Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

I was recently out at a friend’s party where I met a sweet engaged couple. They were excited to hear about my job as a wedding planner and eager to chat with me about their own wedding planning questions and issues. Although, it struck me when the bride-to-be admitted she was having a hard time finding the one… i.e. the perfect wedding dress. For many girls, the dress is one of the biggest parts of the wedding, and it’s not always so easy to “say yes to the dress.” Here are some tips for your wedding dress shopping, see also on The DC Ladies.

Photo by Kate Fine Art | Bright Occasions Real Wedding

1. Give yourself plenty of time (but not too much time). Experts advise on shopping around 8 to 12 months prior to the wedding day. Any earlier and you risk changing your mind as new styles come out. And if you wait too long you may have a limited selection of available dresses and/or have to add a rush order fee for a new wedding dress.

2. Browse styles online to get a sense of what is out there, but don’t get attached to a specific dress or style prior to trying dresses on in person. I say this is for a couple reasons. First, sometimes what we love online is not a great fit in person.  And this happens a lot! The second reason is for budget purposes. Prices aren’t always available online, and it would be terrible to fall in love with a dress that is out of your price range.

3. Know your budget. We are lucky to have a lot of great designers and options in various price points for wedding dresses. But it’s very important to figure out what you want to spend before you start shopping. Check with the bridal salons before you visit to make sure that they have options available for you to try within your budget.

4. Go shopping with a supportive (and small) group of friends or family, who get your personal style and wedding vision.  We’ve all heard the advice to limit the entourage when wedding dress shopping. Too many opinions can confuse you. However, I do think that it is helpful to have some people with you when you are shopping. Be sure to choose the right people. Ultimately, you will rely on them to give feedback, ask questions, and help you pick the right dress.

5. Realize that it’s OK to like your dress, but not have an over-the-top moment with tears and know right away that “it’s the one.” Not everyone has that moment where they are so moved by the dress that they cry and get emotional. Sometimes the perfect dress is just a dress that you like, that makes you feel pretty and comfortable. Sometimes, it’s even a dress that requires you to try it on multiple times before you realize it’s “your dress.”

Happy shopping!

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