I know this is only my third post, but I have to talk about one of my favorite wedding topics: THE DRESS. Sorry guys but this post is dedicated to my brides. No other garment worn by a woman will ever “have to be perfect” like her wedding dress. It will probably be the most expensive item of clothing a woman will ever purchase. It is a big decision that can be exciting and scary for the bride. Here are a few tips to help you when shopping for that perfect dress.
• Establish a Budget– Before you do anything else, sit down and decide how much you want to spend on your dress. Brides today usually spend $800-$1,200 on their dress, but know that you can easily stay under or go above this price range. An important thing to remember is to factor in all the items that go along with the dress like shoes, veil, jewelry, and alterations. If possible, get an estimate from the bridal salon so you have a ballpark figure of the amount that will be spent.
• Start Early– While most brides start right after they get engaged, I would recommend that you give yourself at least 9 months. If you are interested in getting a custom-made dress, I would suggest going at least a year before because it takes several months for a designer to produce. Remember that you will have to go in for about 3 fittings after you order the dress so you need to give yourself plenty of time for those appointments. To the last minute brides, it is not impossible to find a dress but know that there will be fees for rush orders.
• Make Appointments– Scheduling an appointment at a bridal salon is the best way to go when shopping for a dress. This will give you the one-on-one attention of the bridal consultant, who will help you in finding the perfect dress style and fit. Try not to go on a Saturday afternoon because most bridal salons will be packed. Lunch hours are a big no as well because trying on dresses can easily take 1-2 hours per store. Once you purchase or order a dress, I would set up the first fitting appointment to save you the hassle later on.
• Love Your Dress– The most important factor in picking out a wedding dress is comfort. Make sure you can breathe and move around easily in the dress. I would suggest that you go with one that does not weigh too much because you will be wearing it for at least 5-6 hours. You do not want to feel constricted in your wedding dress so dance around the salon and make sure you are completely comfortable. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and do not judge a dress by the way it looks on the hanger. I have been told that when you look in the mirror and get this feeling inside or you start to cry, you will know it’s the one.
• Read the Fine Print– I’m sure you have heard the horrible stories of brides not being able to get their dress because the store closed or the dress didn’t arrive on time. It is so important to read everything from the cancellation policy to the alterations information. Most bridal salons have a contract that they give you when you order the dress so read it carefully and have someone else, like your mom or maid of honor, read it too. Usually a 50% deposit is required up front so make sure you read the details on payments as well. I would suggest that you pay with a credit card because if something goes wrong, usually the credit card company will contact the bridal salon and you will not be held responsible.
Just remember to pick up the dress from the salon or cleaners (if you had it cleaned after your bridal pictures) at least one week prior to the wedding. Now relax and know that you will look amazing on your big day!