Finding the right dress, like picking the right venue is the cornerstone of many other decisions you make for your big day. Making sure your dress presents your personality and your style is vital in choosing a dress that will make you feel like the belle of the ball! We asked wedding designer Keitha Thomas to give us some of her top tips on choosing the right dress!
Budget- Before you do anything, figuring out how much you want to spend on a dress is essential to making your dress shopping experience an ease. Knowing your budget (and sticking too it) will give you the right mind set when trying on dresses because you will have a plan before you get to the bridal salon.
Being able to be candid with your bridal consultant allows you to tell them what you want and gives the consultant room to work their magic by finding your dream dress within your budget. Remember choosing the right dress includes veils, undergarments, accessories, alterations and the shipping of the dress. Typically all these things could set you back a few hundred or an extra thousand dollars. Take all this into consideration when your setting a budget.
Vendor and Location-Having a beach or destination wedding? Go for ethereal flowy gowns made out of chiffon, crepe, organza, or Georgette. Knowing all these factors beforehand will help you focus your search.
Research with a positive attitude//Have a game plan- Time is of the essence so sourcing through bridal magazines and looking for inspiration for your dress are a must. Be creative with your inspiration as well! If a current color stands out to you (besides white) document it with a photo or write down the color. Also take time to learn about fabrics, silhouettes and the bridal lingo so you can convey your ideas well.
Creating a notebook or folder where you store all your dress pictures will help keep you organized and is also a great carry-on to take with you for all your appointments.
The same goes with dresses you love. Print them out. These can be helpful to the bridal consultations who are assisting you.With that said it's crucial that you keep a positive attitude throughout your search. Staying positive and keeping an open mind that even if your dream dress doesn't fit your body shape a dream dress is out there!
Another part to planning is keeping in mind time frame. Try to start your search six to nine months before your wedding. This gives you ample time to research bridal salons, find out what designers they carry, prices ranges and how far in advance you need to book your appointment. Be aware, some salons have wait lists!
Who Are You Bringing- Bringing your bridal entourage is OK but remember to choose wisely. Don't bring your cousin just because your mother asked you too. Same with friends. If you haven't spoken in a while they may not be the best person to invite with you to try on dresses.
You want people who are going to be honest and supportive of you. These people must realize this is your BIG DAY not their's. Shoot for 2-4 people for a group size. Another point to remember is to take every one's opinions with a grain of salt. Don't let other people opinions steer you away from your dream gown!
Shop Your Shape-Being honest with yourself about your shape can be the hardest part for a bride. Especially if your self conscious. But remember you are beautiful and embrace the skin your in. Trust us this will make your salon visits more of an enjoyable experience.
Bridal wear generally runs smaller by at least two sizes, so don't be fazed by the large numbers. Be willing to try on all types of silhouettes but in that know what fits your body. If you have curves try a mermaid gown to accentuate your curves. If your less curvy go for fit and flare dresses. Be honest with yourself and we promise you'll be surprised with the results.
Bring Extras- Want wear grandmother's pearls? Your mother's veil? That undergarment you can't live without? Don't forget to bring them to your appointment. Some salons may carry these items but it's a good idea to bring your own just in case.
Don't Forget About Him- Wedding planning can so easily fall on the shoulders of just the bride. But true wedding planning includes the groom too. Remember it's about the both of you so getting your grooms opinion on what he likes should be considered in your initial research stages. After all he is the one you want to impress!
But with all these tips we want to be sure to add some trusted don'ts while in the dress shopping process:
Don't buy a dress that you don't love.
Don't buy on a dress you haven't tried on.
Don't buy a "I'm going to lose 10 pounds dress!" Buy the size you need now because it's always easier to take a dress in then to take it out!
Don't try to please everyone! This is about what you want!
Choosing your dress is a hard process but keeping in mind what you want should always be at the heart of all your wedding planning. Even with your dress. We hope these tips help!
Don't forget to leave a comment below to let us know how your shopping is going!
Still need more help? Want more ideas? We've got em! Contact us and we'll be happy to sit down and talk about some ideas with you! Have some ideas of your own? We'd LOVE to hear them! Share some of your inspiration with us.