Let's face it, as fun and exciting as it is to get engaged, the planning process of the wedding itself, can be stressful. And often times there are a lot of questions surrounding the whole 'dress search', and what to expect. It can all be so overwhelming, so I've created a handy dandy list of some hints and tips I thought would be helpful. Here we go!
1.) Set a budget
It’s always good to go into an appointment with knowing how much you are able to spend because this keeps your shopping experience enjoyable, positive, and ultimately, helps you find a dress. Everyone has a budget, and this acts as a guide for the stylist to point you in the right direction. Try and establish what you’re seriously prepared to spend up to, and stick to it. You are better off zeroing in on your realistic price point so you can spend more time editing down the amazing options you can actually buy.
2.) Start early
It takes around six to eight months from the moment you place the order to when you can bring the dress home, so once you have that ring on your finger, it’s game on! Typically the designer needs four to five months to make the gown, and then you’ll need to factor in time for any necessary alterations. Certain designers can accommodate tighter deadlines, but be advised that rush fees will apply, which typically begin around $100 and go up from there.
3.) Come prepared
You want to feel confident in the dresses your try on, so put a little effort into getting ready for your appointment. I'm not saying go all out, but put on a little makeup, make sure it's easy to style your hair up or down to change it slightly with different dresses and accessories. It's also helpful to bring along a strapless nude bra and a seamless thong or brief, and also any shape-wear, if you prefer.
4.) Limit your entourage
Less is more when it comes to your crew. Bring two or three people whose input you value and who know your style well. In the end, it's your voice that matters most, and usually that can quickly become overshadowed when sisters, grandmothers, second cousins, moms, step-moms, BFFs, mother-in-laws, college roommates, and aunts are all present during your appointment. Between differing tastes, opinions, and generations, it's just one headache that can easily be avoided. If you suspect some feelings might get hurt, invite them instead to your final fitting in alterations, and make a dramatic entrance for the big reveal.
5.) Have an open mind but bring dress ideas that you like
I can't stress this one enough! There are some dresses that just don't look great on a hanger, but look drop-dead gorgeous on your body. With that being said, don’t turn your nose up to anything until you try it on. Sometimes your perceptions and knowledge of what you wear everyday can get lost when wedding dress shopping. You might just be surprised with what you fall in love with!
6.) Relax, it's just a boob
If you are a little nervous about getting half naked in front of the bridal stylist, relax and know that when you are stripping down, we are focusing on the gown and the best way of making the transition from dress to dress as seamless and as comfortable as possible. We'll be helping navigate your head through layers, assisting in the zipping and buttoning, and adjusting the gown to help achieve the best look before stepping out to show your crew.
7.) Forget about size
No two designers size charts are created equal. Say that one aloud and repeat it a few times. If you are say, a street size 6, you could be anything from a size 2 to 10 in the bridal world. Not kidding! So don’t panic if you see a larger size on the order form than you are used to.
8.)Trust your instincts
When it comes down to it, it's more about how you feel than how you look. I know that might sound silly, but it's true. If you find yourself not wanting to take a dress off, that's usually a pretty good indicator that your dress search could be coming to a close. If you need to take a moment to yourself during your appointment, do it! Sometimes, getting to focus on your own thoughts and feelings without a bunch of eye balls starring at you, is all you need for your decision to surface.
9.) Not all brides cry and have the 'this is the one' moment
The whole dress search is a really personal process, and everyone experiences it differently. Some brides dream of this day since they have been little girls, other's...not so much. Just because your cousin, Frita cried when she put on her 14th gown, does not mean you should be alarmed if the waterworks are nonexistent when it's your time.
10.) Remember the big picture
You are marrying your True North! And no matter how big or small, or simple or extravagant your wedding is, it's all about celebrating a beautiful LOVE. And let's be real, he/she is going to think you are absolutely the most beautiful woman alive, no matter what dress you choose.