It’s that time of year when the world falls in love, couples get engaged, and girls go bridal gown shopping! It’s engagement season, and that means thousands of girlfriends will become fiancés, and dreams become realities. But how does one find the ‘one’? The first edition of Big Day Q&A addresses one of the first steps in the planning process. Here are the 25 dress shopping tips you need to know!
25 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips Every Bride Should Know:
1. Start Early
I recommend starting 8-12 months before the big day. You need to give yourself time to enjoy the hunt, as well as extra time for alterations.
Engagement Season begins when the holidays do. This means that stores are starting to get in their new stock and pushing out the old. If you go before the rush, you have a great chance of saving big on your bridal gown. Did you know most bridal salons have Black Friday promotions? We even have Cyber Monday savings!
3. Trunk Shows
If you can handle the crowds, trunk shows and sample sales are an ideal time to shop. It’s the easiest way to find a gorgeous design for an unbeatable price.
4. Weekday Appointments
Our store is busiest on Saturday afternoons—every other salon will agree. We recommend weekday or weeknight appointments, especially if you’re bringing in a large group.
5. Gather Your Entourage
Speaking of large groups—try to avoid them! Everyone wants to go shopping with you, but you certainly don’t need everyone’s opinion. Keep your entourage small, and turn it into an intimate bonding experience. Then throw a preview party later on with the rest of your closest friends.
6. Get Inspired
Whether through magazines, blogs, or Pinterest, you’ll need a little inspiration before you search for your bridal gown. Gather all of the looks you love and narrow them down to a few favorites.
7. Learn the Terminology
Chiffon, trumpet, bateau, A-line…the list of wedding fashion jargon is a long one. Do yourself a favor and know some basic terms before you arrive. Also, never be afraid to ask what something means. Our girls spend all day talking wedding dresses—we don’t expect you to speak the language too!
8. Know What Looks Good On You
Peruse your closet and pick out your favorite dresses. Compare them—what do you see? Odds are you will see similarities between all three. Perhaps you love strapless necklines or an empire waist on your body type. It may be a bit different than your everyday wear, but the silhouette and fit of a bridal gown will match what you already love.
9. Bring Undergarments and Heels
If you plan on wearing Spanx, high heels, or any other undergarments, you should definitely bring them along to your appointment. They’ll affect the fit more than you know! If you don’t have official bridal undergarments, at least wear your everyday underwear and bra.
10. Bring Your Photos
Remember the inspiration I told you to look for? Bring your favorite photos with! It helps our consultants find you exactly what you’ve been dreaming of.
11. Do Your Hair and Makeup
If you primp, it will give you a better idea of the whole picture. Just don’t go overboard on that makeup! You don’t want it rubbing off on the attire.
12. This is Not T.V.
I think we’ve all watched at least a few episodes of “Say ‘Yes’ to the Dress.” While some aspects of that show are realistic, many of them are not. Come in with an open mind and create your own experience. No two brides are alike, and neither are their shopping experiences.
13. Open Up
Your personal style is important, but so is your personality! Both are reflected in your attire. The more you open up to your consultant, the closer they’ll get to your perfect style.
14. Buy What Fits Now
You may have weight-loss goals, but they shouldn’t come into play when you’re trying on bridal attire. Buy what fits now! It’s a lot easier to take a garment in than let one out.
15. Don’t Look at the Size
Bridal attire runs small, so if you’re a size 4, don’t cringe when they hand you an 8 or 10. Stay focused on the fit and your consultant will help you with sizing.
16. Sit in Your Dress
I love this wedding dress shopping tip! So many brides stand up straight in the mirror and think everything fits perfectly, then go to sit down and discover they can barely breathe. Always sit before you buy.
Sitting is important, but dancing is a necessity. Bust a few moves on that bridal stage, and see how the look moves and feels.
18. Take Photos
We welcome photography in our store! It’s a great way to share your experience with those who couldn’t be there, and helps you remember what you loved and what you didn’t.
19. Don’t Be Pressured
Even your mother may pressure you to buy (or not buy) a look you love! Remember that this is your dress, and I promise you’ll know when you found the right one.
20. Don’t Expect Tears
You may know when it’s the ‘one,’ but that doesn’t mean your tear ducts will! Some brides cry, some don’t. Don’t worry if you don’t shed a tear, just be happy you found the gown!
If you’re short on time before the big day, consider a corset. They save time and money on alterations, as well as stress!
22. Consider Accessories
Sometimes trying on a veil or the right accessories can complete the look and settle the debate! Ask your bridal consultant for complementary accessories, and see if it works for you.
23. Take Your Time
Ladies, this is not a race. 8-12 months gives you plenty of time to take your time. It may be the first design you try on, and it may be the 50th. Our consultants are prepared to help you into as many styles as you need during your appointment. Just be prepared to make a second or third appointment if necessary.
24. It’s Just a Dress
It may be stunning, but your dress is not the most important part of your big day. Marrying the love of your life is what really matters! If you could do it in your pajamas, you know you found the right guy. But it doesn’t hurt to feel amazing in a beautiful design, either.
25. Know the Return Policy
A person should always read the fine print when making a big purchase, and it’s no different with a bridal gown. Our return policy is industry-leading! Check it out:
- Contact the Wedding Shoppe within 15 days of receiving your merchandise to obtain a return authorization number.
- Return merchandise in its original condition, and in original packaging with tags attached. Monogrammed, dyed, or personalized items cannot be returned or exchanged.
- Once we receive the merchandise, we will refund your purchase minus the shipping fees.
Our favorite tip for a stress-free experience.
Have you considered online shopping? It may seem risky, but it’s not when done right! As long as you buy from a trusted retailer—like the Wedding Shoppe—and take advantage of our customer service team, you are sure to have a stress-free, comfortable shopping experience from your own home!
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Do you have more wedding dress shopping tips to share? Help a fellow bride out and join the conversation in a comment below!