You got engaged! Congrats!! But before you go calling us for an appointment to try on some glorious gowns, let’s take a deep breath and make sure you are prepared. While shopping for your wedding dress is no doubt a fun and exciting time, it can often become stressful and overwhelming unexpectedly. Here are our best tips for making sure the hunt for THE wedding dress is as enjoyable and memorable as it should be.
SET YOUR DATE AND BOOK YOUR VENUE
Knowing the time of year you are getting married and the setting the wedding will take place in can often influence the style and type of wedding gown you will purchase. It also helps with being able to get a full picture of your style and how you will look walking down the aisle.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Getting to know the bridal boutiques you would like to visit when shopping for your wedding gown is just as important as when you are checking out venues, photographers, and caterers. Why? Because not every shop is the same. You are going to make the most of your shopping experience by making sure the boutiques you plan to visit carry gowns that match up with both your personal style and budget. Most shops are going to have a website that lists the designers that are available at their store. Like what you see? Make an appointment. Don’t? That shop is probably not for you.
Once you identify stores that you think match up with your style of gown and desired shopping experience, we recommend checking out what other brides have had to say about their shopping experiences at those stores via online reviews. Are you after a specific gown you saw by one of their designers? We recommend you call the store to make sure they have it in their store collection for you to try on.
SET A BUDGET AND COMMUNICATE IT
Trying on $10,000 gowns IS a lot of fun, but falling in love with one and only wanting to spend a fraction of the cost is NOT! Gowns vary in price for various reasons. And although you may not be able to tell the difference at first sight; fabric quality, gown construction, and where the gown is made can make all the difference in the price tag. Know how much you want to spend on your gown and make sure you are upfront and honest with your bridal consultant.
Contrary to what mass media and outsiders may say about the bridal industry, your bridal consultant is there to listen to what is important to you when purchasing your wedding gown and should be respectful of your budget. It’s not about selling the most expensive gown but instead, making sure the bride is 100% in love with her gown, regardless of price.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
Just like you make an appointment for heading to the salon or doctor, make sure you set-up an appointment to shop for wedding gowns. The shops that you are headed to want to be able to provide you the service and one-on-one attention you deserve and will staff their day according to how many appointments are scheduled. Unexpected shoppers can throw a kink into the flow of their day and interrupt appointments that were scheduled by brides-to-be hoping to find their dream wedding gown. If possible, we recommend scheduling your appointment a least one week in advance.
BRING FAMILY & FRIENDS
But not an entourage! We can’t stress enough how frustrating it can be to see a bride’s shopping experience go from fun to bum when someone in the crowd is more interested in expressing his/her personal style and not the style of the bride. As the bride, you can really set the tone of your shopping experience by who you chose to bring to your appointment. At the end of the day, YOU are the one wearing the gown. Not your mom. Not your friend. Purchasing a gown based on others opinions and not your own can often lead to dress regret, and that is the worst!
Be open and honest with your sales consultant. If you are truly there in hopes of finding the perfect wedding gown, this is a must if your bridal consultant has any chance of helping you find THE ONE. Bring pictures. Even if the picture is not the exact dress you are after – maybe it has elements that you like or dislike. These are always very helpful. Once you start trying on, if you don’t like something, say so! This provides your bridal consultant the opportunity to guide you in a different direction with other gowns that maybe you otherwise would not have originally considered. Or that one little thing about the gown you don’t like, quite possibly could be modified to create the exact look you are after.
There are no rules, per-se, when shopping for your wedding gown. There is no set number of gowns you must try on or stores you must visit before deciding on the wedding dress you will walk down the aisle in. But one thing is for sure, make sure you enjoy your experience. Even if you aren’t “that bride” that has been dreaming of this day since you were 5, you still deserve a shopping experience that is pleasant and fun. How you are treated during your shopping experience is often a reflection of service after the sale – so keep that in mind. Make sure you are working with a shop that makes you feel comfortable and well taken care of when making your wedding gown purchase decision.