It’s now what we call Bridal Christmas at David’s Bridal. After my Facebook news feed was full of pictures of sparkling diamonds, kissing couples, and engagement announcements over winter break, I was ready to work with all these brides-to-be to help them find their dream dress. If you are one of those brides-to-be, read this and know that these are the things your stylist wishes you knew.
Make getting your gown a priority
You need to give yourself time to shop. Most women come in without a clue that the dresses take time to come in (sometimes up to a year depending on the designer and the materials used). Make sure you have dress shopping on the top of your to-do list so you are sure to get it done in time to get the dress in and have alterations done on it.
Come prepared to see yourself looking like a bride
No dress is going to give you that wow factor if you came in after packing up all your holiday decor with a messy bun and no makeup. Do you hair and put on some makeup (but keep it natural and neutral). Doing this will really help you look good in the gown and be able to picture yourself on your wedding day.
More isn’t really merrier
I am a terrible decision maker and always call my mom and Ben before making nearly every decision. So, I totally understand the need for a second or third opinion, but when it comes to your entourage more isn’t merrier. Once you get more than a few people there are too many conflicting opinions and the bride’s seems gets overshadowed.
Don’t put pressure on the experience
And when I say that, you don’t need to expect tears in “the one.” It is okay not to cry. Honestly, it rarely happens (and when it does it is usually on the TV shows).
Realize your budget
Sit down with your fiancé before you begin wedding planning to set a budget. The average gown costs about $1,000 without accessories and alterations. Expect to pay at least $100 more for accessories and alterations (aka plan that in your budget too). With that being said. . .
Don’t try on a dress outside your budget
Please don’t break your own heart by doing this. When you try on a dress outside of your budget, it will be the perfect gown. A more expensive dress is made with better material, it is made more comfortable with a perfect fit, and it is embellished with more beautiful appliqué and beading. You will love it more and you won’t find anything that you love more.
Bring your heirlooms and accessories
If you want to wear your mom’s veil or your grandma’s pearl necklace – bring it. If not, how will you know that the dress will look good with these important pieces. However, please don’t search for a dress solely based on it matching because you can always incorporate the pieces in another way if they don’t fit with your dream gown.
Bring the funds to purchase the dress
With that being said, why waste time leaving the shop and having to come back to order later. This allows time to second guess yourself (a big no-no) and pushes back your dresses delivery date. This also is one of a stylists’ worst nightmares!
Just about every girl dreams of her wedding gown from day one – GUILTY – and she thinks she knows the exact dress that she wants to walk down the isle in. The problem is: most of the time these dresses don’t exist. Be willing to branch out from what you think you want. If the dresses you’ve tried on so far aren’t working for you, trust your stylist and have an open mind when she / he brings you a gown you would have scoffed at on the rack. You’re 100% certain you want a mermaid but you haven’t found one that accentuates your hips right – well, maybe you need a ballgown instead. But . . .
Don’t try on every dress
Every dress is fabulous and beautiful and when you start trying on each and every one of them, you will get lost in the jumble of white tulle and you will lose track of what you actually like.
Don’t worry about size
Gowns fit differently from your everyday clothes (even differently from other dresses and formal gowns). Don’t stress about the number on the inside of the dress – NO ONE ELSE SEES THAT AS YOU’RE WALKING DOWN THE ISLE! They will notice a dress that is too small so don’t fret about the size of your dress.
Take photos in each gown to compare later
When you try on multiple gowns in an hour or so, the details can be lost. Take pictures of the front and back of each gown you like to compare side to side. (This also helps when you don’t want to re-try on each gown you like to compare again).
Remember you can customize
Have you found the perfect mermaid gown but it is lacking in the bling department? Add a sash. Do you feel beautiful in your dream ball gown but you feel uncomfortable without straps? Add a jacket, straps, or a topper. There’s always ways to customize the little details to make your dress unique to you.
Don’t hold back your true feelings about the dress
You are the one that is wearing the gown so don’t hold back your opinions to not hurt your family’s, friend’s, and the stylist’s opinions. THIS IS YOUR GOWN.
Trust your instincts
You love the very first gown you try on but think that you shouldn’t go with the first one? I mean, don’t you need to visit a few other boutiques and dwell over it for a week or so? NO! No, you sure don’t! Trust your instincts!
Don’t buy a dress smaller than your current size
I know you will loose weight by the wedding, but go ahead and order the size you fit into now! You can always take in but you can’t always let it out.
The undergarments are just as important – buy them
At David’s Bridal we put undergarments on our brides (a bra and a slip). The dress looks so nice and doesn’t scratch your legs because of these pieces. Therefore, you should buy them! Without the support of the undergarments the dress won’t lay the same or fit the same. Another tip about undergarments: definitely bring the with you to alterations.
With all of that being said, go shopping for your most important dress of your life and enjoy your experience. Let me know any other tips you have for brides when looking for “the one” (the dress, not the man)!