This is for all the other “Future Mrs.” out there.. I am extremely excited to share this post with all of you today!
If you have read my previous post on my blog, you will know that I just purchased my wedding gown (!!!). Now, being a bride, I know how stressful this can be. I was up many nights contemplating the pros and the cons of each and trying to wrap my head around which one was the one until I finally made my decision. So I know from personal experience what it’s like standing on the platform in front of all your family as you try to choose a gown that you will become a wife in.
But I feel that this list of tips might actually be a little more helpful than most because I managed a bridal salon for quite some time. I know the ins and outs of bridal gown shopping, not only as a bride, but also as one who sold them.
1. Know your budget
First and for most, you should know how much you are willing to spend on your gown. This is extremely important because if you go in without a budget chances are your consultant will grab higher priced dresses, and you
will leave disappointed. When you say your budget is a certain number, bridal consultants brains translate this to “find me a dress in the ballpark range of this number”. Now, as all of us brides know, we have a budget and we have to stick to it. So if you really can only spend $1200, tell them your budget is $1000.
Buying a wedding gown is a lot like buying a car, it sounds silly but its true (wait until you sign your life away on a gown contract). What a lot of brides don’t know is that the gowns are priced as such and haggling is part of the game. You should always ask for a sale, (I know that at Alfred Angelo, managers are told that sale prices are valid two weeks before and two weeks after the actual sale run dates), and then ask if there is anyway they could get that number lower to be more within your budget. Chances are they can.
3. Don’t bring your entire family
I know this one can be hard, but believe me it is so much better for you and it makes your bridal consultants job 100x easier. The last thing you need is 20 different people blabbering on and on about their opinions of a dress that you may or may not like. At the end of the day it is only your opinion that matters, and your consultant will do her very best to find what fits your wants and needs. Her job can become cumbersome, however, when your aunt/grandma/sister-in-law are badgering her about a gown that they think you just have to try on. Less is more in this instance, and you will be less stressed at the end of the day, and so will your stylist.
4. The 8 month rule
This is the very latest that you should be ordering your gown. Most wedding gowns are made to order (yes, even at chains like Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal), and for this reason they take quite a while to arrive. You also have to think about shipping time; even though your dress may only take 10 weeks to be made, it will probably still take an additional two weeks for shipping. Chances are your dress will not be made stateside and so it’s a possibility that it could get hung up at customs as well. Other factors like weather and Chinese new year (China practically shuts down for an entire month) can also hinder your dress from making a swift arrival. Eight months allows plenty of time for the dress to arrive, be inspected and repaired if needed, and then altered to fit perfect for your day!
There are a few tips I have for sizing: 1) Understand that if you wear a size 2 regularly, there is a possibility that you
will be ordering a size 8 or 10 in bridal (I’m a 0 and I’m a 4 or 6 in bridal). 2) Measurements are a must to decide which size to order. Every designer is different and some run in european sizes.
6. Let your stylist choose dresses for you
Your stylist is trained to do just that: style you for your wedding day. They know the ins and the outs of dresses, and what looks good on every body type. Chances are, your stylist will find the dress of your dreams because that is her job 🙂
7. Verbal feedback
Tell your stylist what you do and don’t like about every gown. Verbalizing the certain aspects that you like about each gown will help your stylist choose gowns that you will like. And don’t ever feel like you are going to hurt her feelings by telling her that you don’t like a dress. She didn’t make it and all she wants is to please you. So by telling her you don’t like a certain gown, you are actually giving her a leg up on finding the gown you will like.
8. Top 3
When trying on gowns, rate each one on a scale of 1-10, 10 being I’m saying yes to the dress! Keep your top three in the room at all times, and once one is knocked to third place, take it out of the room. At the end of your appointment, ask to try those three back on but with accessories. Visualize and verbalize, until you find one that is your 10.
9. Not everyone cries
Shows like Say Yes To The Dress and other media has it burned into our minds that in order for it to be your gown, you have to cry. This is not the case. I’d say that over the course of working in the bridal industry about 40% cry when they find the gown. Also, just because you cry in a gown doesn’t mean it’s the one either. You could be crying for X amount of reasons: You finally realized that your getting married, your mom teared up when you put on a veil, the dress is so tight you can’t breathe. Don’t let sappy emotions and the thought of having that feeling stop you from getting a dress that you love. Not everyone cries, and that’s okay. All that matters is that you love it.
10. Have fun, and try as many on as you want
You only get to do this once, so make the most of it! Let’s all be honest, being pampered and playing dress up all day is every girl’s dream. So when it’s finally your time to try on wedding gowns make it last! Have fun, girlfriend! Try on as many as you want, and if you’ve found the one and you want to try on more, do it! Once you find THE one, all others will pale in comparison.
Go out there and have fun, Brides! It’s your day and your time! Go find a dress that makes you feel as beautiful as your fiancé does. You didn’t have to sleep on it before you said yes to their proposal, so why should you with your dress?