Finding the perfect wedding dress can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. If this is your first experience with wedding dress shopping, you may not know exactly what to expect. With these six helpful steps, you can leave the stress behind and focus on the exciting part of finding the dress of your dreams!
1. Start shopping about 9 months out from your big day
If you haven’t shopped for a wedding dress before, you may not know that most designer dresses take about an average of six to nine months to ship. And if you’re wanting to add custom details or other alterations, plan on adding a few more months to your dress timeline. Short on time? Ask your bridal consultant if your dress can be rush delivered for an additional fee or consider getting a sample dress that probably has a nice discount on it!
2. Know your budget
Just because you have budgeted $1,500 for your wedding dress doesn’t necessarily mean you can buy a $1,500 dress. Take into consideration tax and a shipping fee and also alteration fees. Some bridal salons will cap your alterations at a certain price and some just have a flat rate, so you need to make sure you are asking questions. Also, a lot of places will require a 50% deposit on your dress the day you buy it, so make sure you are ready to make that payment.
3. Find the right silhouette for your body type
Familiarize yourself with the different types of dress silhouettes before your first time shopping so you don’t get lost with all the bridal terms. It’s also important to try on styles and silhouettes that you aren’t super crazy about because sometimes they end up being your favorite. Go into your shopping experience open minded and don’t be afraid to try on something out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like it, you can just move on to the next one!
4. Keep your dress shopping entourage small
You obviously don’t want to go dress shopping alone, but when you bring in too many people you get too many opinions, making it difficult to ever decide on a dress. Maybe just invite 2 or 3 of your closest friends and make a fun day of it. With a smaller shopping party, your dress frustrations will be far easier to handle with only a couple opinions rather than a whole room full of opinions. And you can always take pictures and send them to your friends once you’ve narrowed down your choices!
5. Sales are usually final
Keep in mind when you do decide on a dress or bridal accessories, that most sales are final. Some bridal salons will even have you sign a contract, so make sure you are reading what you are agreeing to. Be sure when you pick out accessories that you are 100% sure. If you’re picking out a veil or another type of accessory, consider trying them on and snapping a quick picture and then going home and thinking about it, because it will always be there the next day if you are still dying to have it!
6. Ask yourself a lot of questions
Lastly, make sure you are asking yourself questions like if the dress is comfortable, if you can sit down in the dress, or if you feel self conscious? You want to feel your absolute best on your wedding day and feeling comfortable in your dress is a big part of that! Walk around the store, dance a little bit, and most importantly make sure you can sit. Brides are so excited about finding the perfect looking dress that they often forget about what they feel like in the dress.
Best of luck to you on your search for the perfect dress!