How to Shop for Your Dress

30 May

I know I’ve already posted about MY dress, but since I’ve been working at a bridal shop, I feel like I have SO MUCH ADVICE just brimming out of my consultant brain that I would love to share. Not only would I LOVE to share it… I feel like I NEED TO. So many people who come to the shop make so many first-timer mistakes (and who wouldn’t? you’re a first-timer. duh). In addition, I’m going to sprinkle this blog with my favorite dresses just to keep you interested.

Jim Hjelm 8061: This ruffled halter has been haunting me for months. I try it on sometimes at the shop. It’s really good.

Here we go!

1. Know Your Budget. This seems like a no-brainer, but some people come in with the “I’ll just try on everything” attitude and aren’t willing to discuss budget, but this is a bad idea. If you fall in love with a $6k Lazaro, you’re in love. There’s no turning back. And as much as you might search and search, your first love will never leave you. Be careful, know your budget.

For example, this dress may look simple, but costs a pantload. It’s worth it though- light as a feather, breathable 100% silk, and seamless craftsmanship by Lea Ann Belter.

2. Know Your Budget: Part Deux. Do you know how much wedding dresses cost? Do you think they cost $100 or $10,000? You could be right on both counts, but in general, you’re wrong. On average, a wedding gown costs between $1000-$2000. If you’ve been checking out David’s Bridal and Vera Wang, you better streamline your research and figure out where your REAL budget is- because you don’t want any nasty surprises.

This particular gown is one of those that make the brides I put in it gasp- it’s super affordable but looks like a million bucks. WToo is good for that kind of thing.

3. BE OPEN MINDED. I know it’s hard, since you’ve been hitting up every single wedding site there is, and you are 100% sure you want a very simple gown with not a lot of beading or sparkle, something that hides your thighs and has straps. But guess what. No, you don’t. You want a heavy satin gown with lace all over it, asymmetrical ruching, strapless with a sweetheart neckline. You absolutely HAVE to go into your appointment with an open mind. We try on jeans, shirts, bras all the time- but we never try on bridal gowns. Let your consultant guide you when you go in- they know what’s up, and they’ll help you find something awesome.

For example, a dress like this might seem like it won’t work on someone without a model’s frame, but it actually looks amazing on pretty much everybody. Promise.

4. BRING TWO PEOPLE. Do not bring your entire flock of bridesmaids, your mother, your mother-in-law-to-be, your neighbor and your flower girls. Bring two people whose opinions you trust. Any more than that, and the opinions flying around start hitting you in the wrong place. I know it feels like you should include all your friends in this process, but you can include them by showing them the dress you choose once the deposit is down and order is placed. As great as your friends might be, they just might not be the best ones to have around in this process. Choose two people. Or less.

5. BE HONEST: Your consultant didn’t design the gowns you’re trying on. Be honest with her and let her know what you’re liking and not liking about the dresses. Being super nice to them will not help the process.

This bohemian gown by former lingerie designer Claire Pettibone is an excellent combination of comfort, artistry, and elegance.

5. JUST DO IT. If you find the dress of your dreams, just buy it. Don’t spend three months visiting every shop in town just to be sure. There are a million great dresses out there, but if you find one that is in your budget and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, JUST DO IT. Give yourself a break. It’s a dress! The hard part is finding the guy- the dress shouldn’t be a stressful, long, drawn out process. Once you get your dress, you will stop looking at other dresses, and you will move on to all the other details you have to plan for the wedding. Believe your feelings and buy the dress.

Now, get out there and get yourself a dress! XOXO

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2 Responses to “How to Shop for Your Dress”

  1. Kelsey May 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I love the last dress! So beautiful!!!

  2. Rob May 31, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Follow this advice. You will be happy.

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