Wedding Wednesday; Saying Yes to Your Perfect Wedding Dress (Part 1)
From the second the groom proposes, many brides automatically start day dreaming about that dress. We've all done it, we've all daydreamed about the perfect wedding gown since the first time we saw a bride descend a staircase on her wedding day (for me, it was Disney's Cinderella). But the dream is now a reality, and it's right around the corner!
Selecting the perfect dress is no small feat. There is plenty to consider when purchasing your dress, so it's best to keep a few things in mind;
1) Start researching early. Most wedding gowns are taylor-made to you and no one else. Because of this, it typically takes about 6-8 MONTHS for your gown to be fitted, pieced together. If you wait too long, the selection of dresses may be limited and may not reflect your personality or the style of your wedding the way you want it to. Once you've found your gown, allow at least 6-8 weeks for alterations. Custom gowns can take a little longer, and more detailed gowns will absolutely take MUCH longer.
Biggest thing to keep in mind as your gown shopping, do NOT rush into your wedding gown decision. you're not wanting to choose a gown on a whim and end up despising it later on. This could turn into a really ugly situation where you're shopping, again, and going through the whole process again. Give yourself enough time to make your decision, and, if you're on the fence about a gown, don't get it. Give it a night to think it over. If you can't get it out of your head, then you've definitely found your gown. However, once you've chosen your gown, stop shopping! We understand, its a tough decision and it's a fine line to walk. But, I've seen several brides make the decision to shop after receiving their gowns and they almost always go back to their original gown.
2.) Do your research and figure out what you like. You really don't want to show up to your bridal appointment without knowing what you like. Most bridal appointments are about 90 minutes each, so you want to dedicate your time to gowns that you know you like. Think about your ideal venue and your overall wedding look when considering your gown. Planning on an outdoor wedding in a location that won't have a lot of flooring? Then a big, tulle or satin ball gown may not work out well. Planning an urban, black-tie wedding at a hotel ballroom with lots of bling? Then the head to toe lace, fitted gown with no bling may not the fancy enough.
The first three things to rule out in your gown selection are silhouette, fabric, and length. Once you've figured out those three parts of your wedding day style, it makes gown selection that much easier. Next up, budget!
3.) Have a budget in mind. The average spent on a wedding gown last year was around $1,300. Overall, doesn't sound like much compared to the remaining costs of the wedding. Keep in mind, that's the average price....wedding gown prices can range from $150-$35,000. The price of the gown usually depends on how much material, embellishment, and details are on the gown. Designer plays a factor, the type of material, and whether or not it's a custom design. You really need to weigh out your gown budget and consider it against the backdrop of your venue, and you'll be able to narrow down your choice very easily.
4.) Bring an entourage. No, I don't mean bring ALL your girlfriends from collective stages in life (childhood friends, sorority sisters, work friends, etc.) PLUS your mom and/or dad AND your siblings. I mean bring about 2-3 people. Most bridal appointments are attended by the brides mother, her or her grooms sister, and a good friend OR her mother in law. Too many people at the bridal appointment can lead to too many different opinions and could overwhelm the bride, and the bride is going to want people who can help her know what looks best on her and what will bring in the biggest wow factor. So it's best to bring the ladies that know you, and your vision best. Make sure to have a conversation with your entourage so they know what you're looking for and know to be honest with you on your gown selection.
5.) Shop the right stores at the right times. Are you more interested in a fully custom or designer gown for your special day or are you wanting something more budget friendly? As your researching your gown and the style you're wanting, make sure to research the stores where they carry that gown style. Also, see which stores are running specials are having sales or trunk shows or sample sales and take advantage! It's what they're there for.
Another huge tip, and this may not be feasible for some, shop during the week. Saturdays and Sundays are going to be the busiest days at a bridal salon, so you may not get the service you want. Bridal stylists are definitely fresher in the mornings and can give you more attention in a calmer environment. So schedule your appointment on a mid week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) in the morning. This way you can have a fun morning off work AND you can get a yummy lunch afterward!
6.) Take other peoples opinion with a grain of salt. You may not be spending as much on your wedding as your sibling or a friend of yours did, you may be spending more, you may not be quite as focused on the gown as others, and they may express that opinion, or send a scathing remark your way. Do NOT let that bother you if you found a gown you really love. Remember, You're not going to go wrong in your wedding gown selection, it's YOUR day and YOUR gown, and if you feel beautiful and it's the RIGHT dress, no one else's opinions will matter but your own and your grooms. It won't matter where you got it, it won't matter how much it is, it won't matter if it's off the rack or custom made, you won't remember any of that a year after the wedding. You WILL remember how it makes you feel.
Well, that's it for me this week. Tune in next week for tips on narrowing down your bridal gown style!
-Caity C. | Owner and Lead Photographer