Wedding dress shopping is easy! Right? Well...fortunately for me it was, but for some brides the dress shopping part is the hardest.
Here are my tips for a smooth and painless wedding dress shopping experience.
Have Pictures Ready
Yes, it sounds cheesy, but I am a very visual learner. I like to bring in photos of what I want my next haircut to look like. I pin photos of what I want my dream house to eventually look like (of course when I win the lottery). Why do you think Pinterest has become so popular??
Before the dress appointments, I printed off pictures of what I thought I wanted my dream wedding dress to look like. I knew that there were some parts of the wedding dress that I needed - lace, floor length, and I wanted a dress that made me look like a woman, not a girl (since I am 5'1" I have always had people say "aww you look so cute" I wanted to hear "you look beautiful"). When I showed the girl a photo, she immediately grabbed a dress that look EXACTLY like the picture. PLOT TWIST: It was the dress I ended up selecting for my wedding day!
Have An Entourage, But Be Sure It Is An Acceptable Size
I had five people with me on the day I chose my dress. Unfortunately, my MOH's weren't there because they were going to come to the next dress fitting, but I brought my mom, my soon to be mother-in-law, and my soon to be sisters. I did not think that I would pick my wedding dress at my first appointment, but I did! I brought my grandmothers, dad, etc, to my dress fittings so they could see the dress, but I think it would have been too overwhelming to bring everyone to the selection of the dress. Sometimes people can have very opinionated family members, and I suggest leaving them behind. Brides can get very confused during dress shopping when they think they have found their dream dress and someone says "mmm..I don't like it." I laid down the laws when I first got to the appointment - this is my budget, this is what I like, please be nice. Luckily it worked out! Sisters and moms chimed in on what they liked, but they were nice and ultimately liked whatever I liked.
**PRO TIP: Be sure to let the bridal consultant know that you have a budget and not to exceed that budget (if you do have one). It can be heartbreaking whenever someone shows you a dress that you love and is way over budget. Breaking the bank for a dress you will wear once is NOT worth it. Trust me**
Set Up Appointments Ahead of Time
I had to be very organized when it came to planning what days to go dress shopping. I was only in town for a week for Christmas, and I wanted to have my dress picked out ASAP. (It takes a while for them to get the dress in (or like mine, be made from scratch) so be sure dress shopping is one of the first things you do after securing a date/venue). I set up three appointments at three different dress shops a month before to secure dates since I was only in town for a specific time. If you are more flexible, scheduling a month before isn't necessary, but treat dress shopping like you would a doctor's appointment or any other appointment you have to schedule ahead of time.
Lose The Weight BEFORE You Pick Your Dress
Many brides will say "Oh I plan to lose 35 lbs before the wedding," and most of the time that doesn't happen. Ordering a really expensive dress two sizes too small can be detrimental. I was told three months before my wedding that I could not lose any more weight or else my dress would be too big on me. Luckily I did not have a lot to lose, so the nips and tucks were easy, but you can only let out a dress so much. It's easier to make it smaller than to have to make it larger.
Wedding planning is stressful, and before you know it the big day is right around the corner. I had an issue dropping weight because of the stress. Yes, I worked out twice a day 5 days a week 5 months prior and ended up maybe losing only 5 lbs, but imagine if I HAD to lose 35 lbs in a month...not gonna happen. Be sure you set realistic goals and be sure to stay healthy when doing it - the last thing you need is to be walking down the aisle with crutches because you pushed yourself too hard at the gym.
Do you have any more tips for wedding dress shopping? Let me know in the comments!