Tips for A Flawless Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
Finding the perfect wedding dress is one of the most important pieces in planning your wedding. Here are some tips to help you navigate through the process.
Do Your Research – Overwhelmed by the endless options and don’t know where to start? Pinterest. Start by making a dress board and pinning all the things you like. From laces, styles, designers etc. Look for local Bridal Boutiques and check their websites for designers and reviews.
Set a Budget – Before you get carried away Pinning all those diamond-encrusted wedding dresses, take a look at your wedding budget and set a number you’re willing to spend on your gown. This will not only narrow your choices but also help you hone your expectations in the dress shopping process.
Start Shopping 9-12 Months Ahead – Believe it or not, gowns typically take anywhere from 4-10 months to be made. Factor in shipping times (is your dress coming from Europe) alterations and multiple fittings – in the end, your gown could take up to 12 months to be ready.
Don’t have that kind of time? Some designers offer rush services, but be prepared to pay an extra fee. Out of timely options? If you’re happy to get a professional cleaning and are lucky enough to fit in sample sizes, salons often allow brides to buy samples off the rack for a lower price.
Make Bridal Salon Appointments – Most Bridal salons require appointments. Call a week ahead to get your fitting room. Try to schedule your bridal salon appointments all in one day or weekend. This way, each gown is fresh in your mind for comparison; you’re more likely to say “Yes!” if you’re not waiting on another appointment weeks later. Smaller Bride Tribe groups are best and leaving children at home reduces the amount of chaos.
If you schedule your appointments all in one day, make a party of it! Plan a bridal lunch in between appointments to thank your bridal squad and do remember your ladies may not be able to make every single shop.
Call Your Bridal Salon Ahead – A top tip for a flawless dress buying experience: give your bridal salon a call to give them an idea of what you like. Bridal salons almost always keep notes with all your favourite gowns, what kind of bride you are. All of this helps them pull gowns perfect for you on the day you arrive.
Have A List Of Questions Ready For Your Stylist – Bring along a list of questions only your bridal stylist can answer, including how long it takes to make the gown you love, whether or not they alter dresses in-house or suggest expert tailors, the best way to travel with your gown and if steaming the dress day-of is the best strategy, Etc.. They are filled with knowledge to help make your dress perfect.
Proper Undergarments & Grooming – Bridal experts suggest nude-coloured panties, and not to worry about the bra (unless you have an issue with support or want to be comfortable) aka go braless. Come prepared to be seen naked in some capacity. You will need help with putting dresses on and off. On the day of your appointment, it is requested that you come with no make-up on (or minimal) It’s not recommended to use spray tan or bronzers the week before your appointment. Colour cosmetics damage dresses.
Forget About Sizing – Wedding dress sizes are vastly different than street sizes (what you wear on a day-to-day basis) so don’t get worked up when you see your wedding dress size. In fact, when you’re at the salon, that sample you’re trying on is definitely “one-size-fits-no-one”. Nearly everyone needs alterations, so the gown you buy will eventually be taken in and tailored to fit you perfectly – totally different from the usual “pick a size number” shopping experience.
Don’t Try on Dresses Out of Budget – Two very unfortunate things could happen: 1) you may end up spending thousands more (that maybe you don’t have) putting serious strains on your wedding budget and giving you incredible guilt, or 2) you may fall in love with the gown and no cheaper dress will be able to match the luxury you now have the taste for, leaving you unable to find “the perfect dress”.
And remember, if your budget is $2000, plan to buy a dress less than that to factor in extra costs like alterations
Don’t Be Afraid to Say Yes to The First Dress You Love – Bridal stylists are educated in body shapes and sizes. They know their inventory, and if they can tell you have a serious favourite during your salon walkthrough, they’ll likely put it on you first. Our experts say often brides think they are being too quick to decide, but then they come back to buy the first gown they loved anyway. Be prepared you could Say yes, the first Appointment!
Talk to the team of professionals at Emma’s Bridal Boutique.
2019 & 2020 Winner of Ontario Bridal Boutique of the Year
Photos By: Holly McMurter Photographs
Location: The Cape PEC
Hair: Katelynn Wilcox Hair
Florals: Coriander Girl
Makeup: Jenna Makeup