As many of you may know, I recently got engaged, if you've read my post on The Life of Being Engaged, where I shared my experience and tips with you all who are new to the next stage of your life. Moving on from that, I've been wedding dress shopping, and yes it's one of the most exciting things about wedding planning, if not thee exciting thing.
|Photo credit: crhphotos.com|
I've been to a couple of bridal stores now to try on gowns and have started to get an idea of how to approach looking for 'the one', what questions to ask and how to make the most of it. So here goes my tips:
Start Shopping Early
It takes up to 6-8 months to make a gown if custom measured and made. So shop around early, no time is too soon, my wedding is not until November next year and I have already been looking around. I would rather have plenty of time and sort sooner, than leaving too late. Although, I know some people question ' but what if you weight changes, well if you are planning to lose anything before the wedding, its easier to adjust a bigger size than a smaller size and you will have around two fittings anyhow in the lead up to your wedding - so don't worry about it. All eyes will be on you so spend the time needed and start early to ensure you find 'the one' for you.
Its so important that you research online to get a feel for the type of dress you have in mind. Prior to booking an appointment with the bridal store(s) in mind, have a look on their website to view their section of dresses and the designers they stock, and whether they have a good range of dresses to try on. Then ask yourself 'can I see my self in these dresses', if yes, book the appointment. The last thing you want is to be disappointed by the choice of dresses on offer, after waiting however long to get an appointment in, as some stores will have waiting lists - up to 3 weeks based on my experience.
I also like to have a look at their social channels, in particular Facebook pages, as people do rate brands on their page. Read the reviews, are they 4* and above? Yes, then you'll be able to build up the trust of the bridal shop before you've even been. Please do listen to the reviews as well, I went to one shop, which I did debate going to, as the reviews noted that the customer service wasn't great and the reviews didn't lie when I visited the bridal showroom, it put a downer on my day. Its a big thing in your life choosing the dress, and you want a bridal shop to go through the experience with you and just be as happy and helpful. So please do check reviews and read up on as much as you can.
When visiting the shop go in with some ideas on what is it you're after, in which case you might note one of the designers you noticed they stocked online, this is always a good start. Not only that, be open to try on different styles of dresses.
Wear the right under garments, white or nude underwear is the right colour, so you don't see these through any white fitted wedding gowns.
Be prepared to try on a lot of gowns, as it can be exhausting and draining if you're trying on a large range of styles. Its worth it though, but be prepared for swapping in and out of gowns, as some can be heavy.
Be Open Minded and Honest
Try on a range of styles and colours and don't be afraid to ask the consultant for help too, as they are very experienced and will be able to help pick out some dresses for your shape and also for your theme if you tell them.
Be honest, if you don't like a dress, please say it, the consultant won't find it disheartening. Being honest and saying you don't like a dress you're trying on, saves times. You'll know it's not right for you when standing in it and if you're standing in the one, you and the consultant will know as you'll have a big smile on your face or will probably start crying. So don't waste time and make the most of it.
You don't think about it at the time, but you should ask the following questions, if and when you've found 'the dress.
- Ask to try on accessories i.e. veil, tiara to see how the gown will look overall. Believe me some bridal stores won't do this until you ask, terrible I know.
- Can you come back and try on the dress again, if someone is missing from the bridal party to see it with you?
- How do you go about ordering? Is a deposit needed, if so how much?
- How long does it take for the gown to be made?
- What are the payment plans?
- Ask to see and discuss the fine print - T&C's before paying anything.
- Don't be afraid to ask for discounts - whether than be on other items if purchased from the store. If you don't ask you won't get.
- Fittings when the gown is returned - how many is needed and how long before the wedding?
- Can they hold the dress in the store once its arrives or do you have to take it away once it arrives?
Hope you all enjoyed reading my tips, keep an eye out on my blog, as I'll likely be posting more on when I say yes to the dress :-).
Have you got any tips to share when wedding dress shopping?