Okay. So, you got that ring. You’ve started planning, found the venue and set a date. Now it’s time to shop for your wedding dress! Chances are, this is uncharted territory for you, whether this a moment you’ve dreamed about since your childhood, or something you’re straight-up dreading (we hope you aren’t dreading it).
We’ve put together this little guide for what to expect your first day out:
You don’t by any means need to prepare for your wedding gown appointment, but it is helpful if you do some research before coming in! Take a look at Pinterest, or Instagram for inspiration, or track down designers/looks that capture your vision.
Pro tip: If you find a style you like or a particular designer that you like, ask the store when you’re booking your appointment if they have it or if they can borrow it in!
This is not like your average shopping trip.
Get it out of your head now that you’re just looking for a dress, even if you weren’t the person who has 12 Pinterest wedding boards. It’s nothing like that! Shopping for a wedding dress is a process that can be difficult and takes time. For most brides, it’s not as easy as running into a boutique and grabbing a dress in your size (that would be mad impressive if that’s how you find your dress). Each appointment takes about 90 minutes (depending on the store) with you trying on multiple styles and revisiting favorites.
It also gets pretty emotional. We are used to tears around here. Even if you’re not the emotional Hallmark romance type, this shopping experience can bring on the feels. There aren’t many days where as stylists, we don’t cry with joy when a bride finds her dream dress, so don’t be surprised if you (or a member of your squad) does, too! It’s cool to cry, we encourage it!
Get ready to share. Everything.
From the moment you walk into the salon to the moment you walk out, you’re about to share it all. Most salons will want to know your personal information so they can learn more about your wedding and about you! So, be ready to share everything from your contact info to details about your wedding for each store you go to.
But…that’s not all.
You’re about to spend 90 minutes with a stranger (your bridal stylist). A good consultant will ask questions to get to know you, and they should! It helps them figure out what styles will fit your personality, your wedding vision and (gulp) your budget.
Speaking of sharing everything, get ready to “bare it all”.
Part of trying on clothes means taking your clothes off. That means in the dressing room when you’re with your stylist, you’ll be pretty darn naked and in some vulnerable positions. One thing to point out is that consultants don’t think anything of nudity – they see it ALL. THE. TIME. – nor are they going to judge you for goofy tattoos, weird lumps or body imperfections. Don’t forget, we have those things, too.
If you’re uncomfortable being almost naked, bring spanx and a strapless bra. That way you don’t have to show off all your goodies if you don’t want to strip to your underwear or take off your bra. Also, you should not be embarrassed to say you’re just not comfortable changing in front of another person – that’s okay! Stylists can step out until you’ve slipped on the dress and then take it from there.
Not everything will fit, nor will it be in every color.
Salons would LOVE to have every dress in every color in every size. But the unfortunate truth is, that’s just not how it works. We also can’t typically get the sample in a different size/color from the designer easily. So, what you see is what you’re trying on. Don’t be surprised if you put something on and it is massive on you, or it doesn’t zipper. Your stylist is here to help take that dress that is too small or too big and make it look as close to the real thing for you as possible with every tool they have in their arsenal!!
Pro tip: Wear spanx or something similar – not because they make you seem slimmer, but because they make you slidey. The dresses that are small slide up and down easier when they’re sliding over spandex or nylon materials.
Sizing is Hella Weird
Listen. We get it. The sizing in our industry is bananas. Don’t be embarrassed by the size number on the tag! If the number is larger than you’re used to, it’s not anything to be ashamed of, nor is it saying anything about your weight. It’s just how the designer sizes. If you’re usually an 8, expect to fit into bridal 10’s and 12’s (or even higher). That’s why the stylists refer to size charts, rather than what you’re used to wearing! Each designer is different, and very few run true to size.
We love your girls as much as you do, but not every salon is large enough to hold everyone. Make sure you ask before bringing the whole glam squad if there’s space for each person. If you bring too many people, at some places, girls may need to be comfortable standing. Also, be prepared to field their opinions. If you’re bringing that person, make sure they will give you the feedback and support you need when you are shopping or find “the one!”
Pro tip: Have someone there to take photos! You’re about to see a lot of ivory dresses, make sure you have photos taken so you remember which is which!