There aren't many things on this earth as dreamy as walking into a bridal salon for the first time. Each store, with rows and rows of wonderful white fabrics and runway-worthy silhouettes, is overwhelmingly enchanting. Combine that magical feeling with one part excitement, two parts mama's opinion, and three parts champagne, and you can bet all normal reasoning goes right out the door.
So, before the bridal store casts its spell on you, it's important to do a little homework. That way, when you won't be surprised.
Here are a few helpful things to keep in mind before you slip on your first dress.
1.The earlier you can shop, the better
It's helpful to know the general tone of your wedding before hitting the boutiques, but it's shocking how far in advance you need to order your gown. We recommended shopping eight to ten months in advance. This will ensure your selection isn't limited based on your ordering timeframe, and, just in case you need multiple shopping trips, you'll have plenty of extra shopping time.
2. Keep your shopping team small.
We know that "Say Yes to the Dress" brides often have a couch full of commentators, but we don't recommend it. Invite a two or three people whose opinions you trust to avoid being overwhelmed or deterred from a dress you love by too many comments from the peanut gallery.
3. Make sure you do your research
Definitely do a good bit of online looking before you shop, but be careful of the fairytale world Pinterest depicts. If you spend too much time scrolling through perfectly styled images of super expensive dresses, you may end up a little bit disappointed because you know you can't afford
4. Don't be pressurized, remember that every bride has a different experience
Just because your sister picked her dream dress during her first-ever appointment doesn't mean the pressure is on for you to do the same. Don't be deterred if it takes you longer than you expected, but also don't walk away if you fall in love at first sight.
5. Make sure you have a budget and a general rule of dress in your mind
Its is critical to keep an open mind during your appointment, you've got to give your consultant some direction for a successful shopping experience. Your budget, taste, and over-all wedding vision are some of the first questions you will be asked, so come prepared.
6. Make sure your appearance is attractive
There's nothing like having all eyes on you to make you hyper aware of your appearance. Stepping out of your yoga pants with no make up on into a designer ball gown may not set the right tone for wow-worthy appointment. Don't get all dolled up, but looking presentable will help you feel good in the gowns you're trying on.
7. Don't let bridal sizes scare you. It won't be your normal number.
Bridal sizes are tiny. Don't get down if the gown you're trying on is a much bigger size than you normally wear. It's not you. It's the dress. Really.
8. Come ready to commit, but don't force it.
When the right one comes along, you'll know it. It sounds cliché. We know. But, it's so true. If you're not feeling it, don't let mama's tears on the sideline talk you into the wrong gown. On the other hand, if it's the one, don't feel like you have to walk away and think about it. Go for it.
9. Be prepared to approve every little detail before you leave.
The process isn't over when you pick the dress. As you're getting measured, you'll get questions on every detail of your dress from any variation in fabric color to the heel height you plan to wear on your wedding day. You'll have to sign off on them all.
10. Take a picture of "the one."
If you're shopping on a normal schedule, it might be six or more months until you see your gown again. Though you're sure to obsess over any pictures you took of yourself in the dress in the meantime (it's impossible not to!), don't second-guess yourself. Keep in mind that the dress in that picture.
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