Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were Ten years and you know the exact specifications you want for it down to the last sequin, or you’ve never thought about it until your future spouse’s mother complained, “You still haven’t gotten your gown,” we’ve got you covered on how to choose a wedding gown.
Every bride wants to find the perfect wedding gown that makes her feel beautiful. Take some things into consideration when choosing a wedding gown to narrow the options. This allows you to find the right dress for you with the least fuss and bother.
Shopping for a wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But with so many gowns to choose from, it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Here’s how to hone in on the right style for your big day.
- Start With a Budget
Before even starting to choose a wedding dress, set your budget. You need to know how much you can afford to spend (including alterations and accessories). You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that’s out of your reach. Falling in love with a gown that costs too much makes it hard to be happy with another dress. Be prepared to pay a deposit of half the cost of the gown when you order it. Ask the employees to show you the least expensive options first. They can work their way up to more expensive options.
· Be Open
Bridal consultants will tell you that they constantly see women come in with a set idea of what they want for a gown, then try it on and don’t actually love it—and instead, fall for something completely different they’d never considered. Keep an open mind while wedding dress shopping. You may find your dream dress that you didn’t know would be your dream dress.
Knowing the place and time of your wedding will help focus your search. Will you be having a daytime ceremony on the beach? You can rule out ball gowns with long trains and dramatic embellishments. Exchanging vows in a candlelit cathedral? Avoid short slip dresses or anything that looks like it could be worn to a cocktail party. Most fabrics are suitable year-round, but some, like linen and organdy, are more appropriate for warm weather, while velvet and brocade are best left for winter.
- Start Early
Begin shopping six to nine months before your wedding. It takes about four months for a manufacturer to make a dress and another two months to complete the alterations. Very elaborate gowns will take longer. Short on time? Many shops do rush orders for an additional fee, but your choices will likely be limited. They also may have a sale section with samples you can buy off the rack. If you’re lucky, you can get one that needs just minor alterations.
- Do Your Research
It’s not every day you see terms such as basque waist or Watteau train or try to differentiate between three shades of white. Pore over bridal magazines, books, and websites to learn about fabrics, silhouettes, and the lexicon so you can better convey what you’re looking for. Start a folder with pictures of dresses or details that appeal to you, and take it with you when you shop.
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· Collect Examples of Dresses You Like
It helps when choosing a wedding dress to have examples of dresses you like. This gives salespeople a starting point when they’re helping you try on dresses. Know exactly what you like about each dress. This will help the salespeople branch out with more options.
- Don’t Forget About Used Bridal Gowns
There’s no law that says you need to purchase a brand new wedding gown. In today’s day and age, many women are buying their’s gently-worn. Not only to save money but also to ‘go green’ by recycling.
- Start Low and Go From There
Sure, you could go directly to the most expensive bridal salon, retail store, or online bridal and start there. You might get lucky and find a gorgeous wedding gown too (or you might not). But what’s stopping you from starting at the low end and working your way up? You might find something you love along the way and save yourself a lot of money, which you can then use for something else, like a better band, better food, or some extra perks on your honeymoon.
- In the end, choose the dress that feels right for you, no one else. “I have seen it happen too many times where a bride gets the dress that everyone else wants her to wear and is miserable. This is YOUR day and YOUR dress!” You should feel beautiful and confident in your wedding gown; only you can make the right choice, not your maid of honor, Mom, or whomever else. Unsure if it’s truly “The One?” Try adding a veil to help get yourself in the wedding-day mindset and see if you could imagine yourself walking down the aisle in this dress. If the answer is “yes” and you don’t want to take it off, that’s a sure sign that your search is over!
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