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Shopping for a wedding dress is something most girls start dreaming of when they’re young. In the dream they see themselves surrounded by all their favorite women moved to tears after they emerge in “The Gown” just like in the movies or the reality TV shows. Sometimes that’s how it happens, but sometimes too many opinions get in the way and the experience becomes confusing, stressful and even a little out of control. Here’s one store’s advice on how to make your shopping experience as productive and stress free as possible.
The best thing you can do for yourself starting out is limit the number of people in your shopping entourage. Bring a few people whose opinions you trust to be positive and have your best interest at heart. “But that’s my whole wedding party!” You might say. Maybe it is, but think about who you REALLY want helping you make this big decision and bring only them with you on the initial visit. This will help eliminate too much “Try this on just for me, Pleeeeaase?!” and give you what you need; good solid advice. We know how important all the women in your wedding party are to you or they wouldn’t be in the wedding. Make them feel important on a return visit to help choose between the top 2 or 3 gowns, or do a big reveal of Your gown when you all come back to choose bridesmaids dresses. They will still feel special and included to be among the first to see your wedding dress.
We love children, but sometimes they can interfere with the focus of a bridal appointment. If bringing your or your wedding party’s children is truly unavoidable, most stores will accommodate them in a friendly way. You can help by bringing a favorite toy or a (non-messy) snack. If possible, make arrangements for someone else to watch the kids so the grownups can shop.
Do your research! There is so much information available on the internet and in bridal magazines today that you can easily check out what a store has to offer before you arrive. Take at least a little time to look through current styles so you give your consultant an idea of what you’re looking for. Even sharing what you don’t like is a place to start.
Have a realistic budget in mind and stick to it. Or if you decide to exceed it, know what you can actually spend. A good bridal consultant who knows their inventory can usually help you find the look you want at a price you can afford. They may pull a sample sale dress or a less expensive version of a style you like if it will help you get what you want. Unless you have an iron will, don’t try on the gown that’s $1,000 over your budget. If you let yourself fall in love with something you can’t have, it can take the fun out of the appointment quickly.
Keep an open mind. Your consultant helps brides find the gown they’ve been looking for every day. Give suggestions and state your budget, then after you’ve tried on a few gowns you’ve chosen, allow your consultant to make suggestions and pull a few things to try. Stylists see these dresses on people all the time and know which gowns may not look like much on the hanger, but can work their figure-flattering magic once on the body.
Understand how much you can do in one visit. Some brides can choose their gown, accessories and even bridesmaids’ dresses in one visit, but most can’t. This is a big decision, so don’t stress yourself by putting too much pressure on one day. It’s often easier to make a decision about your gown that sets the tone for the rest of the wedding party. Follow that with a Finishing Touches appointment if you didn’t choose shoes, veil, headpiece, jewelry and other accessories on your first visit. Finally, bring your bridesmaids in to get their dresses ordered and accessories chosen.
Again, this is advice from just one store, but it comes from years of experience working with thousands of brides and the ones they love. Wishing you a wonderful shopping experience and more importantly, a fantastic marriage!