There are a ton of things to consider when buying clothes. Now, multiply that by about a million. Then you’ll begin to understand all that needs to be taken into account when purchasing the most important dress of your life: your wedding dress.
Buying a wedding dress is about more than the fit or the fabric (though those are important, too). It’s about finding the outfit that represents who you are at this moment and the future you’re walking down the aisle toward. But beware, there are things to know before wedding dress shopping.
Anyone who’s ever walked into a bridal shop can tell you: the options are plentiful and the excitement can be downright overwhelming. That’s why it can be good to go in with a game plan. Or, skip the in-person altogether and find a reputable bridal salon for buying a wedding dress online.
In either case, here’s what to know before going wedding dress shopping.
1. Get started early.
Everyone says it, but it’s so true. Begin wedding dress shopping as soon as possible. You can’t estimate how long it will take to find ‘the one’. And even when you do, most brides are looking at up to three or four fittings before it’s perfect. That’s on top of the time it takes for your dress to be ordered and shipped. Some dress makers don’t even start putting a wedding dress together until they get an order and know approximate sizing. The last thing you want is a stressed out bride with no bridal gown.
2. Be open to new styles.
It’s always a good idea to have a few cuts in mind before going to a wedding dress shop or site. Don’t assume these are the only options though. A qualified bridal consultant can help pull styles you might not have previously considered, but that will really flatter your future. Just because you have a full bust doesn’t mean you can’t wear a ballgown wedding gown. Even if you’re on the shorter side, you can still get the illusion of length in a satin bridal dress. Whatever your goal, there’s absolutely a bridal style out there that can help you capture your heart and your confidence.
3. Stay away from knockoffs.
Finding a dress you love at a price you don’t is painful. But resist the temptation to shop online and buy a cheap, off-brand wedding gown. Trust us. We see it all the time. Bride meets dress. They fall in love. Bride ditches dress for knockoff gown. Scam and heartbreak ensues. You’ll likely only delay getting your real dress ordered. And it’s just not worth jeopardizing your wedding over a few dollars.
4. Budget for accessories.
Elaborate or simple, flashy or matted, you’re going to need some accessories to complete your look. Don’t get so over excited about the dress that you forget to put back a few dollars for the final touches. Take shoes, for example. Unless you’re a total boho bride, you’re probably going to be wearing some. It can be good to bring a couple different pairs when trying on dresses. That way, you get a better idea of the length you’ll need. By the time you make it to the alterations and fittings phase, you’ll definitely need to have made a decision. Same goes for jewelry and your veil. If neither of those are applicable, you’re almost certainly going to have to spend for the right undergarments.
5. Don’t overemphasize the bridal size.
Repeat after us, “I am not my dress size”. That’s true across the board, but especially when wedding dress shopping. Since all designers will have a slightly different sizing model, don’t be surprised if the number you see on the tag is different from what you’re used to. With the right wedding gown, you can celebrate your figure at any size, knowing it’s how much you’re loved – not how much you weigh – that matters.
Bridal Buying FAQ
What’s the best time to buy a wedding dress? Somewhere between six and 12 months is the ideal time to start the shopping process.
When to start looking for a wedding dress? Depending on your date, you may want to start shopping as soon as you get engaged.
How long before the wedding should you buy your dress? Buy your dress as soon as possible and be sure to ask about shipping times and policies.
- How far in advance should bridesmaid dresses be ordered? Mother of the bride gowns and bridesmaids dresses should be ordered at least six months before the wedding date to ensure they can be shipped and fitted in plenty of time.
Buying your dress is one of the most exciting parts of getting married. Why wait?! Follow these wedding dress shopping tips and you'll be taking the aisle in style without any unnecessary stress. Contact us if you're ready to get started on your forever!