DO your research. Don’t be afraid to browse the good ole’ world wide web and pin some of your favorite gowns. This gives you a chance to get familiar with designers and become acquainted with what is currently trending in bridal.
DON’T be afraid to try something new. If you pinhole yourself into only trying on what you liked while browsing photos, chances are you are missing out on some other amazing gowns. It’s okay to want to try on your lace, fitted, bohemian gown but don’t be so quick to judge other gowns that don’t fit into your category. And ladies, please trust your bridal consultant. They see these gowns day in and day out on a variety of body types. Bridal consultants are your friend.
DO allow yourself enough time. Unless you are buying “off the rack”, most designer bridal gowns have a 4-6 month shipping time frame! And, don’t forget the 8-10 weeks you will need for alterations to make sure the gown fits you perfectly.
DON’T start shopping until you are ready. If you are planning an extreme diet or enhancement to the girls, plan ahead. Choosing a size based on hips that you plan to shrink or breasts you plan to enlarge by 3 sizes can cause added stress and more time and money in alterations later down the road.
DO trust your instincts. You will know within 30 seconds of having on the gown whether its even a possibility. Don’t waste your time in gowns that you know are not “the one.”
DON’T try on 100 gowns. This is overwhelming and will absolutely confuse you. If you tried on 100 pairs of jeans, I doubt you would be able to tell them apart by the end and the same goes for bridal gowns. Shopping for your dress should be a fun experience, it shouldn’t be stressful. Planning a wedding has enough of that already.
DO focus on how YOU feel in the gown. Do you feel beautiful? Comfortable? And more importantly, do you feel like yourself? Buy a dress that feels like you, and don’t buy into the preconceived notion of what a bride should look like.
DON’T wait for tears. Everybody is different and everybody processes emotions differently. There are many different emotions that can tell you if your gown is the one!
DO bring a couple special people with you. Buying a wedding gown is a very exciting, emotional and once in a lifetime experience. Share it with the people you love most.
DON’T bring 10 guests with you. It is more stressful than you might realize to have a large entourage with you when you’re trying to make an important purchase. Imagine standing in a gown you’re seeing for the first time, you’re taking it all in and trying to decipher how you feel in the gown when suddenly you’re hit with 10 opinions all at once. “I like the lace, I don’t like the top, it needs more beading, it’s too poufy, the train is too long, this one is my favorite, do you have anything similar but without the straps?” It’s overwhelming and unfair to you. Keep it simple and intimate.
DO ask questions. Be knowledgeable in the process of ordering your gown, the terms and conditions of the sale and what the next steps are when your gown arrives. This ensures that you feel confident, safe and it keeps you on track and within your time frame.
DON’T continue shopping once you’ve found your dress. You wouldn’t continue to date after your engagement, so please ladies, don’t cheat on your gown. Dresses have feelings too.
Above all, enjoy the process and your moment to shine. It’s such an exciting time. Congratulations!! And happy shopping!