Well, do you or don’t you?
Before you say “I do,” here are some ‘Dos & DONTs’ of wedding dress shopping…
Make an appointment:
Appointments aren’t mandatory and it’s of little concern to your consultant whether you have one or not as ‘walk-ins’ are always welcome, but it should be a concern of yours! Why? Because, even though you feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be embarking on this incredible journey, there are other lucky ladies out there and odds are one of them has made an appointment for the exact time you’re planning on popping into the store. This means you’ll have to wait because each new bride gets her very own bridal consultant for at least an hour depending on how busy the schedule is on the day.
Think about which undies you’ll wear:
Once again, your bridal consultant doesn’t care if you take your lingerie cues from Bridget Jones but you might once you’ve stripped down in the change room with her. It’s natural to feel nervous about getting semi-nude in front of someone you hardly know but after the initial awkwardness, you’ll both share a giggle and you’ll be glad she’s there. She’s there to get to know you, support you and help you find the one and it’s very hard to do that behind a curtain or a closed door.
Be prepared to fall in love:
You’d be surprised to learn how many people find the dress during their very first appointment. The trick is to trust your instincts. Buying a wedding dress is rarely a logical decision: it’s an emotional one and it can be an emotionally taxing one if you don’t follow your heart. Doing your research is always a good idea but it’s not necessary to trawl every single bridal store in an endless search for the perfect gown, especially when you have access to the gowns online. Choose a store that resonates with your own bridal vision, enquire as to the prices of a few of your favorites and if upon, trying the gowns, you find one you love at a price you can afford, JUST SAY YES!
Bring a huge entourage to your first appointment:
There will be other opportunities to have your harem accompany you but all too often a first appointment with a big audience, each with their own opinions, ends in tears! Of course your friends and family want the best for you and want you to look your best on your wedding day but what they think looks best is based on many contrasting and competing factors and may differ from what you feel great in. Finding your dream dress is a very personal thing and only you know what’s hidden in your heart.
Worry about shoes:
You won’t need shoes until you’ve found the one! It is not necessary to wear heels when trying the gowns as you’ll likely be directed onto a podium of sorts by your consultant. Most ready-to-wear gowns are made to a standard length so this means you probably won’t need your shoes until your first alterations appointment which takes place after you receive your gown. In some cases you will be able to order your gown to the nearest inch in length depending on the heel height you choose, in which case the bridal salon can provide you will shoes of differing heel heights or you can wear your own.
Expect to walk out with the gown:
You may never have set foot in a bridal salon before but odds are that the gowns you see before you are not for buying but for trying. Usually displayed in at least three different sizes, these gowns represent a larger range of gowns available in the best size for you and give you the opportunity to try them on to determine which style suits you best. Once you have chosen a gown you love based on what you have tried in store, you will be measured and a size will be selected from the designer’s sizing chart that fully encompasses your measurements resulting in a gown that can be altered down to fit perfectly. This process takes time and of course there are exceptions to every rule but if you want the world as your oyster, you should be looking to purchase your gown at least 6-8 months prior to your wedding day.
Photos via: Pinterest, Luv Bridal Pheonix & Beautiful brides; Maddison, Jessica, & Ash.