If there’s one thing we know for sure (other than how much we love dogs), it’s that there is nothing more radiant than a bride on her wedding day. In our role as wedding planners, we get the honor of seeing so many beautiful brides in their stunning wedding gowns wedding after wedding, and that is hands down, one of our favorite parts of the day. We love to see how each bride has their own unique style and it always shows through in the wedding dress they chose. But before the walking down the aisle, first looks, and floral arrangements, a bride first needs to find her dress… and we both know firsthand, it’s not typically a simple process.
Because the search for the wedding gown of your dreams can turn into more of a nightmare, we’ve put our heads together and came up with our top 5 tips to finding your perfect wedding dress.
1. Do Some Preliminary Research, but Not Too Much
Pinterest can be a wormhole of wedding dress inspiration and can absolutely be a good resource when it comes to narrowing down what you love and what you don’t love as far as wedding dress styles, trends, colors, and fabrics. However, the key here is not to get too sucked in to the wormhole. Make your wedding dress inspo Pinterest board, and maybe even reference it when visiting bridal stores so the bridal dress associate can get a better understanding of what you are looking for. BUT, don’t make it the end-all-be-all. Some light wedding dress research will do you good, but obsessing too much over certain brands and styles will only make the process that much more difficult, which brings us to our next point…
2. Go Into Bridal Stores with an Open Mind
Not every bridal gown style suits every type of body. You may go into the bridal store thinking you are dead-set on mermaid cut, but then quickly realize that a-line is much more flattering. Something to keep in mind: THAT’S OK! Don’t limit the dresses you try on to only the style you were oogling over. Try out different bridal gown styles and see what works best for you and what you are most comfortable in. We can’t stress this enough and 8 times out of 10, the bride-to-be ends up with a style that they didn’t originally intend on getting.
3. Leave Enough Time for Alterations
Waiting until the last minute to find your perfect wedding dress can seem tempting for the bride who is always on trend. Wait until 2 months before the wedding, find the perfect dress, bada bing, bada boom, right? Wrong. It’s extremely uncommon that the bridal store has your specific size in stock, and that being said, ordering your size can sometimes take over 6-8 weeks to receive – and that’s not including alterations. Leave ample time for you to receive your wedding dress and have it perfectly tailored to your body. We recommend starting your dress hunt no less than 4-5 months out from your big day.
4. Stick to Your Budget
Right when you decide the wedding dress search needs to begin, set a clear budget on what you are willing to spend for the dress of your dreams. You definitely don’t want to go into debt over the dress and you still want to be able to comfortably afford the other aspects of your wedding day (don’t forget about everything else!). Call around to your local bridal stores to see if they have dresses within your budget before visiting and when you arrive to your appointment, don’t hesitate to let the store associate know what your budget is so they show you the dresses within your price range. Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to wedding dress budgeting – there is more money to be spent once you receive the dress (the costs don’t end there). Depending on the extensiveness of your alterations, you can expect to spend upwards of $200-$500, even $600+ sometimes on that part alone.
5. Keep in Mind Your Wedding Theme & Time of Year
Now, we’re not saying that if your wedding is on the beach to go barefoot and wear a chiffon, flowy gown, but we are saying that if your wedding is on the beach in July, you should probably avoid anything with heavy satin. Know what your wedding style will be as well so that you can look like you fit in aesthetically for your wedding photography and your photos will turn out that much more gorgeous. Also know your venue and the climate you will be getting married in to avoid different styles and fabrics that may not suit the time of year.
With these few tips, you will be on your way to finding the most perfect wedding dress for your big day with confidence, certainty (and no second guessing!).