Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Tips + Guide
Shopping for a wedding gown is as stressful as it gets. You have to book appointments, take measurements, deal and dispute with dress designers, all in hopes of finding a perfect dress. To help things go smoother, we composed the list of ultimate wedding dress shopping tips that will help you make wedding dress hunting into a fun and memorable experience.
18 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips You Need to Know
To make the most out of your wedding dress shopping, don’t just hit the stores searching for a perfect dress. Instead, make a plan and take someone with you. Here are 18 wedding dress shipping tips you need to know before trying on your first dress:
Set a Budget
It’s easy to get too carried away when choosing a wedding gown and overstepping your budget. It’s best to set a number you’d be willing to spend on a bridal gown before going to a bridal salon. Setting a price range helps you narrow your choices and further refine your expectations while shopping for a perfect dress.
Start Shopping 9 to 12 Months Before Your Wedding
Shopping for a dream dress actually takes significantly longer than simply picking out a dress. While typical gowns take up to 10 months to produce, most bridal boutiques keep sample sizes of different wedding dress styles available right off the rack.
Pick a Date
Pick a date, schedule your appointments at the bridal shop, and try to schedule all your bridal salon appointments in one day. Having all the dresses fresh in your mind increases the odds of you choosing one faster.
Do Your Research
Doing your own research can help your bridal consultant in helping you choose the right dress. Research the best wedding dress for your body type and which accessories, like beading or lace, would help complement and enhance your appearance. In addition, you can check out various social media and Pinterest boards for dress ideas.
Choose Your Store
Choosing a store will likely be a budget-based decision, so it’s important to set your budget first. It will subsequently determine whether you’ll shop at major boutiques, small shops, chain stores, or anything in between. This may also include travel since major cities, such as New York City, have a broader selection of stores featuring designer dresses.
Make an Appointment
After you’ve picked the date and done your research, it’s time to make your first appointment and try the wedding dress on for the first time. Call your bridal salon ahead, and give them all the necessary details about your wedding planning
Bridal boutiques and retailers always keep notes of all the different styles you’d like to try, what’s your body shape, as well as notes about the wedding day and wedding venue. This information will help the boutique pull up several dresses that might be of interest to you in the hope of finding the one that’s perfect for your dream wedding.
Choose Your Bride Entourage
Take special care when selecting an entourage to accompany you on your dress hunt. Most salons can accommodate four or five guests at a time, including the bride, but it always pays to phone in and ask ahead, preferably when you’re scheduling your first appointment. Just make sure that your entourage is uplifting and understanding that the dress hunt is all about you.
Knowing what you want in terms of dress style is extremely helpful to the stylists, but you should keep an open mind towards other dress styles. Don’t be afraid to try on something unconventional, like an ivory-colored dress instead of a white one.
Understand Your Body Shape
Forget about magazine covers; real brides come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to understand your body shape and learn which silhouettes compliment your body type the most.
Learn About Different Dress Styles
Different body shapes will fit into different dress styles, so it’s important to know which style fits your build. Some of the most common styles are a-line dress, mermaid style, ball gowns, slip dresses, and tea-length dresses.
Bring the Proper Clothes and Heels
When it comes to undergarments, nude-colored panties and going braless is the best possible approach. However, if you’re worried about support, most gowns are much more supportive than regular clothing. Make sure to bring along the heels you’d like to wear on a big day for dress alteration purposes
Try On Different Gowns
While there’s nothing wrong with buying the first dress you come across and deem it perfect, it’s still a good idea to hit the dressing room more than once. Try on different gowns, even if it’s just for fun.
Be Aware of Your Costs
Keep the fun in moderation and resist the temptation of trying on gowns that are well beyond your budget. Instead, stick to your budget, which should factor in the cost of the dress, and all the necessary alterations.
Listen to Your Stylist
Bridal stylists are wedding dress professionals with plenty of tailoring experience necessary to help you choose the perfect wedding dress. Not only that, but they’re more likely to give you an objective opinion as trained professionals.
Remember You Can Alter Your Dress
Picking out the perfect dress style is the easiest part. Your seamstress still has to alter the dress, like additional tailoring and adding various embellishments to the dress. Not to mention that you’d still have to go through a couple of fittings before you can truly say yes to the dress.
Take Plenty of Photos
Have your entourage take many photos of you in all the dresses you try on. This way, you’ll have a catalog on hand, which could help you compare the dresses and choose the one that fits you the best.
Save All Document
Most salons will require you to sign a contract and put down a deposit on the spot. This is pretty standard procedure across the industry. So, make sure to save all the documents, contracts, and receipts, in case you need them during the process.
A wedding dress hunt should be a memorable experience. Bring your bridesmaids, friends, or family, and make a memory of it. Go to brunch, try a few dresses, and turn into a fun dress shopping experience.
We hope our ultimate wedding dress shopping tips help you make informed decisions regarding your wedding dress while creating a fun and memorable dress shopping experience.
If you’re looking for a perfect wedding dress, and brick-and-mortar salons couldn’t provide a specific cut you’ve set your eyes on, visit us at The Sposa Group — we offer a wide assortment of dresses of all styles, fit for all body types.