*Image provided by Rivet Events
It may seem like the wedding dress shopping process should be pretty straightforward. You go to a bridal boutique, you say yes to a dress, and you are all set…right? While the shopping experience doesn’t have to be complicated, there are a bit more layers to the process than one might think, and it can be tricky to work through if you aren’t prepared. If you are a bride-to-be on the lookout for your dream dress, follow these top tips to make your wedding dress shopping experience as successful and stress-free as possible!
Gather Dress Ideas…
The very first step you should take before heading to the bridal boutique is establishing an idea of the styles you like. Pinterest can be your best friend for gathering ideas, and Instagram is a great tool to use if you want to follow different wedding dress designers. While you don’t need to design your dream dress in your head, you can make a list of some aspects that you like—lace, strapless, ballgown, tea-length, etc. It will also be helpful for the stylist you are working with to have an idea of the overall aesthetic you are going for, such as classic or bohemian. Additionally, make sure you keep location in mind as you are searching through dress ideas. Go for options that will make you feel confident but also comfortable in whatever climate you are dealing with.
…But Be Open to Suggestions
You’ll probably quickly establish an idea of what you like, but also be open to different options your stylist suggests that you might have not considered. Of course, you can set your limits to what you absolutely do not want (Not a sequin fan? Then feel free to pass on the fully sequined bodice.), but try not to be too narrow on what you will try on. You may be surprised by a style you hadn’t considered!
Know Your Budget
Before even setting foot inside a bridal salon, you need to have a clear idea of what your budget is. Since there is a huge range of dresses for all price points, this will help you narrow in on a selection of bridal shops and dress lines that fit in with your financial limits—and will help you avoid falling in love with a dress that is beyond what you are able to pay. As you are establishing your budget, keep in mind any additional prices that may need to be included, such as shipping, alterations, a veil, accessories, and shoes.
Start Shopping Early
The last thing you want to do is put off your dress shopping until the last minute. The time between purchasing your dress and receiving the final, altered and ready-to-go version can take a while—sometimes even close to a year! In order to allow for enough time for shipping and alterations, start shopping about 9 to 12 months ahead. For brides on a shorter timeline, there are some stores that offer off-the-rack and rush shipping, but make sure your stylist is aware of this ahead of time so that they only show you the options that work with your schedule.
Pick Your Best Bridal Appointment Sidekicks
The entourage you have at your side supporting you while you are trying on dresses can make or break the experience. Once you know how many people are allowed to join you at your appointments (each bridal boutique has their own policy, so check in with each store you are going to), pick friends and family who you know will be supportive and will be able to offer valuable opinions. It can get stressful having a big group of people all throwing different opinions your way, so even if the bridal boutique allows a large group, consider bringing just a handful of people to make the process easier.
Maintain Your Energy with Snacks
It can be exhausting trying on dress after dress, and you might not have the time to grab some lunch between appointments if they are scheduled close together. In order to go into each session with a clear mind and a good level of energy, bring along some snacks to keep you fueled for the day.
Keep Bridal Appointments Close Together
If you plan on visiting multiple stores, schedule those appointments close together, such as all in the same weekend or spread out over a two week period. When you are trying on dress after dress, it can be easy to forget exactly what you tried on and where. By scheduling the appointments close together, you can help keep the dresses from your previous appointments fresh in your mind.
To make it even easier to remember what you found at each store, take a photos of each dress that you love. That way, when it comes down to reflecting on your options, you will have a visual album to look through. Being able to do side-by-side comparisons will make the choosing process much easier, rather than having to rely on your memory.
If you are looking for wedding dresses in the Georgia area, come to the next Georgia Bridal Shownear you. You can meet with bridal shops, wedding vendors, and other professionals that can bring your wedding day dreams to life!