You are engaged to the love of your life and now you get to find that dream dress! Finding your dress can be one of the most exciting parts during the planning process. You want a dress that will make you feel confident and beautiful. From a former bridal consultant to you: Here is a list of tips to help you prepare for wedding dress shopping.
1. Wedding Dress Sizing
I think all women need to be prepared for this. Wedding dress sizing is, for lack of a kinder term, stupid. You will be asked your street/jean size, and then the wedding dresses in your size will be 2-4 sizes bigger. It’s ridiculous and honestly can ruin a bride’s self esteem if she is not prepared for that. Prepare in advance by knowing size is just a number. You are a beautiful human and your body is unique. Give yourself all the love and positive affirmations! You will look stunning on your day regardless of what number is on the dress.
2. Have a Solid Budget
You can research the average cost of a dress and go from there. It is whatever price you are comfortable with, but will help when you are shopping. Make sure you also keep in mind extra costs: alterations, veil, shoes, and accessories.
*My hot tip: Do NOT try on dresses over budget. You don’t want to fall in love with something you can’t afford. That would be heartbreak!
3. Give Yourself Ample Time
Shipping and what is in stock are always changing, literally by the day. My recommendation is to start looking one year in advance, this way you have more than enough time to shop, order, and ship if you need to!
4. Research Wedding Dress Styles
Your consultant should ask about your favorite wedding gown styles. Don’t forget to look at different silhouettes, fabrics, and necklines. Try to have an idea of what you *think* you are looking for before you start shopping. But don’t let that one style be all you try. I always recommend trying one of each silhouette before you count anything out!
5. Be Open Minded
To follow number four: be open to other styles of dresses. Just because you found a picture of a photo-shopped, hourglass, tanned model in a dress and liked it, does not mean you’ll like it on you. And that is okay!! You want to love the dress you chose and it might be the exact opposite of what you had in mind. Trust your consultant, and let them put you in other styles that might be a good fit. Everything looks different on a person than on the hanger.
6. Your Entourage
Listen, I get it! You want all your girls there to support you, but let’s also think about how many opinions that adds. Only bring the people whose opinions you respect and want. Also, at the end of the day, your opinion is the only one that matters. It is the dress YOU will wear on your day, not your sister, mom, or bridesmaid. Choose what you love!
It comes as a surprise to most people I talk to that buying a wedding dress comes with you signing a contract. Most contracts are all sales final and no returns. This is to protect the shop, it is a big purchase and chance they would be taking without the contract. So be prepared to sign one!
Dress shopping can be overwhelming sometimes. I want you to remember that everyone’s “say yes to the dress” moment is different. Just because your friend cried or picked the first one she tried does not mean you will. Trust that you will find the perfect one and you will look AMAZING! Choose what makes you confident and something you will love seeing yourself in. You got this!!
Already have your dress? Check out this list of must-have photos for your wedding day!