Wedding dress shopping is one of the most anticipated parts for any bride planning a wedding. Something most brides have been dreaming of their whole life. But before you gather up your best gals for support, check out these tried and true tips.
Start Looking a Year Before
It’s best to start looking 9 to 12 months in advance of the wedding for your dress. You certainly want to have enough time if you need to order your dress and take care of alterations. It’s also one of the first things a bride does because the dress helps set the tone for the wedding.
Are you having a black tie affair with a show-stopping ballgown dress? A mountaintop ceremony with you in a flowing silk A-line? As you can see, finding the right gown will lead you to your overall wedding vibe. It may change your venue thoughts from a barn to a cliffside ceremony at sunset.
Set a Budget
Make sure that you have a realistic number in mind when setting your wedding dress budget. The average cost nationally of a traditional wedding dress is $1,357. Be sure to include an estimate of alteration costs so you don’t have any surprises. Most dresses will need a few minor tweaks before you’re ready to head down the aisle looking like perfection.
Make an Appointment at a Bridal Shop
Check out your local bridal shop and be sure to call ahead. Most places prefer you make an appointment so they can prepare for you and your entourage. It ensures you will have the undivided attention of at least one of the sales staff or even the owner.
If you have a specific designer or gown in mind you can ask if a sample dress in stock. If it’s not something they carry, calling ahead gives them time to pull dresses that are similar. It will enhance your experience if the shop knows ahead of time a general idea of your style.
Wear the Proper Undergarment and Shoes
When trying on your dress, it’s best to have the undergarments you’ll wear on your wedding day. If you don’t have them yet, make sure you wear a strapless or convertible bra. It’s also best to wear a nude or skin colored bra and underwear. If you’re wearing darker colors it might be visible through the dress.
The shoes you wear will determine how much the dress needs to be shortened. Even if you don’t have the exact shoes, bring a pair that will give you the same height. It really helps you see how much the dress will have to be altered.
Tips From a Wedding Dress Pro
Kristen DeMedici surely knows her way around a wedding dress. Owner of Morgantown based bridal shop The Vow Boutique, Kristen has seen her fair share in 5 years of business. So what does she have to say about the dress shopping experience?
Be careful with Pinterest. Kristen says, “I see brides get hung up with a Pinterest dress and they can’t commit to anything else.” A lot of times the dresses are custom, only available in other countries, or are ten times your budget. Stay open minded about what dress you’ll end up with for your big day.
Choose a few to start with at the bridal shop and go from there. Things you like in a magazine might not look the way you thought they would. Trying on different styles will help you find the right one for your body shape.
Go With Your Gut
Most importantly, if you love a dress and your entourage is giving you a hard time, go with your gut. You’ll know when it’s the right one. Walking down the aisle, you’ll be the most beautiful sight in the world no matter what. Pick the dress YOU love.