Few things are as iconic as the wedding dress and finding the perfect one for your big day can seem like an intimidating task. So much pressure is put on having the dress of your dreams. The good news is there are a few things you can do to make this process easier and more enjoyable. Here are my top 10 tips for finding the perfect wedding dress.
Be Clear About Your Budget
Set a realistic budget and stick to it. You’ll save time and frustration by specifically looking at dresses within your budget. With that said, the average wedding dress in 2019 cost $1,600 including alterations. That’s just a ballpark. Unique designs with intricate beading can be closer to $4,000. When planning your budget don’t forget to factor in costs such as shoes, jewelry, and decorative hair clips.
Pick a Style
It will help you narrow down your dress choices if you decide on a wedding style. Are you planning a rustic wedding? A boho wedding on the beach? A spring wedding at a botanical garden? Each of these ceremonies brings to mind a different type of dress. Consider also the season and weather if your ceremony will be taking place outdoors. Long sleeves with a faux fur trim in the Arizona summer heat probably won’t hold up well.
Be Open-Minded to Suggestions
Bridal consultants have experience helping brides find flattering styles. They may suggest a dress that you would never try on just by eyeing it on the hanger. However, you might just find it’s your favorite at the end of the day. Your friends also know what looks great on you so be open to their suggestions as well. Go ahead and slip on that non-traditional color or unexpected silhouette. Remember, you don’t have any obligation to a dress just because you tried it on. Take a chance. Even if you hate it you can have a good laugh.
Don’t Limit Yourself to One Bridal Shop
If you happen to find the perfect dress at the very first bridal shop you try, that’s awesome. If you don’t, that’s ok too. Don’t settle. You aren’t limited to one bridal shop. Keep looking until you find a dress that makes you happy.
Be Careful Choosing Your Shopping Companions
It’s important that you take people shopping with you that you trust. Keep your party as small as you are comfortable with. Too many people will never agree on one dress. However, they don’t have to. It’s your dress and your big day. Make sure you don’t allow anyone to make you feel pressured into buying anything less than the dress you have your heart set on.
Designate Someone in Your Party as the Photographer
It can be hard to know exactly how you look in each dress. After trying on several dresses it can also be hard to remember which was which and the ones that you really liked. To help with this, have someone take photos of you from different angles in each dress. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just some phone pictures will work. Have them take a picture from the front, side, and back of each dress. This will give you an idea of how it will look in your wedding photos.
Dress for Bridal Gown Shopping
What does that mean? If you plan to wear heels with your dress, wear heels to try on dresses. If you may consider strapless options, wear a strapless bra. If you are going to be wearing any kind of shapewear, wear it to try on dresses. You want to get the most realistic idea of how you will actually look on your big day.
You will likely be spending several hours in your wedding dress. Make sure it is comfortable enough for this. This is supposed to be one of the best days in your life. You don’t want to be miserable in a dress that is squeezing the life out of you or making you itch. Consider how you will 3 hours in at your wedding.
Listen to Your Heart
A dress may fit perfectly and flatter every feature but if your heart doesn’t skip a beat when you look in the mirror it’s probably not the right dress for you. Find a dress that makes your heart happy. The rules don’t matter nearly as much as how you feel in your dress. Do you feel like a princess or a frump? Every bride deserves to feel beautiful on her wedding day.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you find the dress you love but it’s a little long or a little loose, don’t worry. It’s expected that some alterations will need to be made. Don’t pass up the dress of your dreams just because it needs a few small alterations. When ordering a dress, it’s safe to leave a little room than to order a dress that is tight with plans of slimming down. It’s easier to make the alterations this way.
Bonus Tip: Once You Find THE Dress, Throw Away the Bridal Magazines
Once you have found that magical unicorn of a dress that is everything you wanted, stop looking. Get rid of those bridal magazines and be happy and confident with your choice. Don’t second guess yourself and run the risk of finding a dress that makes you regret your original decision. Trust yourself enough to end the search knowing you found the perfect dress.