Did you think this series was gone? IT’S BAAAACK! You can blame my busy schedule and writer’s block for it’s brief absence
Like with many wedding related things, I found that shopping for a wedding gown could be somewhat of a roller coaster ride. At least for me. So, I thought I would share a few tips on getting the most out of the experience! Feel free to share yours in the comments!
Before you go, do your research!
Before you head out to dress stores, look online and become familiar with wedding dress designers and silhouettes. Think about what styles suit the type of wedding you are having. If you’re having a rustic wedding, a gorgeous lace gown might work, but that same gown might look completely out of place at a super glam ballroom wedding. I personally would advise that you don’t shop for your gown before you have at least settled on your venue!! I know gown shopping is super fun, but you might be doing yourself a disservice if you shop before you at least know the overall theme of your day. I actually bought a super traditional white satin a-line gown with a beaded bodice before we decided we wanted our wedding to be a soft, romantic garden wedding. The dress I bought didn’t suit our day so I ended up consigning it and buying a second dress.
Have an open mind
So I know I JUST got finished saying you should get familiar with designers and silhouettes and to think about what you like. Okay. But you should definitely keep an open mind, because you just might find that what you’re looking for is something you thought you didn’t like at all! I thought I hated lace and embellishments, but once I got into a lace gown, I LOVED it. Once i had on a lace gown it was no longer a grandma fabric that I hated, it became a soft, romantic fabric that I desired! So I definitely advocate keeping an open mind and being willing to try something outside of your comfort zone. Trying doesn’t hurt anyone!
Know your budget
Wedding gowns are not cheap. And honestly, when you really start thinking about how practical it is to drop a lot of $$$ on a gown you only wear once (yowo?? ha!) it can get stressful coming up with a budget. No matter what your budget is, please come up with at least a range before dress shopping and then DO NOT try on gowns that are over that budget unless you are really okay with paying the difference if you try it on and love it. Because you will probably love it. That’s just how life works:( If you are trying to save money or stretch your dress budget, I would suggest checking out other alternatives…there are lots of great used wedding gowns for sale online at sites like Once Wed. Let’s say you tried on an incredible J Crew gown but it’s just too much out of your budget…google the style number and see if someone is selling theirs! Also, there may be a bridal consignment store in your area! I actually bought (and then sold) that first gown I chose at Blush Bridal Consignment here in Newport News. I always recommend them to my friends who are engaged because they have such a great selection (tons of stuff by designers!!) and really good deals!
Don’t bring everyone you know
When you’ve finally scheduled your appointments to try on wedding gowns it’s time to start thinking about who you want to take with you. I personally would advise against a huge entourage at least at your first appointment. Dress shopping is stressful enough without including the opinions of a big group of people. I know it’s hard because everyone wants to go with you, but really consider whose opinions you trust the most when deciding who to bring! This is not necessarily the time to invite the most opinionated people you know…but if you feel bad about leaving certain people out, there will always be fittings later on you can invite them to!
Make sure you take with you to your appointment: a hair tie so you can see how you’d look with an updo (this CAN make a difference!!), a good strapless bra, and pictures of any styles you know you are interested in. Also, I definitely recommend you think about your choice of underwear before your appointment…I had no idea that I would need a friend or a stylist to help me into the dresses, so if you are modest like me, I would definitely suggest you do NOT wear a thong or the comfy underwear you love with two kissing schnauzers right over the butt. *cough*
Although wedding dress shopping can be stressful at times, it can also be very fun, kind of like playing dress up when you were a kid (but on steroids!). This is the one time in your life when you will get to have this experience, so you should make the most of it! Make a couple appointments and make a day out of it! Go for pedicures first, do some dress shopping, and then enjoy lunch somewhere with real cloth napkins. Have fun!! And text your wedding photographer a picture of your gown! If she is me, she will LOOOVE to see.
To conclude this post I decided to share some outtakes from when I went dress shopping back in 2010 (seems like SO LONG AGO!). Excuse my unexcited faces…that’s just how my face looks.