Shopping for your wedding dress may seem intimidating, but we are here to turn that “to do” into a “ta-da!” with five easy steps on how to properly prepare to find the dress of your dreams.
1. Pick Your Bridal Entourage Wisely
In our “Meet The Stylist” interview with designer Allison Webb, she shared that she believes entourages should remain small and include the people who are your most treasured advocates. They are there to support and validate you, making you feel like the best version of yourself, not only on your adventure toward finding your dress, but also on your journey to marrying the love of your life.
You know the saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen?” Well, having too many people at your appointment may distract you or negatively impact your decision-making. The key is to invite the people who you can’t say “yes to the dress” without and make sure they attend each appointment with you, even if you don’t think you’ll find “the one” that day. Make sure those people understand what you’re looking for and have your vision in mind!
2. Study Wedding Dress Silhouettes
Silhouettes are a pretty major decision-making factor when finding your wedding dress. Ball gowns are totally different from mermaids, which are totally different from sheath-style wedding dresses. They all have different vibes and feel different when you put them on. Understanding the various types of silhouettes will help you to narrow down what is essentially the blueprint for your dress, making it easier for you to get down to specifics once you are at your appointment.
If you’re not sure where to even start or how you’ll feel in different silhouettes, sometimes booking an appointment just to get an idea of what silhouette you like can help you to make a better decision. You can tell the bridal shop that you book with that you are still debating which silhouette you would like for your bridal gown, and that you would like to come in just to get an idea! It sets a clear boundary and expectation between you and your stylist to prevent feeling pressured to make any definitive choices for your gown when you’re still unsure.
3. Set Boundaries and Standards
When all is said and done, this is entirely YOUR journey. You have to be completely and utterly satisfied with your decision to say yes to the dress. It has to be 100 percent your choice. The best way to make sure that this decision is right for you is to be transparent about your expectations, boundaries, and standards with the people you bring to your appointments and with your stylist.
Picking the “right” dress does not always mean picking the gown that everyone else likes. Their opinions are valuable and important, but it’s your wedding. Setting clear intentions about what you want from your gown is so important. It really will influence how each shopping appointment goes. Ultimately, be true to yourself and you will find exactly what you’re looking for.
4. Research Bridal Salons
This is a super important step! Call the stores you would like to visit, don’t just rely on their websites! Ask them about their policies on bringing in champagne, what sizes they carry, or if they have a specific designer or dress. Set yourself up for success by doing some research on the place that will literally be facilitating the purchase, processing and handling of what could quite possibly be the most precious piece of clothing you will ever wear.
Meet the bridal stylists and ask as many questions as you’d like. They should be happy and able able to answer them 99.9 percent of the time, and for that 0.01 percent, there’s someone else in the store who should know the answer. You should feel confident not only in your decision to say yes to the dress, but to continue the rest of your wedding dress journey with a team that you trust and that has your back through the entire way.
5. Set A Budget for your Wedding Dress
Who are we kidding? Weddings are expensive and can add up quickly! That’s why it’s so important to set a budget for yourself. Your budget can be quickly doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled depending on the designer, the fabrics and materials being used, alterations, or and customizations. These numbers do not even begin to include if you want to change into different gowns throughout your wedding day. If you spotted a particular wedding gown or wedding dress designer that you like, call the store that is licensed to have it and ask for pricing and ranges, that way you have a clear understanding of how much your gown could end up being.
Be clear and honest with your bridal stylist what you’re comfortable spending! Not only will you be helping yourself by setting a budget, but you’ll also be helping your stylist to stay within the confines of your expectations and standards. Bridal salons and sales consultants have your best interests at heart, we all want you to find that dream dress that makes you feel amazing and that fits in your price point, so be honest with us about your bridal budget!
There is so much that encompasses finding your dream gown, but these steps are some of the basics to get you that much closer. And as always, do not hesitate to ever reach out to your friendly stylists at Laura & Leigh Bridal for advice, recommendations, or to just have a quick chat!