Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! There are many things about your day that you can delegate to your partner or event planner, but (luckily) wedding dress shopping is not one of them. Odds are you already have an idea of what kind of dress you like, whether you have been scouring pinterest since you were 14 or you ended up watching Say Yes to the Dress when you claimed there was nothing better on TV.
It is so exciting to think that your perfect dream dress is out there waiting for you, but there are so many choices that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Wedding dress shopping should be a day (or weekend!) where you feel happy, loved, and absolutely beautiful. To make planning this event as stress free and fun as possible, we’ve done the research and put together the top 6 most important tips from brides and wedding planners to have the most success finding your dream wedding dress.
Research Types of Wedding Dress
We don’t mean staying-up-all-night-writing-your-thesis type of research, just spend a bit of time on pinterest and online dress websites so you have an idea of what kinds of dresses you like. Knowing the difference between a mermaid-style dress and a fit and flare dress is much simpler than trying to describe (or draw!) a shape when you get to the bridal shop.
Bring some photos, know what you like and what you don’t like, but don’t overplan and certainly don’t rule anything out. Let yourself be surprised if you end up liking something that looks nothing like what you thought you wanted. Being open to trying different styles and colours will help you feel more confident that when you find the one, you’ll know.
Plan Your Hunt for the Perfect Wedding Dress
Making an appointment with a bridal consultant 9-12 months before the big day ensures you have enough time not only to find your wedding dress but also to alter it, which is often what takes the most time. Planning appointments within days of each other (or making a weekend out of it!) is recommended so the dresses you have tried on are fresh in your mind. You will also want to call the bridal shop before your appointment to let them know what styles you like. That way, they can have some dresses ready for you before you arrive. If you have a specific gown in mind find out if they have it ahead of time and let them know.
When you call the bridal salon, make sure you also ask about their COVID-19 precautions and protocol. Ask how many people you are welcome to bring, whether or not you need to wear a mask the entire time (and if they offer complimentary neutral-toned ones) and whether or not they have sanitizing wipes available for you to use.
There is nothing worse than getting somewhere and realizing you forgot something you needed. This is why packing a special “dress shopping” bag is so important and will help ease your stress. In it you want to make sure you have:
—underwear and a bra similar to what you think you’ll be wearing on your wedding day
—heels similar in height to the ones you will be wearing
—a simple neutral-coloured mask that won’t draw attention away from you or the dresses
—any accessories you are thinking of wearing on your wedding day, especially if you want to build your look around a specific item or piece of jewelry
—your favourite snack
—any hair products you might need to touch up your look
—your favourite hand sanitizer—preferably one that does not leave residue on your hands
—anything else you think you might want to bring
If there is a remote chance you might need something, bring it. You’re always better safe than sorry. (Better make it a big bag!)
This day is all about you, so if you have the opportunity to plan an entire day for yourself, do it!
Have your hair and makeup done in a way similar to what you would like on your big day. Accuracy is not important here, it’s more about the style (hair down/updo/half up, half down etc.) and feeling confident and beautiful. You don’t want to be hungry when dress shopping so make sure to eat and to do something fun before your appointment. It is so important to be in the right mindset and to feel good about yourself when you’re trying on dresses. You also want to choose your posse carefully; bring people you have fun with who have your best interest at heart.
Document Each Dress
Take pictures! Take notes! Have someone take one or two good pictures of you in all the dresses you try on and don’t delete any. As you are trying them on, sort them into different folders so you can show bridal stylists which you like and which you dislike. It also helps to come up with nicknames so you can refer to dresses quickly within your group.
Trust Your Gut
This is the most important piece of advice you will ever receive about your wedding. Trust your gut. No one knows you better than you know yourself and if you get a good or bad feeling about any dress, trust it. At the end of the day your feelings and opinions are the only ones that matter. Your wedding, your dress, your decision.
Unfortunately, trying on wedding dresses and feeling beautiful is not the only thing you need to do before getting married. (How amazing would that be though?!) Thankfully, YouForever is here to guide you step-by-step with ideas and planning because we want to make sure that the day you marry your forever person will become a forever memory.