Shopping 101

YOU’VE NEVER BOUGHT A DRESS LIKE THIS BEFORE, HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HOWS, WHERES, AND WHATS OF GOWN SHOPPING

1. How to choose your dress

  • Think about the venue: A sexy slip dress will be out-of-place in a cathedral, while a glam ball gown won’t look right on a ranch. Keep your setting in mind while you’re trying on dresses. 
  • Consider the weather: Saying “I do” in the tropics? Go for lightweight fabrics and ethereal styles. Marrying in the winter? Think sparkle and lush fabrics, like satin or taffeta.
  • Channel the spirit of your party: You want your dress to reflect the feel of your wedding. So if your stationary and decor scream “formal affair,” your gown should, too.
  • Live your fantasy: After all that, here’s where we tell you to throw that rule book  This is your dream and your big day, if you want to wear a ball gown on a beach, it’s your prerogative. Go for it!

2. Where to go

  • Is your priority personalized service? If so, head to a bridal salon, where a consultant will help you order a dress that’s made for your body. Note: Dresses generally take six months to arrive after ordering. 

3. What to bring

  • Dress Ideas: Break out your wedding binder or iPad- your consultant is going to want to see tear outs and images of gowns you love.
  • Shoes: Rock heels about the same height as the ones you’ll wear on your big day, so you can see where the hem will actually hit.
  • Underwear: Many salons require it. Also, rethink the thong-unless you don’t mind the consultant’s seeing your booty!
  • Bra: Think supportive and strapless.
  • Hair Elastic: You’ll want a clear view of your gown’s neckline.
  • Your Crew: Bring your besties- your mom, your MOH, your sis. Just don’t bring an army- to many opinions can spoil the fun.

4. Secrets of a salon

  • You may need an appointment: Some salons require that you set up a time to shop. The purpose? To make sure every bride gets the attention and personal service she deserves. 
  • You’re going to be naked: Remember that “no thong” tip? Getting into a wedding dress is a production and a half and your consultant will need to get up-close and personal in the dressing room to make it happen.
  • You’re going to be pinned and clipped: Most salons only carry sample sizes, so it’s up to your consultant to make dress look like it was made for you. Gown to big? She’ll pin and clip. Too small? She’ll cover bare skin with temporary fabric panels.
  • You may not find plus-size samples: Not every salon carries them, so call ahead to make sure you don’t make the trip for nothing.
  • You can shop for Bridesmaids’ dresses, too!  The good news  after you’ve found the wedding gown of your dreams, you can go back and be pampered like a princess again this time while looking for dresses for your bridal party!

5. The importance of a perfect fit

  • The Look: Yes, Alterations can get expensive. But when it comes to looking amazing in your dress. the fit is just as important as the style. In fact, because your seamstress will contour the dress specifically to your body, your wedding gown should be the most flattering thing you ever wear!
  • The feel: It should also be one of the most comfortable. A great fit will help lighten the load of a heavy ball gown and let you dance all night without worrying about wardrobe malfunctions.
  • The Cost: On average alterations can run between $50 and $600, depending on how extensive they are so make sure you factor them into your dress budget.  
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