We’ve decided to list our top 10 tips to help prepare brides from the moment they walk in to our bridal store to the moment they walk down the aisle. Our advice may not be the floral, lacy advice that you want to hear, but we believe this advice will better your wedding planning process and help keep your stress levels at an all-time bridal low.
1) Be ready to buy
When you go shopping, you should be ready to say “I do” to a dress. Most stores offer a first visit discount, so when you find your dream dress you don’t want to miss out on this! If you want to “just look,” the best way to do this is to gather inspirational pictures online of how you want to look on your wedding day. Once you start trying on wedding dresses, you and your professional consultant will quickly learn what shape and style looks best on you. Once you find a dress that you don’t want to get out of, that’s “the one”! It’s kind of like finding a husband: once you find the perfect man for you, you stop looking!
2) Don’t judge a dress on the hanger
Some dresses just do not have hanger appeal, so don’t be hesitant to try it on if it catches your eye. Always be open to the consultant’s suggestions, remember she works with these gowns daily and has had plenty of experience with the styling and fit of the gowns. Consultants are here to help you, so let them.
3) Pricing is not randomized numbers
When purchasing a wedding gown, you’re not only paying for what you see, but also for what you don’t. The main factors that influence how much a dress costs is fabric, ornamentation (lace, beading, etc.), lining and inner construction. Gowns with boning and a higher grade of construction will fit you better. After all, you can’t put a price tag on a great fit!
4) Be conscious of your undergarments
Almost every dress has construction built into it and a bra is usually not necessary unless it will make you feel more comfortable. On the other hand, underwear is always necessary. Underwear should be a neutral color and it should be appropriate. Black panties are never a good idea when trying on white bridal gowns. Remember that your consultant will most likely see your underwear and you always want to make a great first impression!
5) Limit yourself
Many people say that you should try on as many dresses as you can, but the truth is it only gets harder with the more gowns you try. While trying on wedding dresses is a lot of fun, eventually all of the dresses get confusing and start to run together. Limit your shopping to limit your stress as the process can get more frustrating than enjoyable.
6) This is reality, not reality TV
Deciding on your wedding dress is an emotional purchase, but sometimes TV shows dramatize the experience. Not all brides react the same way when they find their dream dress. It’s okay if you don’t cry, but if you feel excited, joyful, and beautiful, then you know that you’ve found your gown!
7) Waiting on your Dress
It’s hard to wait patiently for your dress to arrive, it’s like waiting for Christmas morning! Sometimes, as the expected arrival date gets closer it might become hard to keep yourself from calling the salon every week and get a status update. However, at this point you have to trust in your consultant and know that he or she will to take care of it for you. He or she will contact you as soon as it comes in and is steamed. And once that happens, you will then schedule a time to pick it up from the store.
8) Picking out Accessories
Even after you’ve picked up your dress, there is still work to be done. First, it will be the accessories. Most brides decide on a veil when they buy their gown, some chose to accomplish this once the gown has arrived. You will also need accessories such as: bracelets, earrings and other jewelry. It’s almost impossible to shop for these items without having your gown to compare them with, so be ready to look at options when you are at your gown pickup appointment. Most bridal salons even have shoes!
9) Getting the Perfect Fit
Alterations are always a must when it comes to your wedding gown. You will want to schedule an appointment with a seamstress after you pick up your gown. When you go in for alterations make sure you have everything with you that you are going to wear on your big day. This includes undergarments, shoes, and if you have a petticoat bring that as well. Alterations should be done close enough to your wedding to limit weight fluctuation, but far enough away to limit your stress. Giving yourself one to three months before the wedding is a good rule of thumb. After your gown has left the store and the alterations shop, you want to make sure that it stays safe. Most salons will send your gown home in a breathable bridal bag, so make sure to keep it stowed away in a cool closet with no direct sunlight exposure.
10) Day of the Wedding
The morning of the wedding can be overwhelming and stressful. Before the big day arrives, assign someone to steam and prepare your gown on your wedding day. If you have a planner or coordinator give them this task. Most gowns will be steamed before they leave the bridal salon and during the course of alterations. However, because the gown is being stored in the bridal bag it can cause the train to wrinkle. Have someone steam out the train, hang the dress to dry, and look over the dress to ensure the gown is ready to go. Most importantly, make sure you get plenty of photos!
Remember how important this day is not only to you, but everyone who is sharing it with you. Something is going to go wrong on the wedding day. The best thing to do in those moments is roll with the punches. Those moments will be the most memorable, so laugh it off and enjoy the day! Keep your focus on you, your fiancé and all the special people in your life that have gathered to witness such a beautiful act of union.