Now that he’s put a ring on it, it’s time to find your gown! Before you step foot in a bridal store, here are some shopping tips that every bride should know.
1 – Keep an open mind
It is great to come into the appointment with an idea of what you want but make sure to always keep an open mind. Surprisingly more often than not, brides will come into the store with a specific look in mind and will end up with something completely different. And if the dress doesn’t appeal to you on the hanger, don’t shy away from it- it might look completely different on, and could possibly be ‘the one!’
2 – Skip the entourage
I’m sure most of you have heard this one before! Although it is fun to involve the people that matter most with helping you find your gown, it will be a lot easier if you keep your entourage in a minimum. Too many opinions can be overwhelming and may overshadow the vision that you have for your wedding. Instead, bring a few trusted family members and/or friends that will support you fully.
3 – Have a budget and stick to it
At Delica we always start the consultation by asking the bride if there is a budget. We do this for a couple of obvious reasons: (1) to keep your shopping experience positive & enjoyable (2) to avoid the chance of you falling in love with a dress that is completely out of your budget, forcing you to call your dad, grandpa, best friend and cousin to collect the last bit of money to cover the dress that you can’t afford (trust me – I’ve seen it happen). Of course you want to try on the prettiest and most expensive dress in the store, but you could set yourself up for disappointment if you can’t afford it. There are several dresses within every price point that are sure to fit your wedding vision and personal style.
Another very important thing to remember is to think about what exactly your budget covers; does it cover just the dress? does it include accessories? does it include alterations? Accessories such as veils, jewelry, sashes, etc. are usually an additional cost and can add up. You also need to factor in any alteration costs that will be needed when the dress arrives. Alteration costs can vary significantly on the dress you get and what needs to be done.
4 – Start early BUT not too early!
Ideally you should start looking for your dress nine months prior to your wedding. Depending on the designer and where the dress is made, dresses will take about five to six months to arrive. On top of that, you need to include two to three months for any alterations that need to be performed on your dress. Allowing yourself enough time to find your dress will make the overall experience more enjoyable and stress-free.
Some think it’s never too early to start your wedding gown search, but if you don’t have a venue, date or ring yet, do not start looking for a dress. Many factors can influence the style of the dress so it is important to have your wedding details in place before you start shopping.
5 – Trust your consultant
No one knows the dresses better than the person helping you. Your consultant is the expert; she has been trained to know all of the different dress silhouettes, body types, and designers. She is the bridal guru. If your consultant recommends something, be open to trying it because you might just fall in love with it!
6 – Speak up!
Consultants are not mind readers so do not be afraid to speak up and tell us what you do and what you don’t like about a dress. I promise, we will not get offended! If anything, this will help us steer the appointment in the right direction and get us closer to finding your wedding dress.
Before your appointment have a look at the store’s website and which designers they carry. Get familiar with the different designers, silhouettes, and fabrics. Feel free to flip through different bridal magazines and create a Pinterest board for ideas. I love it when brides come in with photos from bridal magazines- it really helps us, the consultant, to get a better understanding of the vision that you have for your wedding.
8 – Take photos (and lots of them!) if you can
After going from store to store, appointment to appointment, things start to blend together. Having photos from your appointment really helps you to remember what you liked and what you didn’t like. Designate one person you brought with you to take photos. Take a few full-length photos and some close-up photos of the details. Be sure to ask your consultant if photos are permitted, as not all stores allow photos to be taken. If this is the case, a great idea is to write down each dress and its details in a notebook to refresh your memory.
9 – Size – it’s just a number
Focus on the fit of the dress, not the size. Bridalwear typically runs smaller than ready-to-wear. So that means if you normally wear a size 8, you may need a size 10 or 12. You should always order the size you are at the time of ordering, not what size you plan to be in six months. Dresses can easily be taken in but are difficult and very costly to let out.
10 – It’s okay if you don’t cry
Many girls expect to feel a certain way when they find their dress- they seem to think that in order to choose their wedding gown they must cry. We’ve all seen it on TV: the bride cries, the mom cries, the best friend cries and then the whole store cries. If no one cries, it doesn’t mean that you picked the wrong gown. Every bride is different, so do not put pressure on yourself to react a certain way.
today’s guest post was written by Nicole McNeill, the co-owner of Delica Bridal, edmonton’s premier bridal boutique offering glamorous and exclusive bridal gowns for today’s modern bride. at Delica, each bride has a private room and will work with an educated bridal consultant to find the wedding gown that makes them feel glamorous and look beautiful.