If you recently got engaged, congratulations! Before you know it, you’ll be in the throes of wedding planning and you’ll want to start shopping for a dress. Here are some top tips to help with your bridal gown search!
1. DON’T DELAY. One of your first steps in planning your wedding should be finding a bridal gown! Ideally,
1. you should start your dress search a year before the wedding. Gowns are cut to order – this is not your usual off the rack shopping. Alterations also take time, and you’ll want some time to finalize your accessories.
2. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Most bridal salons and boutiques are appointment-only so be sure to plan your trip a week or two in advance. Most are happy to take walk-ins, but we recommend making an appointment so that a dedicated Stylist can help.
3. WHO TO BRING. Think small entourage and only bring those people closest to your heart, for an intimate experience. It can be fun to shop with a big group of friends, but with a large group sometimes comes mixed signals. When you’re ready to make a decision a small group can be less confusing.
4. NOW YOUR BUDGET. Discuss a budget with whoever is paying for the gown before you walk in the door, so that you don’t fall in love with something you can’t afford. Gowns are available in a wide range of prices from a few hundred dollars to well over $10,000, so it’s important to know where you’d like to be budget-wise.
5. GET INSPIRED. Feel free to bring inspirational photos you’ve found in bridal magazines to share with your Stylist, or if you are a bit more tech-savvy set up a Pinterest page with gown styles, colors, fabrics and accessories you like the look of.
6. COME WITH AN OPEN MIND. You may bring some ideas with you, but at the same time it’s important to consider your Stylist’s suggestions. Try things on they pick out even if you don’t love it on the hanger, you might be surprised! And don’t get stuck on checklists – brides often end up with something they never imagined themselves wearing.
7. CONSIDER TRUNK SHOWS. If you didn’t find your dress on the first round? Consider re-visiting for a Trunk show – these are special events where salons and boutiques have extra dresses they don’t normally have in stock – sometimes straight from the runway or new dresses that aren’t in stores yet. Also, most salons and boutiques will make special orders, so even if it’s not in store, they can also track down a sample and ship it to the store for you to try on!
8. WEAR NUDE UNDERGARMENTS. A simple nude, strapless bra and nude underwear are recommended when you try on the dress so you get the full picture without straps and patches of color showing through. Also, bring shoes with a similar height as what you plan on wearing at your wedding, so you can see how the dress falls with heels.
9. CONSIDER THE WEDDING DETAILS. You don’t need to have your entire wedding planned out, but having an overall idea of how formal your ceremony is, or the time of year or city where your wedding will take place, can make a huge difference in what kind of dress you pick. Or do what some brides do – pick the dress first, and have that set the tone for the rest of the wedding!
10. DON’T EXPECT A “MOMENT”. This happens for some brides, but you may not feel the clouds part and angels sing when you find your dress. Instead of an emotional response, look for the dress that makes you visualize your wedding day. The one that transports you to that day – not the one that makes someone else happy, but what you feel confidant walking down the aisle in.
Good luck with your bridal gown search!
JEANETTE SCOTT – J’S EVERYDAY FASHION WWW.JSEVERYDAYFASHION.COM