The Reality of Shopping for a Wedding Dress

wedding dress shopping

I have worked with hundreds of brides over the years and there are a lot of unrealistic expectations surrounding wedding dresses. So here’s how you go from ‘nothing to wear’ to the stylish bride in your dreams without making yourself (and others involved!) crazy.

1 – Pick a budget and give it a little room

You’ve likely never bought a dress like this before and until you try a few things on, you really won’t know what is going to feel right for you. You also might realize that you prefer silk over polyester, or crystal beading over glass. Let your original budget have a bit of breathing room and you should be able to make things happen.

2 – What you see online isn’t always real

Ladies, photoshop is REAL and the kind of “perfection” you see in bridal dress ads is made on a computer and with fancy cameras.

3 – You will be a beautiful bride

Most of us average about 5’6″ and wear a size 8-14 in a wedding dress. Our curves are in places we want to hide and we can’t walk in 5 inch heels for a whole day. But NONE of that matters. You are looking for a dress that makes YOU feel beautiful, and I promise, it’s out there.

4 – Your dress will wrinkle

Fabric is fabric. None of it is wrinkle-free. Plus, your dress will be on your body, which is always moving. The good news is that some fabrics are better at hiding things than others, so if this is a concern for you, opt for one of those. Lace is a great concealer of wrinkles, as is a silk fabric that already has texture such as dupioni.

5 – You may never find that “perfect” dress you saw on Pinterest

There are thousands of dresses out there and some of the beautiful images that get lots of love on Pinterest are of dresses that are no longer available, made with changes, or couture. But if you take an open-minded approach, you should be able to find something similar.

6 – There are always other dresses

If you go to 3 bridal shops, chances are you will fall in love with at least 3 dresses. It just happens. So how do you decide? I’d like to say you should go with your gut on this one, but sometimes you just need to be practical. Which store did you like best? Which dress showed off your favorite feature best? Which one is the right match with your budget? Asking yourself these questions should help you narrow it down. Remember this: No one who is coming to your wedding knows about the “other” dresses!

7 – Do your hair and makeup

This one is so important. You will be putting on expensive dresses and deciding what you are wearing on your wedding day, so be sure to look your best so you can get a better idea of how the dress looks on you as a bride.

8 – Two shops max

Don’t overdo it when visiting bridal shops. You may only need one to find the right dress, so limit your shopping trip to two at the most. And be sure to stop for coffee, tea or food in between so you can feel refreshed.

9 – Ask about sales

It doesn’t hurt, and chances are, if you ask about a sale, your consultant will do her best to give you a good price.

10 – Don’t be afraid to say yes

This goes back to #6. Once you find a dress that makes you feel beautiful and makes you fall in love all over again, get that dress. Yes is a powerful word when it comes to weddings and you will be so relieved when you’ve said it (for the second time since your engagement!).



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