We don’t get many chances to accompany our brides on their “dress hunt” so I thought outlining some steps to finding the perfect gown would be ever so helpful.
You must have heard friends and family say “you will know it is THE dress when you put it on.” Well, the time and frustration it takes to finally have that sensation can be lessened, by following these steps below and then the shopping and looking truly become a fun and fullfilling task!
* Follow the guidelines set by your venue and wedding location
For a formal evening wedding, a ball gown and long train could be perfect, while a daytime wedding on the beach will call for a more simple style.
* Set your budget
Figure out what your budget is and keep this number in your mind at all times and share it with the wedding gown sales folks. Factor in the cost for your veil, undergarments and any other accessories. Also count on at least some simple alterations and steaming.
* Know your style preference
Read and thumb through tons of bridal magazines and brochures. Learn about fabrics, silhouettes, colors and more. Keep a binder or scrapbook with pictures of dresses you love and bring it with you to the bridal gown shops.
* Ready, Set, Go!
You can start shopping as early as nine months before the big day. Some dress manufacturers take up to six months to get your dress out! If you are short on time, visit chain stores that carry most of their designs in-house. You can also try sample sales, and buy a dress off the rack.
* You really might like it!
Bridal gown consultants fit dresses on brides for a living, and they know what they are doing! Try on the dresses she brings to you even if you would never give it a second glance on the rack. It may not look like your stlye, but the dress may fit your body perfectly.
* Bring backup
Having your maid of honor, mom or best friend with you is great so that you get honest advice from people who know you the best. You will also need backup in terms of nutrition! Expect to try on at least 6 dresses and keep lots of water and snacks handy. Bring your notebook so you can write down style numbers, colors, etc. Usually, photos are not allowed until you actually purchase the gown.
Most importantly, enjoy the experience!
Dresses from top: Claire Pettibone, Judd Waddell, Kirstie Kelly, Monique Lhuillier, Jim Hjelm