You got engaged, it’s time to plan your wedding! Booking a venue, asking your bridal squad to be a part of your big day and buying your dream wedding dress are just a few of the fun tasks on your to-do list! While this is such an exciting and joyful time, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a successful and enjoyable wedding planning experience. Keep reading for our top ten tips on what to avoid when buying a wedding dress.
Ten Common Wedding Dress Shopping Mistakes:
- Not having a set wedding date.
While bridal gown shopping is perhaps one of the most exciting parts of planning your big day, it is best to hold off until you have a set wedding date (and a wedding venue)! Factors like the season you are getting married in and the style of venue can heavily impact your style choices, and the last thing you want to do is buy a dress and regret it later! Mistakes like these will cost you time, money and peace.
Many designers need around nine months to get your dress to you. Shopping too close to your wedding date sometimes won’t leave enough time for the gown to arrive and be altered properly, and if you shop too far in advance, you may miss out on some of the hottest wedding dress trends as wedding designers reveal their newest collections.
- Not having a set budget.
Budget is a significant factor to consider when wedding dress shopping! The last thing you want to do is try on a gown that costs more than you were able or willing to spend and fall in love with it. Additional items to factor into your budget are any accessories and wedding dress alterations. Make sure to specify with your bridal stylist whether the price point you have provided them includes extra costs or is solely for the dress.
- Not having a general idea of your wedding dress style preferences.
While it is sometimes challenging to nail down a dress style without trying on any gowns, one of the biggest wedding dress shopping mistakes is not doing your research! Before your appointment, many brides have a general idea of the silhouettes, fabrics and any wedding dress trends you like or don’t like so that your bridal stylist has a good foundation to start picking out gowns.
Bringing your Pinterest board or saving your favorite gowns on Instagram to share with your stylist is highly encouraged! You may discover that you actually don’t like a gown that you had on your list of favorites, and that is totally ok— it’s all part of the process!
- Booking too many bridal appointments in one day.
Sometimes it takes a few visits to various bridal boutiques to nail your dream wedding dress. It is important to do your research before choosing your bridal salon to narrow down your visits.
Remember to take your time while dress shopping! This will allow you to have a better shopping experience, giving each dress the consideration required. Eating well and staying hydrated is also essential to enjoy your bridal consultation to the fullest. We recommend booking no more than three appointments in a single day with plenty of time to relax and recharge in between them.
- Bringing too many people to your bridal appointment.
Speaking of appointments, your bridal appointment squad can impact your level of shopping success! While inviting all your nearest and dearest friends and family may be tempting, we recommend narrowing down your posse to two or three people who know you best, understand your vision and will offer supportive opinions when asked. More people often lead to more opinions, and this can cause confusion and distract from how you truly feel. Remember, you can always include those who don’t attend your appointment in other aspects of your wedding planning.
- Not bringing the proper undergarments & accessories to your appointment.
Being prepared is one of the best ways to ensure a fun and successful bridal shopping experience! Make sure to wear seamless nude underwear to your appointment and any other shapewear, undergarments or accessories — think grandma’s veil or mom’s vintage pearl earrings — you anticipate wearing on your big day. This will help you better understand how your gown will fit and work with any accessories.
We also recommend bringing your wedding shoes or shoes similar in height and style to what you think you will wear for your walk down the aisle. You would be surprised at how an extra three or four inches can change how a dress looks on you!
Pro-Tip: Make sure to step off of the pedestal and walk around in your gown. The pedestal, while amazing, can add up to six inches of extra height, which can change your proportions in relation to the dress.
- Not keeping an open mind.
While we touched on the fact that you shouldn’t have a completely open mind in tip number three, it is equally detrimental to have a closed-minded view of your wedding day look. It is common for brides to realize they want to go in a different direction after trying on a few gowns.
After all, it’s not every day that you try on a wedding dress! Staying in one lane and refusing to try on something out of the box can potentially lead not finding your dream dress. Trust your bridal stylists. They know the gowns so well, have seen them on dozens of brides, are knowledgeable about wedding dress trends and may just pull something unexpected that will change your dress shopping game.
- Not ordering the gown for the size you are today.
We understand wanting to feel like your best self on your wedding day may include a new health plan. While it may be tempting to ask your stylist to order your gown in a bigger or smaller size to give you that extra push to stick to your routine, we don’t recommend it! It can be challenging to predict how your shape will change since everyone loses weight and gain muscle differently, and you don’t need that extra stress during an already busy time. Remember, alterations exist for a reason. Keep in mind that taking a gown in is much easier than letting out the seams.
- Continuing the search after you find your dress.
You found your dream dress, popped some champagne and celebrated with your crew. Now stop looking! While it can be so tempting to continue the fun by trying on dresses or scrolling on Instagram, it often leads to confusion. Consider the possibility of unfollowing bridal designers, boutiques and other accounts that may lead you to second-guess your choice.
If you find your gown but are having trouble committing because you are afraid of missing out, it is also essential to stop looking. Trying on too many dresses will ultimately make you confused and short on time and can cause “analysis paralysis.” While there is no magic number of dresses to try on until you find “the one,” if the number continues to climb with no end in sight, we recommend you take a step back and take some time to reflect.
- Not leaving enough time for alterations.
Wedding dress alterations are key so that you look and feel your best on your big day! Make sure to purchase your gown with enough time to leave around two months for alterations, and if your dress arrives far before then, don’t wait until the last minute to book your alterations appointments! It will most likely take a few sessions to get your gown just right, so don’t skimp when it comes to allotting time for this critical step.
We hope that these wedding dress shopping tips help you as you search for “the one”! To see our selection of stunning dresses, shop for your dream dress here. Ready to book your appointment? You can find a store location closest to you. Happy shopping!