Samantha asks us: I’m nervous about wedding dress shopping. What do I need to know and what should I expect?
As much as you are itching to try on dresses, don’t look for a wedding gown until you know the location of your wedding. A beach venue and a church will both call for very different style gowns.
Knowing the date of the wedding will also be vital to successful dress shopping because this allows the bridal shop to know if you will be able to get the dress ordered in on time, and how much alteration will be possible.
Ideally, you should begin dress shopping about 9 months before the wedding. Remember that most salons require appointments! So call ahead.
Before your appointment, figure out a realistic budget. Factor in alterations, pressing, and steaming, which can be anywhere from a few hundred to thousands.
Walk into your appointment with an idea of the style dress you want and bring pictures.
Don’t bring too many people along; a crowd of opinions is usually a recipe for confusion.
Make sure to wear neutral underwear, heels, any jewelry you know you will be wearing on your big day, and your best strapless or multi-way bra! Prepare to get near nude with your consultant while they help you into their gowns.
Most bridal shops only carry a few sizes, so don’t be alarmed or offended if they bring you a size you simply would not fit into. This is where clips, pins, and panels work their magic. If a size is too small, fabric will be used to cover bare skin. If a dress is too big, they can pin it back to your size. Remember, alterations later on will turn your dress into a custom-fit glove, so don’t be concerned if it is a little too long or a bit loose around the hips. Your consultant will be able to tell you what type of alteration is and is not possible, so don’t be afraid to ask.
And remember: this is supposed to be fun! So if you get stressed out or overwhelmed, you can always go back to the shop another day.