Thanks to the holiday season occurring between Thanksgiving Day & Valentines Day accounting for about half of annual engagements, it’s no wonder that right about now through spring is when we get to meet quite a few new brides-to-be And as we’ve been sharing secrets of the bridal world here and there over the last few months, we thought it would be the perfect time to share our favorite shopping tips! So grab your Starbucks, and settle in to read all about how to make your experience the best it can be!
Since we’ve all played dress up since we were five years old, it’s no wonder that shopping for THE DRESS is one thing most brides want to start right away as soon as they have the ring. And while that is so understandable (we’ve all been there!), doing a little pre-shopping prepwork will make the entirety of the process so much more fun and enjoyable in the end. So let’s break it down-what should you do before making appointments to try on dresses?
- Set your date & book your venue
Most bridal stores you will visit are special order meaning time is needed for your dress to be made and arrive. An average timeline of ordering and receiving your dress is 5-6 months, and while most designers offer rush deliveries, having a set timeline to work around does wonders for your experience! Knowing where you will be wearing the dress also helps you to envision what it will look like on your wedding day, which usually ends up playing a bigger role than you’d think!
- Know Your Style
Take a look at your closet and those Pinterest boards, and narrow down what your personal style is. Are you a classic gal with a trendy twist here and there, a boho princess, or lover of all things eclectic? Or are you somewhere in between? Believe it or not, this will play out in your selection of your wedding gown & will also help you narrow down certain bridal designers who have your aesthetic in their collections!
- Know Your Budget
Do some homework and determine what the average price of wedding dresses is for your area and what you’re looking for, as well as what you are comfortable spending on the dress in comparison to rest of the wedding budget. Are you after sparkle from head to toe? Then you may be looking at spending more than a bride wanting nothing but tulle.
- Map Out Your Trip
Using this info, start looking for the bridal shops that best fit what you’re looking for: do they carry designers that match what you’re envisioning in your dress, does their price range fit your expectations, and most importantly, are they reputable and offer the experience you are hoping for? Narrow down the list, and book those appointments!
A mix of nerves and excitement is absolutely the norm when going into your bridal appointments! And we all know, knowing as much as you can beforehand helps, so read on for some our favorite tips for your appointment!
The best thing you can do for yourself is going into the appointment ready to fall in love with your dress! It will undoubtedly find you if you let it and allow that process to play out so have an expectation to find it. In doing that, shop with an open mind, but don’t overthink it. Your gut and your heart will guide you so there’s no need to let yourself become overwhelmed!
Another guiding light in your appointments will be your consultant! Remember that they are on your team with the one goal of helping you to find your dress! And because of that, it’s all about honesty. Don’t be afraid to say no to a dress they recommend (we promise, their feelings won’t get hurt), and tell them if there was a dress you really loved at another shop. At the end of the day, this will help your consultant in narrowing down your search ultimately resulting in you finding your perfect dress!
When You Find The One
As we’ve mentioned, your dress will find you if you keep an open mind and let the process play out. So what happens if you find the one?
Once you find the one, then begin to play with different veils and bridal accessories! See what accentuates it and completes your look in the best way. As you’re in the dress, walk around in it, give it a twirl, and sit in it. While you shouldn’t focus too much on the fit at this point as it’s a sample size, all of these things will give you a good idea of how it will feel on your big day!
Remember to keep in mind that every bride’s “moment” is different from another. You might not cry, and you might not see fireworks, and that’s ok. Simply stay relaxed, don’t put pressure on yourself (remember, there are no set rules to how this process plays out), and in the end, you’ll know when you find the one! What if it happens to be the first store you go to? That’s ok too! If you did your pre-shopping prepwork and tried on a variety of styles and designers, then you know what you’re looking for and when it finds you. Continuing to search when you've found the one can easily make it overwhelming and frustrating. Keep the experience fun and enjoyable, remembering this is one of the most amazing shopping trips you will ever take. Happy Shopping!
The Bird & The Bear Photography