you wear to your bridal salon will make a difference in how you see yourself in your dress.
Wearing a strapless bra and nude underwear will help give your body support without distracting from your dress. Similarly, wearing high heels will help you have a more precise vision of how a dress will sit on your body.
With these small details, you can begin to envision your entire wedding look.
Don’t Be Afraid To Shop Around
Sometimes, even when you do everything in your power to show up at a bridal shop prepared, you still won’t find the wedding gown of your dreams. In fact, this experience is common for many brides. What every bride needs to know is that it is normal not to find a wedding dress right away. For many brides, it takes months of shopping to land on a dress that they love.
As a bride, it’s essential to shop around at different bridal salons before deciding on a dress. A gown that you may love could pale in comparison to a different dress from another store. Remember that keeping your options open is a smart strategy, and don’t let yourself become discouraged by this process.
Do not rely on your memory alone to compare dresses. As you shop around at bridal salons, it’s essential to take abundant photos to reference later. Having instant images of your favorite dresses will make comparing these gowns much more manageable.
Taking photos of your favorite dresses will also be beneficial for surveying different gown details. Once you have more time to think and pay attention to the small details of your dress, you can zoom in and assess these details on your phone.
Photography is also an influential factor to consider when choosing between different dresses. Does your favorite dress translate well on camera? If not, consider why. Will a professional photographer be able to capture the essence of this dress better than you can, or does it simply not photograph well?
Asking yourself these questions and considering photography will be instrumental in finding the best dress for your wedding.
Enjoy the Experience
Wedding dress shopping should be as fun and magical as you always imagined it. While it might be easy to get caught up in the stress and pressure of finding the perfect wedding gown, staying confident is vital.
Don’t let considerations about your style or fit ruin this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Remember that wedding shopping should be a comfortable and enjoyable experience. While you may not find the dress of your dreams right away, keeping a positive attitude and open mind will help you locate your dream gown sooner.
We hope this guide on wedding gown shopping tips has been a beneficial resource for you. Here at Everyday Bride, we provide the best wedding tips, tricks, and guides to help engaged couples create the ceremony and reception of their dreams. To learn more about Everyday Bride or read through more of our guides, check out our website.