BY BRITTANY ORIE
As if wedding planning isn’t stressful enough, searching for the ideal dress can add extra pressure. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices.
Set a price range. Wedding dress shopping is expensive! So, before going out to a bridal boutique, determine your price bracket. Is it between $500-$1,000? If you’re in bargain mode and you want to save as much money as possible, look out for sales and discounts!
What’s your personal style? Do you enjoy being extravagant or modest? Are you modern or classic? Do you feel confident in wide, floral skirts or in a fitted, narrow gown? Stay true to yourself!
Do you want to match jewelry/shoes? What if you choose to buy jewelry or shoes before going wedding gown shopping? What kind of shoes do you desire to wear? Heels? Flats? Cowgirl boots? Converse sneakers? If it’s what you want, you can possibly match your dress with your shoes. Not only will this make your selection simpler, but it’s also fun and different!
Pick a good bridal shop. Many brides never forget the bridal boutique they scored their dress from. Whether you’re going out of town or even out of state to shop, choosing the right bridal shop is the foundation for finding that perfect dress. Look for a shop that has your target price range, great customer service and organization. It also pays to have a stylist who has a vision for you and will help you find that perfect dress.
Think about venues. Where is your wedding? Is it outdoors or indoors? Another smart approach to finding your dress is matching it with your wedding venue. Whether you’re getting married at a cathedral, a beach at sunset or a flowery garden, you will want your dress to match your environment. A lightweight, flowing dress will mesh with a beach setting just like a traditional gown will in a church and a modern gown with a non-traditional setting. Wherever your wedding will be, try being creative and choose a dress you love that matches the setting.
Match the season. What’s a good pick for a fall wedding? A summer wedding? Dress for the weather! See what your bridal shop has that is popular that season. What about a short, lace dress for summer or a long, wide dress for fall and winter?
Who are your favorite designers? If you have a particular designer in mind (such as Vera Wang or Oleg Cassini), this will keep you from having too many options and help you narrow down choices a little more.
Schedule your appointment as soon as the bridal shop opens. Set up an appointment time as early as you can. In the morning, the stylists who assist you in your dress shopping will have fresh, positive attitudes rather than having a late appointment and dealing with someone who might be tired after handling so many different personalities and moods throughout the day. Having an early appointment will also give you an ample amount of time to search for your ideal look, whereas at a later appointment you may feel pressed for time because the shop is about to close which adds on stress. Choose wisely if you don’t want to scramble!
It’s okay to shop alone. It’s common to bring family and friends with you to help you in your search. But sometimes, having too many people around can be messy and confusing especially in a situation like this. You get different ideas from everyone: “Hey, try on this dress” or “Oooh! This will be such an elegant look on you!” If you’re easily swayed by many opinions, you can choose to shop solo.
Don’t forget about the top of your wedding dress. Of course, you want your ideal dress to have a nice, flouncy, statement-making skirt. After all, it’s one of the most prominent features of a wedding dress, right? Well, so is the top half! The top half is just as important as the skirt. Close-up wedding photos make the top stand out, and it’s the first thing that people see on your dress; so, make sure it’s desirable!
Remember to make the best out of dress shopping. It’s only as joyful as you make it…just like your wedding!