Wedding Dress Shopping– My Experience & Tips

 

Shopping for your wedding dress… a moment that every girl dreams about from the time they were a little girl (or at least I did).  Everyone’s experience can be different, and I’m here to share mine with you and give you a few tips about what I learned and how they can make your experience that much better!

I shopped at two different bridal shops before I found “the one.”  The first time I went shopping I had my mom, naani, aunt and MOH with me.  It was a good first experience and definitely opened my eyes to see exactly what I wanted (i.e. shape, fabric, color), but I ended up making a rash decision and then second guessing myself and changing my mind.  See, I got really overwhelmed with emotion and with the whole experience of putting on a wedding dress for the first time.  It happens to the best of us.  I ended up thinking I found my dress, but left the store with an uneasy feeling.  I was happy with my choice but there were just a lot of unknowns with it.  They didn’t have the dress in the exact color I wanted to I didn’t know what it would look like when it came.  Also, the salon NEVER even asked me my budget (red flag ladies) The dress I liked was almost double my original budget, and there were a few other things that I just didn’t feel right about.  So, I left the shop ready to purchase the dress but I needed to sleep on it and would confirm with the shop the next day.  (Thankfully my mom was able to cancel any impending orders and I wasn’t tied to the dress.)

So, after feeling a bit discouraged, I decided to go shopping for a second time at a different place that had been recommended to me by a coworker.  This time, only my mom and naani were available to come with me.  I immediately walked into the shop and had such a feeling of confidence and comfort and felt like I was in really good hands.  The consultant had me fill out a full questionnaire about my wedding, my style, what I wanted, MY BUDGET, etc.  I thought this was so great because in doing this, the consultant would already know what I wanted.  I was able to shop around the store with the consultant pointing out things she thought I would like but also allowing me to pull things that caught my eye.  Long story short, I tried on probably 10 dresses that day, but after I tried on the second one (my dress) I couldn’t help but think about that second dress.  Nothing else compared to it.  So I asked the consultant if I could put “#2” back on.  I immediately slipped it on and my mom, naani, and I were in tears.  It was perfect.  And when I put on the veil, there was not a dry eye in the house.  It was perfectly me and I could see myself walking down the aisle towards Brandon in this dress.  So, see, not every experience is perfect.  It sometimes takes a few tries; just like finding the right man 😉  So with that, here are a few of my tips to finding the perfect wedding dress.

  1. Be open minded:  Yes, I had an idea of what I wanted but I didn’t shy away from certain ideas or styles.  While I know what works for my body, I tried on many silhouettes and fabrics to make sure I was making the right decision.  And sometimes, what you thought you wanted, turns out to be completely different than what you fall in love with.

  2. Buy your dress after you’ve booked your venue:  This might sound silly but your venue effects your dress so much!  You wouldn’t wear the same gown to a backyard wedding as you would to a ballroom hotel wedding in the middle of a busy city.  They’re different vibes and you portray a different vibe at those locations.  Trust me on this one!

  3. Do not try on a dress that is exceedingly out of your budget: Okay, $500 (if you can afford it) over your budget is feasible.  But if your budget is $3000 and your trying on a dress thats $10k, why would you do that to yourself?  What if you fall in love with it, only to realize that there’s no way you can afford it.  Do yourself and your wallet a favor and check prices/talk with your consultant before slipping into a gown.

  4. Bring a small entourage:  I think no more than 4 people for your initial shopping sessions is crucial.  Because the more people you bring, the more opinions you will have to deal with.  Bring those closest to you and you will have no problem.  Of course, once you’ve chosen the dress, you could bring more people to fittings, etc. to see the dress for the first time (that’s what I’m doing) but that initial consultation, you want a small, intimate group.

  5. Make your appointment in the morning if possible: For me, I know my body feels best, and I feel best about my body in the morning.  For my appointments, I had a light breakfast and some coffee before hand.  Having a big meal, or a day full of meals before your appointment, may leave you not feeling your best.  I mean, who wants to try on a skin tight gown after chowing down on a greasy hamburger or plate full of pasta?!

  6. Enjoy it:  This is such a special time.  With all of my tips throughout this wedding series, this is always my most important.  You, hopefully, will only shop for a wedding dress once (or a handful of times/appointments looking for the dress).  Enjoy trying them all on and spending that time with the people around you!  Don’t stress if you don’t find it right away.  The perfect one is worth waiting for.

Well, I hope this helps and good luck to all of you brides out there!  Stay tuned for more #weddingseries posts and please leave any requests or topics you’d like me to cover down below in the comments.

xoxo, Lex

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