Altar Advice.

With A year to go until next Year’s June Weddings, I thought it a good time to post a Dos and Don’ts list for buying a wedding gown.

Playing dress up.

Do try on a variety of gown styles, you may be surprised! I don’t know how many brides come into the shop with a big “I don’t want” list and end up buying a dress that would have fit all those “absolutely not” criteria! It’s always a wonderful surprise when a bride says “this is it” when on the hanger, she said, “No, I don’t think so.”

A Bulging Budget.

Do have a budget in mind, and for what that budget is for. Just the dress? Including alterations, veil and shoes? You may be tempted to go straight to stores with lower end gowns, or stores that offer an upfront discount, but make sure you check out smaller shops too! It never hurts to ask for discounts or see if a shop is willing to work with you to stay within your budget. Many stores can offer discounts on other items when you buy a gown from them. These discounts can be on anything from bridemaid dresses to accessories or alterations!

Location is everything.

Do choose a gown that fits your personality, venue and over all feel of the day!  Most bridal consultants know the stock in their store and can really help you when it comes to  choosing looks for a specific space or feel. While a ball gown would look amazing in a church it may be a little overwhelming on the beach, and a light flowy gown would be beautiful outside, but may be underwhelming in a cathedral.


Do buy your gown 6-9 months out. This will allow you ample time for anything that may come up. The closer you get to the big day, the less time you have to deal with the little bumps in the road. While most shops are more than willing to work within anytime frame, you’ll do yourself a huge favor by shopping early.

Commitment is key.

Do trust your gut. Your family and friends will think you look beautiful no matter which dress you choose.Their opinions are just that, and it really only matters what you think.  Do use your bridal consultant, they will be honest and have the experience to help you decide which dress you love. Don’t over think it. Once you think you have found it, ask yourself these three questions; Does it feel like you? Does it fit the mood of your wedding day? Do you love it? If you answer “yes.” that’s the dress!


Do bring you mom, or best friend with you when shopping for your gown. The more people you have, the more opinions you have to think about. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing. Gown shopping should be so much fun! Bring people who love you and whose opinion really matters most to you.

Do work with authorized retailers. You can find this out by visiting the designers website.  Work with reputable salons. Check reviews and ask around.  Know what to look for in a good salon. Buying your gown is more than one day. The services offered after the purchase are what really make a good salon stand out.

Do your research. Know where your gown is made. A good reputable salon should be able to answer all questions concerning a designer, fabric, and dress construction. Shop local. Your best bet for a custom day that feels all yours is to work closely with the people you bring in. Local places will spend the time to get it right.

Most of all, it is up to you, but it nice to be aware of those little things.

Happy Wedding, Stef

Posted in