You've been thinking about this since you were a little and imagined all the possibilities. However, wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming. Lucky for you we've compiled all you need to know to find and buy "THE DRESS."
Step 1: Let Pinterest be your friend
Yes, you heard me! I know you have tons of vision boards on your Pinterest account. We all know there are so many different types of styles of wedding dresses. There's strapless, mermaid, trumpet, ballgown, the list goes on and on! In order to prepare for wedding dress shopping, make a Pinterest board compile styles that you like. You want to start trying dresses on 10-12 months before your big day so you can order six to eight months in advance that most bridal salons require. Don't have that much time? You might be able to get a made-to-order gown but it comes with a hefty price tag.
Step 2: Where To Shop
Many salons have different styles from different designs. The best salons will have a stylist dedicated to you for your appointment. At larger salons like David's Bridal many of the styles are in the back so make clear what your vision and budget is with the sales consultant so they can pull the right look for you.
Make sure to ask:
- Range of Prices: If you find that the majority of the dresses available are not within your budget give yourself a break and go somewhere else
- Sample Sizes: Most salons have a bridal 10 or 12 which is equivalent to a 6 or 8 so if you need something else make sure you call ahead of time
Most salons carry a certain amount of dresses from a designer so a trunk show is a great way to check out the line and snag a promotion like 10% off.
Don't want to spend the money on a dress you'll only wear once? You're not alone. Buying a secondhand gown is a growing trend and save you big. Try a consignment boutique that operates like a salon.
Yes, you read right you can even order a dress online. If you're on a tight schedule then this might be the option for you. You can order from BHLDN, Self - Portrait, Needle & Thread or Asos. It'll be convenient but miss out on tailoring.
Step 3: Make It Count!
When going to your appointments make sure you come prepared and have everything you need for your appointment. This could include your wedding colors, your venue location, or dresses that have caught your eye. Always book in advance but try not to book more than 2 appointments in a day because it can become very frustrating and overwhelming especially if its back to back.
Even if you have known what you wanted since you were 12, its important to keep an open mind. Try different styles and you may be surprised loving a silhouette you thought you'd never wear.
Spend a few minutes in each dress even if it isn't "THE DRESS." Take note of what you like and dislike then use that to narrow down your search.
Move around! When you are in the dress practice sitting, dancing or kneeling (if you're doing a religious ceremony.) You want to make sure you are in a dress you're comfortable in.
Take pictures of dresses you like. Take pictures of the front, back, and side so you can compare gowns later.
Step 4: Time to Purchase
Once you've picked your dress the consultant will take your measurements and request the fit from the designer. You'll put down a deposit then pay the rest when it ships to the store. (Typically no returns so make sure you LOVE it). Expect up to five fittings scheduled at least three months in advance which can up to 15% of the price of the gown. If your salon doesn't have a seamstress on staff ask for recommendations in the area.
Step 5: Final Touches
Bring the girl (or guy) who will be responsible for bustling your dress to your final fitting and film a video on how to bustle. It is also a good idea to practice within the week of the wedding so you don't struggle on the wedding day