11 Sep Wedding Dress Shopping – Know Before You Go


Wedding Dress

Andrew & Jessica Photography

Budget – First and foremost, know your wedding gown budget before you begin shopping. Nothing’s worse than trying on gowns and falling in love with “the one” only to realize you cannot afford it once you start crunching your budget numbers. Don’t forget to factor in the cost for your veil and other accessories such as shoes, lingerie and jewelry.

Dress Codes – If you are planning to be married in a church, make sure you have checked to see about any dress codes. Many houses of worship consider bare shoulders disrespectful. Ask if a shawl or wrap would be considered if you have your heart set on a strapless ensemble.

Appointments – Schedule appointments with the salons for which you wish to try on gowns. You’ll get more undivided attention from the bridal consultants and it shows you are a client they will enjoy helping. If at all possible, try to schedule your appointments during the week rather than on a busy Saturday.

Undergarments – While trying on wedding dresses, you will need assistance getting in and out of the gowns. Most salons do not allow anyone other than their consultants to assist you with this process. So remember this when choosing the undergarments you wish to go shopping in not only for yourself but also for the consultant who will be assisting you.

Go Natural – Please be a considerate bride by wearing little to no makeup during bridal gown trials. In all probability, you are not the only bride who will want to try these gowns on and who wants to try anything on that has been smudged or streaked with makeup. Also, skip the spray on or lotion tanners for a few days before your appointment(s).

Advice from Cathy Kelley of The White Room… “I always like to tell girls to do a little research before they come. Look through magazines to find what it is that catches their attention. Are they beaded girls, lace girls, fluffly girls, etc.? With pictures – it sure helps me be able to help them. It’s always best for the bride to bring with them one or two people whose opinion they value most. Bringing just anyone with them is not going to get them very far.”

Trust Your Consultant – Like Cathy said above, do some research and know what you like, but also know that consultants fit brides everyday with the perfect gown. It’s what they do and they are very good at it. Be open to suggestions from the consultant and try on that gown that may not be exactly what you were looking for. Many times brides find “the one” from a consultant’s suggestion so removed from what they thought they loved.

Proper Measurements – One thing to know is bridal gowns generally run small. Most brides end up needing a gown size one or two up from their normal clothing sizes. It’s important the consultant take precise measurements when ordering your gown.

Fittings – When deciding on when to order you gown by, consider the fact you will need 2 to 3 fittings. Generally these are scheduled by the store to be done along the wedding planning timeline but enough time should be allotted for this process. The dress, once fitted and altered properly, should be a perfect fit to your frame and comfortably stay in place without the need for any annoying tugging and pulling all night.

Portraits – If you are planning to have bridal portraits done before the wedding, ask about the store’s policy on getting your dress for those photos and then returning it for any necessary cleaning and pressing before wedding day.

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