One of the most important decisions that you’ll make for your wedding is the kind of dress that you’ll be wearing. Introducing yourself to the types of styles out there and the terminology that goes along with wedding dress shopping is a great first step. Our guide goes through a checklist that is handy keep in mind while you pick out a dress that you will love wearing on your wedding day.
1. Find your Style
Whether you’re a pro at dress shopping or not, this is likely one of the biggest purchases that you’ll make and you want to go in prepared. You can earmark pages from wedding magazines of dresses you like or print off pictures from Pinterest and find some commonality in your choices to help guide you and your stylist find your dream dress. Learning the language of wedding dresses and what kind of shapes, fabrics and styles are out there will also make this task easier.
2. Be Open-Minded
The dress that you imagine and the dress that you purchase may look nothing like each other. Try on a few dresses that you would normally overlook and see how they may be the most flattering dress you wear. It’s best to see what flows and wears well on your body and what makes you feel the most beautiful, and sometimes it’s the dress you’d least expect.
3. Look for Your Current Size
Try not to shop for your ideal weight and body type and instead, get something that fits you perfectly right now. Even if you are planning to lose weight before your big day, you may be too stressed and not have enough time to achieve your ideal weight. However, if you do drop a size, it’s easier to take in a dress than it is to have one that fits too tight. Also, don’t worry about the actual size since dress sizes are not standardized across the industry and a “medium” may fit the same as a “small”.
4. Purchase a Dress Closer to the Date
It’s best to set your venue first and then start shopping for the dress, so you know what kind of setting to anticipate. For example, a beach wedding requires a different dress than an elegant golf resort. You want enough time that your dress can be fitted and altered, but not too much time that you’ve fluctuated sizes or worse, changed opinions on your dress.
5. Know your Budget
If your parents or your partner is chipping in, it can be a little anxiety-inducing to ask about your dress spending limit, but this is important information to know. Even if you’re covering the cost yourself, the last thing you want is to see a dress you absolutely love and can’t afford. Likely, you have had this experience with another item of clothing you adored. The heartbreak isn’t worth it. And neither is the debt.
6. Keep Accessories in Mind
It’s best to get your accessories after your dress, since if you accessorize earlier, you may end up with items that don’t match. Your dress budget should include accessories like your veil or any jewellery; therefore make sure that you don’t hit your limit on the dress itself. You’ll also likely need to consider tailoring since a dress rarely fits like a glove off the mannequin.
7. Pick your Boutique Carefully
This is one of the most important and expensive purchases you’ll likely make. You want service that reflects that. Don’t waste time with shops that don’t listen to your concerns or answer your questions. Check online reviews or use referrals from friends to make sure you’re treated with respect and made to feel special for this occasion.
8. Make Time for Your Appointment
It’s not like putting on jeans and a sweater; getting into and out of a gown requires time and effort and sometimes the assistance of your consultant. Try not to rush the experience and try to make sure you spend enough time in each dress in order to make a fully confident decision. Leave yourself with a lot of time and don’t overschedule yourself on this day. You don’t want to choose a dress that you didn’t get to be in long enough to actually experience.
9. Choose your Entourage Well
It’s great to get a second opinion when you go to pick out your dress, but bringing all of your friends and family is like having too many cooks in the kitchen. The last thing you want is to hear disparaging comments about a dress you love. Narrow your group to two or three trusted people and make the best of your experience.
10. Double-Check Your Online Return Policy
You may choose to shop online for your dress and accessories, but it’s a good idea to try on what you like. If you’re able to go into a boutique for a fitting, that will help you make an informed choice. However, if you’re not, make sure that you’re clear on the return policy since the last thing you want is to be stuck with a dress you don’t like. Also, be wary of extremely good deals since you may not be getting what you think you are.
Overall, you want this to be an exciting, fun-filled experience despite the stress that it may cause. Once you’ve found your dress, it’s time to stop looking. If you keep shopping afterward, you’re only going to give yourself buyer’s remorse. You don’t need to keep dating. You found the one. Put your focus on planning your wedding now that this huge detail has been taken care of.