You find yourself googling phrases like wedding dresses Evanston, mermaid wedding gowns; phrases like ivory lace; cappuccino tulle overlay; pewter duchess satin; ornately beaded sash; fit and flare; silky, pleated chiffon skirt; off-the-shoulder design; tulle A-line skirt come up often; you dream of finding a wedding dress in which you’ll feel sexy, glamorous and beautiful.
But how do you, actually, get to have The Dress, without headaches?
Here are a few tips:
1. Shop around
If you’ve fallen in love with a particular designer:
Some designers are represented in a given area by only one boutique, which limits you; however,
Some designers are represented in a given area by more than one boutique. In this case, ‘shop around.’ Check their reviews, some boutiques treat their brides-to-be better than other boutiques.
2. Make an appointment
Yes, many bridal shops allow walk-in, if there is room. But it’s a gamble and gambles bring forth headaches. When making your appointment, keep in mind that more brides-to-be are off on week-ends so, if possible, make your appointment on a week-day: more attention from the boutique consultants, less rushing.
3. Start shopping early enough
It takes time to make a wedding dress, up to 6 months. Plus, it might need alterations. Those might take a month. So, start 9 or 10 months before you need your dress. Start later and, though you might get the dress you want, you could be charged rush fees. Not to mention your stress level will go up.
At the same time, don’t start too far out: your tastes in wedding dresses may change.
4. Invite shopping partners wisely
That means two things:
a. Don’t invite too many people or you may end up with too many opinions. Two to four is plenty.
b. Invite people with impeccable tastes. That means people whose tastes you approve of and who you trust and, even more importantly, who will support you.
5. Be clear on how much you can and/or want to spend
More precisely, be clear on how much you are able and willing to spend before you even choose the boutiques you’re going to visit and let your consultant know.
Even the best consultants can seem to be pushing you to spend more than you care to if you’re not clear on the subject and do not communicate it clearly.
6. Eliminate and do so wisely
The goal is to find a wedding dress you can have your wedding in, not to look at dresses, not try on dresses. After you see a few dresses, you should be able to get a feel what type of dress looks good on you, you should be able to narrow down to 2 or 3 finalists. Then, to one.
If you’ve seen shows about brides falling in love with a dress, having an Aha! moment and you do not, keep in mind that not everyone has such a moment, that it is possible for you to fall in love with several dresses (you are a complex being, no?).
If you cannot decide on one but have several you like, asks the consultant and the people your brought with you for their opinions, and take them seriously. Looking at dozens and dozens of dresses more is more likely to confuse you further.
7. Choose your accessories during the appointment
It’s easier to see how the accessories fit your dress where you’re wearing it than when you’re not.
8. Take the consultant’s opinions seriously
Yes, you know what you want, but they have more experience. They’re quite able to imagine how a dress looks on you, so if they recommend you try one you don’t think will look good on you, give them the benefit of the doubt, try it on. Many a bride-to-be was pleasantly surprised trying on a dress they didn’t like on the hanger.