Dear, sweet bride - congratulations on your engagement! Finding your wedding gown is such an exciting process, and you have dreamed of wearing it since you were little. It all becomes very real when you see yourself in the gown you will get married in, turning the abstract idea of walking down the aisle into a very real vision.
It can also be a very stressful process! Purchasing a wedding gown is a commitment, and you want to feel your very best in whichever style you choose. Here are some tips to prepare yourself for gown shopping that will keep the experience fun and simple, helping you focus on making the decision that is best for you!
Do not try on gowns outside of your price point! Unless, of course, you are willing to spend more money if you fall in love with one that is over budget. Unfortunately this happened to me, and it really complicated my gown shopping process as a result. Save yourself from the unnecessary headache and only try gowns on within your budget range!
Pro-tip: alterations, customizations, and accessories can get expensive, so be sure to ask about the average cost of alterations with the seamstress. You could end up spending hundreds or thousands more on your gown than you think, so asking ahead of time will help you budget appropriately. And for goodness sake, please don't order a gown that is too small for you. You may intend on losing weight, but it is much easier to pair a dress down to fit a smaller you than to expand a dress later if you can't or don't lost the weight, and it could end up costing you more $$ in the process!
Start by trying on a variety of styles, and keep your options open. You have probably never tried on a wedding gown before, so what you originally had in mind might not be the best fit for your body.
If you are getting married on the beach, you probably shouldn’t wear a satin ball gown. Keep your overall aesthetic & venue in mind when searching so you will be comfortable and your look will be cohesive.
Pro-tip: The stylists at the gown boutiques are quite familiar with their inventory and working with various body types. Don't be afraid to try on one of their suggestions, even if you don't care for it on the hanger!
Make sure that you will be comfortable by selecting fabrics that will keep you cool or warm, depending on the season when you get married.
Pro-tip: Comfort is key on your wedding day, and even the best looking gowns will make you feel horrible if you are uncomfortable. If it feels uncomfortable or too hot in the store, it won't get any better when you are wearing it for 8 hours. Listen to your body!
Bring your key players to the appointment
Make sure you bring your key players to the appointment with you. I believe keeping your group small is the best option! If you have too many opinions flying around, it can cloud your judgment and stress you out. Bring those friends and family members who will support you.
Pro-tip: Ask the ladies on the phone when you make the appointment how many people can comfortably come with you! Some changing areas and waiting rooms are small, and you definitely don't want to feel overcrowded while you make such a big decision. Meet everyone closeby for champagne afterwards instead!
Come prepared with makeup on and hair fixed
If you are planning on wearing your hair up or down, fix it in a similar style. And put on makeup - you want to be able to see the big picture!
Pro-tip: Don't come in set on a certain hair-style (your gown might ultimately call for something different), but bring some photos and inspiration of looks you love to show. This will help the stylists get a sense for who you are and your style.
Trust your gut
If you love it and you are crying, envisioning your spouse-to-be seeing you in this dress for the first time, it is probably your dress. Don’t second guess yourself too much! That being said, if everyone is obsessed with a dress, but it doesn’t feel quite right to you, don’t pick that one.
Pro-tip: It is great to listen to the opinions of those you love and trust, but your opinion is the only one that matters in the end! You are going to wear this gown on the most important day of your life (and get heavily photographed while wearing it), so make sure you feel like 100 bucks!
Are you getting ready to start looking at gowns? Did you have a crazy experience when you said yes to the dress? Comment below and let me know if you have any other tips or tricks!
Your wedding planner can share a wealth of knowledge about everything from finding the perfect gown to creating a custom wedding budget, and everything in between. The average planner spends 200+ hours taking busy work and logistical wedding planning tasks off of your plate so that you can stay focused on what's important - having an amazing and unique wedding and an even better marriage! Are you super busy with work, life, and celebrating your engagement? How does a fun, meaningful, and stress free planning process that still leaves you completely in control of your big day sound to you? Click below to set up a complimentary consultation with BME!