As a bride, you’re the star of your wedding. Naturally, you deserve to look like a beautiful dream on your big day. But before you start touring the bridal boutiques in your area with a folder of bridal dress ideas, let’s discuss a few important pointers that can either make or break your wedding dress shopping journey. 

Determine Your Budget 

Setting your budget is the first critical step of your wedding dress shopping journey. A clear budget can narrow down your search, save tons of time, and even help you avoid stressful cost dilemmas. Ideally, the cost of a wedding dress should fall between 5-6% of the total wedding budget. Here are the following costs to consider when determining the budget for your dress: 

  • Wedding gown
  • Veils 
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Cost of alterations

While it can be tempting to try every dress you set your eyes on, it’s important to ensure you stick to your price range to avoid any disappointments in the long run. 

Research, Research, Research!

With your budget now in place, it’s time to start your research. Pre-shopping research will help you determine what styles work best for your personality. Study the different types of silhouettes, necklines, and fabrics to determine what would truly make you shine. Head to Pinterest for some style ideas. The different types of wedding necklines include V-neck, sweetheart, halter, scoop, and strapless. Common wedding dress silhouettes include A-line, ball gowns, mermaid, trumpet, and sheath. 

Doing your own research can help you come up with better ideas and allows your consultants to understand exactly what you are looking for. Remember though, while research is vital, keeping an open mind is equally important. If you’re unsure about certain styles, don’t hesitate to try them on – you might be surprised to see how well they look on you!

Make An Appointment 

When it’s time to visit the boutique, make sure you book an appointment first. Many boutiques have a no walk-in policy. Even if you do end up getting a salesperson to show you some items just by walking in, you might still run the risk of not having their undivided attention. The only way to have a clear and satisfying shopping experience would be to always make an appointment with the boutique first. 

Choose Your Entourage Wisely

Your friends and family members are probably going to be super excited to tag along when you go shopping. While it’s tempting to share this experience with your best friends, your mother, mother-in-law, grandma, and other loved ones, it’s important to understand that a huge entourage can cause a lot of confusion and stress. To avoid disagreements, make sure you bring only two or three people who are closest to you and who can offer their honest opinions.

Go Shopping on Weekdays 

Saturdays and Sundays are often the busiest days at bridal boutiques. If you don’t like the idea of rushing through your shopping journey, it’s best to ensure your appointments fall on weekdays during mornings or afternoons. If you can snag a weekday appointment, you can take your time with your selections and try your gowns without the crowds. 

Don’t Skip Your Breakfast Before Heading Out

Feeling “hangry” is the last thing you want on your wedding dress shopping day. You’ll be spending a good number of hours at the bridal store trying multiple gowns. Make sure you don’t go with an empty stomach. Instead, treat yourself to a light meal that will keep you energetic for a few hours. 

Stay hydrated throughout the day and make sure you get plenty of rest before the day of the appointment finally arrives. Indulge in self-care to ensure you feel your absolute best when picking the dress of your dreams!

What To Wear for Wedding Dress Shopping

Shopping for your wedding dress is hands down the most exciting step in your wedding planning journey. However, the process can get a little exhausting given the number of dresses you have to examine and the number of boutiques you have to tour. This is why many brides choose to wear comfy clothes for their appointments. 

Already have the undergarments – shapewear, strapless bra, etc. – that are ideal to wear under your wedding dress? Don’t hesitate to put them on as well! This will help you understand how well the gowns you try would fit your figure. If you have shoes that are similar to what you’d be wearing with your gown, make sure you bring them along too. This will help you determine how the length of your dress would look. 

Trust Your Consultant 

Sure, it’s important to do your homework and understand which dress styles would bring the best out of your personality. However, it’s equally important to have faith in your consultant and consider their recommendations with an open mind. 

Because shopping for a wedding dress is entirely different from picking your regular outfits, it’s important to take note of the stylist’s expert opinion. A professional stylist will help lay out styles that will both compliment your figure and fit your budget. 

Remember, you don’t have to settle on a dress right away. There are thousands of designs to explore and many to try on. The goal is to find a dress you’ll fall head over heels in love with. So, be patient, have an open mind, and don’t give up!

A Few Words of Wisdom 

Now that you know what to consider when shopping for a wedding dress, it’s time to take that first step. Remember, it’s best to start as early as possible because you have to account for the time it would take for the alterations. Based on where you order your outfit from, it can even take months to arrive.

Make sure you bring 2-3 people along whose opinions you value the most. Remember, the sizes of wedding gowns are not the same as your regular outfits. For instance, if you normally wear an 8, plan on a size that falls between 12 and 14. It can take anywhere between 30 and 150 dress trials to find that perfect gown. Don’t get frustrated if shopping takes time. Trust your instincts, value your stylist’s recommendations, and enjoy the overall process!

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