You’ve decided that you want the typical bridal salon experience. But you’ve never tried on wedding dresses before. What can you expect? This blog post will have a few helpful hints and tips that brides can take with them to get the most out of their dress shopping experience. Whether you choose a private dress shop or a large chain, finding the right dress can be one of the most important aspects to making the bride feel like a princess. These tips will help you find just the right dress for your big day. But first things first….forget everything that you think you know about wedding dresses. I don’t care how many episodes of SYTTD you’ve seen….your perfect dress will probably not be the one you have been drooling over in the magazines or one that you saw on TV. Your perfect dress will be the one that makes you feel fierce and flawless. Keep an open mind. What a dress looks like on a hanger can have a totally different look when actually on a body.
So how do you make the most out of your dress day? Follow these tips below and they are sure to help you find the Yes dress!
- Eat something about 2 hours before your appointment. I know this sounds crazy but it’s true…a hangry bride is a grumpy bride. The 2 hour time frame is perfect. You won’t be bloated and feel sick but you’ll have enough on your stomach to help you endure dress after dress. If possible try to avoid greasy food that can make you queasy and that can leave oil stains on the samples. The bridal salon will appreciate it! And make sure you hydrate with plenty of water. It will give your skin that just right glow.
- Make sure that you have picked the right bridal salon. The right salon will be spacious with lots of natural light. This way you can see the true color of what your dress really is which is very important for outdoor weddings and planned outdoor shots on your day. It may look ivory under fluorescent lighting but be more of a diamond white out in the sun. Also make sure that the attendant to bride ratio is low. You don’t want to share your attendant with 2 or 3 other brides. Make sure that you get their undivided attention. Your wedding dress can be one of the most expensive purchases of the whole wedding. Make sure that you are given the proper time and attention to make the best choice. The right salon will make you feel comfortable and not rushed. If you feel rushed or pressured in any way then that is not the right salon for you. And just FYI…try to go during a weekday if possible. Bridal salons are always busier on the weekends.
- Bring the right undergarments. Time to talk about panties and bras. Brides…please make sure that you wear underwear on dress day. I know this sounds odd that I would have to point this out but there are a lot of brides out there going commando. Your consultant and the dresses you try on will thank you. Also, if you are thinking about going sleeveless, bring a strapless bra or a corset with you. Often the salons may have one for you to try on but they may not have it in your size. Bringing your own just makes it easier. If you are going to wear Spanx with your dress then bring that as well. Undergarments can often help the fit of the dress or hinder it. Having the right tools before you buy can give you an idea of what the complete look will be on your wedding day.
- Go with your gut. People will always have ideas about what dress they think you will look best in. While this is a nice suggestion, I strongly encourage you to ignore it. If you are a curvy girl that has your heart set on a mermaid then I say go for it. It’s your day. Don’t say no to the dress you want just because it isn’t recommended for your body shape. I am pear shaped so technically a large ball gown skirt is a no-no but that is exactly what I am wearing on my wedding day. I love it and I simply do not care what anyone else thinks. You should also adopt this policy. If not, you may regret your best dress. If you feel fabulous in it then rock it! Who cares what other people think? Let’s be realistic for a moment….not everyone can wear a Pnina Tornai .And that’s totally ok! Love you for you right now. And choose the dress that gives you butterflies every single time you try it on or look at it. You only live once so be bold with your choices! Forget what is “recommended”. Go with what feels right.
- Bring shoes similar to ones you will wear on your wedding day. This sounds silly but it is actually a great tip. If you plan on wearing a shoe with a kitten heel then bring them to try on dresses. 5 inch stillettos? Bring them. Ballet flats? Bring them. Barefoot? Then just take off your shoes and try on dresses exactly like that. Try to go with whatever you are wanting to do on the day of your wedding. Having the proper shoe (or no shoe) will give you an idea of how much altering will need to be done and what the overall look will be for the big day.
- Keep it simple when it comes to the company you bring. We’ve all seen it….that one bride who brought a huge entourage to the salon and now she has so many opinions she can’t choose a single dress to try on. You can avoid this by limiting the company you keep on dress day. I would say anymore than 4 is a problem. It gets a bit crowded and you can lose focus as to the real reason why you are there…..to find a dress for YOU and not the people on the couch. Bring supportive, honest people. If you and your mom don’t get along then leave her at home. You want simple. straightforward answers. Not a lot of useless feedback. This isn’t your sister’s wedding…it’s yours so she should have limited deciding factor on the dress you choose.
- Have an overall idea about the types of dresses you are drawn to. Bring pictures if necessary so that your bridal team has an idea about the type of dresses to pull for you. Don’t worry if you don’t look exactly like the brides in the wedding magazine ads. There’s a different dress for everyone. Try on what you like. And try on things that you didn’t think you would like. Every dress looks a lot different on a body than on a hanger. Don’t limit yourself to your “dream dress’ that you saw online. That may not be the one for you. Try on a variety so that you know what looks work and which ones don’t.
- Don’t buy the very first dress you try on. Trying on dresses is exciting. So exciting that sometimes you think the very first dress you try on is The One. The reality is that this only happens to maybe 1 in 100 brides. Make sure that you try on a variety of different styles and shapes to know which one works best for you. If you are still in love with the very first dress after you try on at least 5 other dresses then perhaps it is a top contender. Just don’t jump the gun too quickly. You may regret it later.
I hope these tips have helped to prepare you for the dress buying experience. Do your homework, go prepared, and make sure you have the right support system with you. Dress shopping should be fun! Enjoy it!