He proposed, you said yes. The wedding planning is in full gear and its time to shop for your wedding dress. Your wedding dress is the most memorable and expensive dress you will ever purchase. Here is some practical advice to make your shopping trip fun and let you know what to expect.
Make an appointment to try on wedding dresses. Some bridal salons don’t require them, but an appointment will guarantee you the individual attention of a bridal consultant and space in the dressing room.
Time your shopping trip to your best advantage. If you shop on a weekday afternoon, you will get the most attention and you will not be competing with a lot of other brides like you would on weekends. You also get more time to shop.
You will get the best deals if you shop in November and December when the bridal salons are slow and new merchandise is arriving. There will be more sales and more incentives to buy because they need to clear out stock to make room for new stock that is arriving. Wedding dresses arrive in cycles, with the late fall and early winter being the time the manufactures ship out new merchandise.
Don’t shop too early, if your wedding is two years away and you are not prepared to buy, stay home and surf the net for ideas. The styles will change and your idea of your dream dress may change, along with your weight and wedding plan. The style may also be discontinued by the manufacturer.
Don’t shop too late. Wedding dresses should be ordered 9 months to a year in advance. The manufacturers take 16 to 20 weeks to fashion your dress because of all the hand work that is done on the dress. You also need to allow transportation time and time to have alterations done. If you shop at the last minute, you will risk major disappointment. You will either have to buy off the rack or pay the manufacturer extra for rushing your dress.
Shop prepared. This should not even have to be mentioned., Wear underwear on your shopping trip. Wear clean underwear and be freshly showered or risk major embarrassment. Some salons will send you home to shower or come back with underwear and who can blame them? You are trying on expensive white dresses! And if you don’t wear underwear, you’ll be standing in the dressing room buck naked. If you are uncomfortable, you consultant will be doubly uncomfortable.
Bring along a strapless bra if you have one and a pair of heels to get a feel for how the gown will look on you.
Don’t shop with a posse. Shop with someone you trust, your mom, your sister, your best friend. Don’t shop with your entire wedding party. Too many people means a lot of confusion for you and your consultant. Too many opinions will make you crazy. Are they giving you their true opinion, or picking out a dress they would wear to their own wedding? Invite your friends to see your choice after you’ve made your choice. They’ll be more interested after you’ve chosen your dress. Sure, a huge shopping trip sounds like fun, but you’ll totally regret it when you leave exhausted, confused and aggravated.
Don’t try to cram too many shopping appointments in one day. Trying on wedding dresses is exhausting. You’ll be standing up in heels for a long time. Some of the dresses are very heavy. Pretty soon you’ll be suffering from white blur, a wedding term that means that all the dresses are starting to look alike. Limit your appointments to no more than two a day and take time in between to grab something to eat and drink. The only way you can be on top of your dress shopping game is to be fueled up, hydrated and relaxed. Its going to be a long day!
Shop with an open mind and a good attitude. You have a dress etched into your mind. You are closing yourself to dresses that may be more flattering on your figure, cost less money and be THE dress. Be open and receptive to different necklines, body styles and fabrics. You may leave with the dress still etched in your mind, but you may just find THE dress if you stop telling yourself that you are picky. By constantly reinforcing your pickiness, you’ll make yourself and your shopping companion crazy. Bridal consultants are trained and experienced in finding dresses that make the most of your figure and hide the parts that need to be hidden. Stop whining and listen, you’ll be amazed at how fabulous you can look if you just open your mind and adjust your attitude.
What to expect when shopping for your wedding dress. Expect to be warmly welcomed into the bridal salon and meet your consultant. Your dress consultant will ask you some questions about your wedding. They’ll ask you about the type of wedding, the formality of the wedding and your wedding dress budget. They aren’t being nosy. They need to help you choose a dress from a mind boggling selection of dress styles. You can’t try everything on in the store, its physically impossible. They also need an idea of your dress budget, so you don’t fall in love with a dress that is out of your price range. If you want to see dresses under a thousand dollars or under five hundred dollars, tell them honestly to avoid a lot of disappointment on your part.
You will be shown styles, feel free to say no to anything you don’t like. Be honest, you will not like everything and it will help your consultant pull more dresses that are in line with what looks best on you and you like.
You will be helped try on the dresses. Dressing yourself in a bridal salon is difficult, so expect to be helped on and off with the dress, in addition to zipping the dress.
You will be asked more questions, for example, do you feel comfortable in this style?
Your consultant will categorize your dresses by the dresses you like, the maybes and the definite no way. You might want to retry the dresses you like to cut down on your selections. Your consultant will keep the dress style on file so when you return, the can find the style.
If you are uncomfortable in the style, its a no. If you feel overwhelmed in a style, its a no. If you feel fat in a style, its a no.
And above all, do NOT be pressured into buying a dress by anyone. If you feel pressured, gracefully say you’ll be back to try it on once your mind is cleared. Don’t buy anything from pressure. Buy the dress because you love it and its THE dress!
Rose Trifero is an internationally known expert in the field of weddings and bridal fashions. She has been involved in the industry for over 30 years and has written and been quoted in national bridal magazines including Vows, the magazine for bridal professionals. She is also the force behind [http://www.weddingloco.com] a free wedding planning site.