7 Things Every Bride Should Know Before Wedding Dress Shopping

I’ve been a part of so many weddings over the past couple of yearsincluding my favoritemy own—that expanding my styling business to include brides was a natural progression. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of working with a gorgeous bride from Ohio who traveled all the way to Miami in search of her dream wedding dress. After six stores, countless gowns, and well-deserved mimosa breaks in between, she very happily said, “yes to the dress!” 

For most brides, the search for a wedding gown begins with little pressure while browsing Pinterest or the latest issue of The Knot, and texting photos back and forth in a bridesmaids group chat. But more often than not, you’re not prepared for the overwhelming stress that can ensue when it’s time to actually choose the most important dress you’ll ever wear. Before stepping foot in that first dressing room, consider this advice that I share with my girlfriends, sisters and clients alike.

1)  You’ve committed to a man, now commit to a budget.
Be realistic about
how much you can afford to spend, and remember that you’ll also need to purchase
accessories like a veil, jewelry and shoes. (Alterations will also be an
additional cost.) Be up front with your bridal stylist about your budget to
avoid falling in love with a dress that you can’t afford.

2)  Start a Pinterest board.
Prior to your first appointment, do some research to
determine what style dress you envision yourself wearing. A private Pinterest
board is a great place to keep all of your favorites in one place. Are you a romantic
or sexy bride? Do you see yourself walking down the aisle in a classic or more modern
dress? Your stylist will ask to see the photos to best determine what dresses to to pull for your fitting room.

3)  Stay open minded and try things on.
Even if you’ve dreamed
of wearing a strapless lace mermaid-style gown since you were 10 years old, try
on at least one ball gownyou may love it! You never know how something will look
until you try it on, and you might as well rule out all options before deciding
on the most important dress you’ll ever wear. From experience, it’s not
uncommon for a bride to end up choosing a completely different style dress than
what she initially wanted.

4)  This is not the time to be on a diet.
Eat a hearty breakfast or lunch, and plan for a meal or snack break if you’re visiting more than
one atelier on the same day. (Don’t worry about looking “bloated”. A hangry bride won’t accomplish much.) Shopping on an empty stomach is no fun for anyoneespecially family and friends that are dedicating their time to you. 

5)  Get a blow out and put on some lipstick, you’re the bride!
You may not typically go shopping in a full face of makeup, but wedding dress
shopping is not a typical activity. Looking your best while trying on dresses
will help you to better envision your bridal look. Plus, your squad will be taking
a million photos that you’ll definitely want to look cute in.

6)  Save your cute undies for your fiancé.
For your comfort during appointments, wear a nude
thong (or brief) and a strapless bra. Brightly colored undergarments can be distracting when trying on certain types of gowns.  If you’re  more modest, I recommend also wearing pasties
since you may have an audience while changing dresses. 

7)  Don’t rule out a gently used or preowned wedding dress.
Stores like La Vie en Blanc offer “preloved”
gowns & accessories at up to 75% off retail prices, and are a great option
for brides that don’t want to compromise their dream day because of their love
for bridal couture. How real are the savings? While visiting La Vie en Blanc with
my client this weekend, I spotted a popular Berta bridal style, (originally
$10,000,) on sale for $6,000.

For more information about my concierge bridal styling services, email me with subject line “Bridal Styling.”

Photo via Hello May

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