Finding your dream gown can be stressful. You may be completely unaware of what it takes to find the dress of your dreams and how much energy it will require. But worry not, we have all the best wedding dress shopping tips to prepare you and hopefully make it the best experience ever.
1. Figure out Your Budget
Before your first appointment, figure out who is paying for the gown (your family, the groom, you?). If someone else is paying, get the hard numbers on your limit, so you can choose to stay within that budget or pay the difference yourself to get the dress you want.
2. Determine Your Wedding Theme
Before you start dress shopping, decide whether you want a casual garden party-themed wedding or a formal, romantic affair. Always keep the venue and theme in mind as you browse gowns, because the last thing you want is for your dress to clash with your overall wedding style.
3. Shop Early
Start shopping 9-12 months ahead if you can. Many gowns take four to eight months to be produced, and once it arrives, you still have to factor in more time for alterations and accessorizing.
4. Do Research to Find What You Like
Rip pages out of magazines, click through bridal boutiques online, and explore on Pinterest. Find a couple commonalities of styles you like and bring your ideas to your first appointment.
5. Choose Your Crew Wisely for Appointments
Take special care when you select which guests will join you on this wedding dress hunt. Narrow the group down to the two or three people whose opinions matter most to you.
6. Make Bridal Salon Appointments
Try to schedule your bridal salon appointments all in one day or weekend. This way, each gown is fresh in your mind for comparison
7. Bring the Right Undergarments & Shoes
For your appointments, wear a nude colored panties and strapless bra, and bring Spanx. Be sure to bring along heels at the height you think you will wear on your wedding day.
8. Be Open
Bridal consultants will tell you that they constantly see women come in with a set idea of what they want for a gown, then try it on and don't actually love it — and instead, fall for something completely different that they'd never considered. Keep an open mind to finding a dream dress that you didn't know would be your dream dress.
9. Take Pictures!
Have your bridal team take photos of you in every gown you love. When you head to your next appointment you’ll have a quick catalog to compare which is best. Be sure to twirl, walk, get photos of the front and back – you’ll likely try on so many dresses some details can be quickly forgotten.
10. Saying YES to the Dress!
The gown that makes you feel the most beautiful is the gown you should choose. Even if a gown checks off all of your criteria, keying in on feelings can help you decide between dresses and lead to that magical moment when you've finally found "The One." "All brides need to know it's her dress before she says yes!