Wedding dress shopping is one of the most anticipated wedding planning tasks. It is supposed to be an exciting and interesting experience for brides who get to choose one of the most important, and not to mention expensive, dresses that they will ever wear.
While all this sounds really exciting, it is quite often that we see brides who feel overwhelmed and confused with the entire process. As a bridal shop, we understand how the strain of deciding what you should go with for your big celebration, can really get to you. There is nothing unusual about it, as there are so many choices to look at. It is only human to wonder if you actually made the right decision or if you have considered all that you ought to have.
In this way, wedding dress shopping can get stressful, instead of being fun. We do not want that to happen to you. At Best for Bride, we like to do everything to make sure that every bride has a fantastic wedding shopping experience. So, this article is dedicated to helping you beautiful brides overcome the stress of wedding shopping, and here is how you can do it right.
#1 Fix your budget and the upper limit you can stretch to
This is an essential part of wedding dress shopping, as it sets a benchmark for you when you start looking for wedding gowns. There are dresses in all price ranges. Also, apart from the standard gown price, you will be spending extra on accessories and dress alterations. So, you should know how much you can afford to spend on all this in total, before you even begin looking at dresses.
Whether you visit a bridal shop, or choose to do your shopping online, you will only look at gowns you can afford, when you have a price in mind. This can save you the disappointment of falling in love with a dress that you just cannot afford. So, when you walk in the door and your bridal consultant asks you for your budget, make sure you give her the base price you’ve put aside for the gown, and not the total price you intend to set aside for the wedding gown to be ready to wear. If you are lucky, you will find a gown that requires minimum gown alterations to fit your size and vision perfectly. In this case, you can splurge on accessories or divert the remaining funds to another aspect. Otherwise, you will be glad to have set a reasonable expectation for the price, so that your wedding dress stays within budget.
#2 Research before you go shopping, but don’t get too worried if it has your head in a tizzy
Just check our website and you will quickly realize that there are several thousands of wedding dresses. Even more annoying is the fact that many of them look the same in pictures. So, how do you choose?
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one feeling this way! The hundreds of choices in wedding dresses can really have you worried about what is right and what isn’t. But, look at the bright side. With so many choices, you are bound to find the right fit for your budget, that will also look like you want it to be. So, if you are brand new to the world of wedding dresses, don’t over-saturate yourself with too much information at once. First start off with fixing your budget. Then, analyze the various features that look good on you. Finally, check out dresses that have these features and appeal to you. We say this because it is more important to look at a dress for what it looks in reality, rather than for how it looks on the model in the picture. Remember that it needn’t look the same way on you, unless you look exactly like the lady in the picture! And, if you think you are still too confused, this is what wedding dress consultants are there to help you with. So, pop that stress bubble, will you?
#3 Familiarize yourself with wedding dress lingo
When you enter a bridal boutique, your consultant will ask you what you are looking at. It will save you time and energy if you have at least a general idea of few of the wedding dress terms that are floated around a lot. We suggest you take a quick look at this article that guides you through the most popular wedding dress silhouettes, and you will understand what your consultant means when she says “fit and flare” or “A-line.”
Although you needn’t know the technical terms for every single detail that you can expect to see on a wedding dress, a general idea of the popularly used wedding dress lingo will help you. If you know this you can easily convey the idea to your consultant. The other option you can consider is to take pictures of the dresses you like or those with features you have shortlisted, if you don’t know the actual names. This will save you a lot of trouble.
#4 Choose a shop with a good reputation
There may be hundreds of wedding dress shops if you look around, but not all of them will be equally good. The benefit of choosing a good bridal boutique is that the bridal consultants there will be experienced and well-trained to help you make the best choices. So, don’t discount the reputation of the bridal salon, when you start looking at options. When you are in the hands of a good bridal consultant, they will guide you to the best possible choices in wedding dresses.
They know how to pamper you and reduce your stress, so that the shopping experience is exciting and memorable. So, look around and go shopping at a wedding shop that has earned its reputation of being customer-friendly and delivering good quality service.
#5 Browse around by yourself first
This bride, in this article on the Huff Post, mentions that the best thing she did to alleviate the stress associated with wedding dress shopping was to go shopping by herself the first time around. This sounds like a great idea, as it will allow you to find things out for yourself, without having to seek approval from the people who accompany you.
Since you will be interacting with the bridal consultant all by yourself, you can really use this opportunity to understand what you favor and what you think would be the best. Let the entourage join you the second time, when you have a clearer idea of what you would like to wear. Just make sure that you use the first appointment to really look at all the choices available to you, and narrow down the list to what really appeals to you. Being in the salon and in the midst of real wedding dresses will also help you understand how the different styles look and feel, rather than judging by what you see in a picture. It will tell you how the fabric and structure of the gown are different from what you expect based on a photograph. When you don’t have to listen to another person’s opinion on it, it will give you a clearer perspective of what you actually want.
#6 Don’t bring a big entourage
Since we’re talking about the different ways in which you can cut down on wedding dress shopping, this has to be in the list. I’ve probably lost count of the times I’ve repeated this fact on our blog, but yes, it is only because this is very important. If there is one thing that is real from what you see on the various bridal shows on TV, it is the fact that you can have a tough time choosing your wedding dress if your entourage isn’t supportive.
Don’t feel obliged to invite everyone who wants to go gown shopping with you, or you will only be ruining your chances of finding the right dress for yourself. Choose just one or two people, and do so wisely. Make sure that these are people who know your personal style best and can give you honest opinions. More importantly, they should share your taste. Ultimately, your gown should reflect your personality, and only you know what you favor when you look in the mirror. Unless the person who goes shopping with you shares your idea of fashion, you will simply disagree and not have a productive shopping session.
#7 Be flexible with your ideas
After hours of researching online, you may have convinced yourself that you will settle for none other than just one silhouette or style. Don’t make this mistake! Especially when you have a seasoned expert in wedding gowns, in the form of your bridal consultant, to assist you with your choice. Wedding gowns are surprising in that way, you may find that the thing you least expected looks best on you. And bridal consultants have often seen this magic happening on their shop floor. So, they may be the best judge of what would look best on you, once you share your vision with them.
Our suggestion is to keep your mind open to ideas, and accept it when your bridal consultant suggests a dress for you. What is the harm in trying it on? It’ll be just a matter of minutes, but you always have a good chance of finding a fabulous gown when you least expected it. Although it may be different from what you ever expected, who is to complain if it makes up for this difference in how well it suits you?
#8 Don’t worry if you can’t decide on a single dress
Confusion is a given, when you consider that the dresses you look are all equally attractive and beautiful in their own way. We have seen brides who shortlist five or sometimes even more dresses and look at each of them longingly, unable to decide which one they should go with. This is why we suggest you start your gown shopping well ahead of time, so you have enough time to go back and make a choice.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are totally confused between two or more gowns, our suggestion is to click a few photographs of yourself in the gowns you love and go home and sleep over it. Wedding dress decisions should never be hastened, unless you are really pressed for time. Spend time looking at your pictures in each of the dresses and keep the focus on finding out which dress highlights your best features. This will help you decide which dress will be right for you. Once you make your decision, return to the boutique and purchase the gown you think has to be right. Let us just warn you of one small thing though! Don’t ever make the mistake of taking a look at any more gowns on this visit. It will only make the process more exhausting, and not to mention confusing too!
#9 Don’t second guess your decision
Once you choose your wedding dress and pay the bill for it, don’t ever second-guess your choice. The decision is made, and it isn’t worthwhile going back to it. Remember how certain you and all those around you were, when you stepped out in it? So, stick with it. Plus, think of the huge amount you’ve already spent on your wedding dress! It just doesn’t make sense to go back on your decision and go through the whole process all over.
We suggest that you immediately cross wedding dress shopping off the list and not pay too much attention to any of the new trends that you may later come across. Now, all you need to do is attend your alteration sessions and have the dress that you chose fitted to your measurements. Preoccupy yourself with the rest of the wedding choices like cake tastings and venue décor. These are also important facets that should be considered, and you should engage yourself in it whole-heartedly, now that the major part of your wedding shopping is already taken care of.
We hope these tips will be helpful for you. For more wedding tips, advice and help, continue visiting us on Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for everything bridal.