Gown shopping is a foreign experience for most brides. The majority of our brides have never shopped for or tried on a wedding gown before. When deciding on a gown, no two shopping journeys are the same among brides. There are a lot of different factors involved. On top of that, there are A TON of gorgeous gowns to choose from in the bridal industry. So how does one know when they are ready to end their shopping journey, pull the trigger, and say YES to their dream gown?
Here is some advice I would love to share with you not only as a past bride, but also as a bridal consultant:
Set Yourself Up For Success
Go in with a plan! Sharing multiple pictures of your favorites actually tells stylists a lot about what you are looking for. Before your first appointment, try and connect via email or virtually with a Stylist beforehand to pre-shop. At Laura and Leigh Bridal, we offer virtual sessions so we can get to know each other and walk through some of your favorites and learn more about your vision. Gown shopping really should be a partnership between you and your stylist. This will really set us up for a great appointment!
Prepare to Surprise Yourself
Some brides come in to their first appointment with a very clear vision of what they want. Sometimes after trying things on, brides find that original vision does not seem to be clicking. That means it is probably time to switch gears and try something unexpected, be open to surprising yourself or trying something completely different. We can love and appreciate beautiful dresses on models, but it is perfectly fine and normal if that style you eyed on Pinterest or Instagram winds up not bring your gown. Yours will be out there, I promise! I like to channel my inner Marie Kondo and say, “Thank you, Dress,” and move onward!
Trust Your Consultant
It is pretty rare that a bride comes in with a certain dress in mind and it ends up being “The One.” So, if you’re switching gears, how do you know where to go next!? That’s where your stylist comes into play. What we will do throughout the appointment is ask important questions to figure out what’s next. We thoroughly know our inventory and we don’t pull gowns just to fill the time… we are ultimately being really smart with our wedding dress suggestions to simultaneously figure out what is working and also to avoid overwhelming you. Also, keep in mind, a good stylist doesn’t just pick a gown based on style, but also, they are respectful of your budget.
Listen to Your Gut
I tell my brides this all the time: Dress shopping is an emotional decision. It is not just about what looks great on you, but it also needs to stay true to your personality and soul, and what your overall wedding vision looks like. First instincts mean everything! You do not need to settle. If you can easily rule one out, just get rid of it! Or if you keep thinking about one particular gown throughout the appointment, chances are, IT’S THE ONE! Follow that instinct!
It Is OK to Say YES in Your First Appointment
If your consultant is smart and using your time wisely and efficiently (even if you have no idea what you are looking for and it’s your very first day!), your consultant should be able to home in on what is working for you based on all of your feedback. If all of the above advice is adding up for you throughout your appointment, you should have the confidence to trust your decision. If it’s the right dress, it’s the right dress. You’ve done your homework; you’ve listened to your gut. It is okay that that you found your gown the first appointment. That’s not a bad thing!
Not Knowing When to Stop
Unfortunately, brides lose a lot of joy when they are feeling frustrated after going to five or more appointments and still have not found “The One.” Honestly, all those dresses can blend together and end up looking the same in your mind after a while. If you’re in that position, no need to be hard on yourself! Just take a breather and ask yourself a couple questions: Do I have a gown that I keep going back to in my head? If I found a great gown, but it is not 100% right, is there something that a seamstress can change to make it perfect? Was there a consultant at one of the shops that I truly trusted and want to work with all the way up to the wedding date?
I ended up saying Yes to the first gown I put on. My gut kept going back to that look and the feeling it gave me. I went to a couple of other appointments afterwards (because gown shopping had always been a dream of mine!), but honestly, while I was at those other appointments, I just knew I had already found it.
There will always be a million beautiful dresses out there, but there is only one dress out there for you. Trust yourself and your vision!
Ready to get out there and shop? Contact us to book your first appointment!