Congratulations! You are engaged! It is one of the biggest chapters in your life. Every girl wants to look fabulous and stunning on her special day. All eyes will be on you on your wedding day. You are the center of attention, and, of course, you want to dress to impress. You also want to pick something unique that will show off your personality.
Have you any idea of your perfect wedding dress? Do you know where and how to start wedding dress shopping? Do you know the styles that fit you the best? You might have conversations with your friends and family about your wedding gown but have not started your wedding dress shopping yet. Before going on a hunt for your dream wedding dress, we have prepared this wedding dress shopping guide to give you enough advice and tips on ‘saying Yes to the dress.’
Keep calm and continue reading our beginner 101: wedding dress shopping guide on finding The One!
Step 1: Start searching online
First, explore wedding blogs, wedding magazines, and social media. Pinterest and Instagram are the best places to start looking. You can create a board on Pinterest for a visual outline of styles you prefer or like the most. Also, read articles on recent bridal trends! You do not want to look outdated. For instance, 2017 is all about bohemian style wedding dresses. Have you checked out celebrity weddings? Pipa Middleton wore a high neck, A-line lace wedding dress for her lavishing wedding. Once you have done your research, you will have a clear picture of the designs, brands, styles you love!
Wedding dress shopping tip #1: Save all images of wedding dresses you found online. Review all of them with friends and family, make a list of similarities, describe what you like, and what you don’t like, after start thinking of narrowing the styles you like, but before check Step 2.
Step 2: Determine your wedding theme
While searching for your dream wedding dress online, we guarantee you will end up checking possible wedding themes. It is a good sign because your theme will somewhat determine your wedding dress decision. For instance, you may look for a bohemian-style wedding dress for the rustic outdoor wedding. Ball gowns or mermaid wedding dresses are appropriate for formal ballroom and banquet hall weddings. A simple or sheath wedding dress will be perfect for a beach wedding or small, intimate ceremony.
Wedding dress shopping tip #2: Be creative matching your wedding theme with your wedding dress and bridal accessories that will allow creating one of a kind bridal look. You can discuss your wedding theme at your bridal appointment; a professional consultant will always be able to offer you some truly unique options.
Step 3: Personality check
Once you have your theme, you want to narrow down your wedding dress list. Remember your wedding theme must match you and your hubby’s personality. Your wedding dress must speak to your character. If you are a simple girl, you may be planning a small ceremony. Many girls like you will look for sheath or empire style dresses especially if they are having a destination wedding. A glamour girl may have a huge guest list and must go big on her wedding dress; whether it is having a lot of bling on her dress or wearing a ball gown. In any case, remember one thing – it is the bride who makes the dress, and not the other way around.
Wedding dress shopping tip #3: Be specific about what kind of decor you like on your wedding dress. For example, do you like lace applique? Swarovski crystals? Flowers? Bows? Knowing these details, we will help you to find The One without being stressed!
Step 4: Set up your deadlines
Start shopping at a reasonable time, at least six to eight months in advance. It will take months to order plus weeks to do alterations, not to mention to find bridal accessories, shoes, and avoid rush fees. You want to make sure your wedding dress fits you like a glove, your bridal look is finished with the right accessories, and your shoes are super comfortable. Of course, you can start looking even earlier. However, make sure you are ready emotionally and financially. Wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming for a brand new bride-to-be. That’s why it is important to set up deadlines correct.
Wedding dress shopping tip #4: Book your bridal appointment in advance. It will help you to coordinate everyone’s schedule in advance and get the best spot possible.
Step 5: Determine your wedding dress budget
How much are you willing to spend? On average, Canadian brides will spend from $1,500 up to $2,000 on a wedding dress. Of course, the price varies based on designer, fabrics, and embellishments used. The price also depends on the dress quality and its style. DO NOT try on wedding dresses that are over your budget. One of the most well-known wedding gown shopping tips is to always stick to your budget. Don’t forget to include taxes, shipping costs (if bought online) and alteration fees, all of these expenses must be included in your wedding dress budget! Our main advice is ‘Choose wisely!’
Wedding dress shopping tip #5: Understand and gather enough information about designers, fabrics, and embellishments. It will help to determine your budget accurately and what to expect for a price.
Step 6: Book your first bridal appointment
Before you book a bridal appointment, make sure you to visit a bridal store’s website and check out its wedding dress collections. If you like a certain wedding gown from the site, record its style number. It will help the bridal consultant helping you to understand what you are looking for and offer similar options you might not have noticed. Many of the dresses in bridal stores are samples for all the brides-to-be to try on; therefore, expect that many of these samples will not be in your size. It is hard for bridal stores to have samples in all sizes. That’s why kindly ask to clip you the best possible way and use your imagination.
Just a reminder, you MUST book an appointment at least six months before your wedding day to be able to order your wedding dress in time. Confirm your appointment and keep in touch with the bridal store you are going to visit. Be on time for your appointment! There are other brides before or after your appointment; you do not want to be rushed while trying on different styles. You can wear nude underwear and bring shoes that are close to your height you are hoping to wear on your big day. If you put light makeup and do your hair, it will help you better imagine your final looks. After your appointment, keep in mind the dresses you tried on and record the dresses you love. Most importantly, have fun at your appointment, it is a remarkable moment in your life!
Wedding dress shopping tip #6: Be polite, speak kind words, and act with manners! Bridal consultants are professionals that can share their experience and give you valuable advice if you treat them with respect. That’s why it is important to be wise with the time you have with bridal professionals. You can benefit a lot!
Step 7: Determine your style and silhouette
Make sure the dress flaunts you. After trying different silhouettes, you will figure out which shape looks the best on you. Also, we recommend checking different styles of necklines. Necklines show off your personality: from a romantic look to a sexy look. Once you decide on the silhouette and neckline, choosing fabric will make the dream wedding dress idea come finally together. If you want a wedding gown to show more reflection on you, top it off with some accents. Accents can be a peak of color, embellishments, bows, ruffles or 3D flowers.
Wedding dress shopping tip #7: Be open to options and don’t stick to one style. Your wedding dress must show off whom you are inside and out. Plus remember the way a dress look on a hanger is completely different when you put it on!
Step 8: Make a decision
When do you know a wedding dress is The One? The final wedding guide tip is to use your intuition. You will know based on how you feel. Are you emotionally attached? Did it show off your personality? Did the dress flatter your body type? Is it within your budget? If you are unsure, try on a veil. Once you put on a veil, you will know for sure if the dress is right for you. You should only bring people you trust to your bridal appointment. They can give you advice on what looks good on you and help to make a final decision. DO NOT bring more than three people; too many opinions and advice will overwhelm and confuse you.
Wedding dress shopping tip #8: Trust your intuition. Determine how do you feel in each dress. If you love the dress, do not listen to others, at the end of the day it is your day, your decision!
We hope this wedding dresses shopping guide will ease the process of finding that perfect wedding dress. Never rush buying a dress and always keep calm. Cherish the moment because it is all about you.
We also developed a cheat sheet on how to prepare when you are ready for a wedding dress shopping