14 March 14  |  Wedding Events   |  

Getting the Gown

Written by Julianne Cuomo, Director of Celebrations.

You have the perfect guy and the flashy ring… now it’s wedding dress shopping time! Here are a few tips to get you started on finding your perfect wedding gown.

6 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips (3)-01

Research Before You Shop

Whether you know exactly what you think you want or haven’t the slightest clue, do a little research before you go in for your first bridal shop appointment. Printed photos will give the bridal consultant a better idea of what style dress you are wanting. We suggest going into the appointment knowing these facts:

  • Bridal gowns run 2 sizes smaller than regular clothing. (If you are a size 6, you will be ordering a size 8 or 10).
  • Sample gowns and most ordered gowns are designed for a perfectly proportionate 5’8″ woman. If you are shorter than 5’6″, certain styles may look less appealing than what you see in the magazines. Don’t get discouraged, just be open-minded to gowns you didn’t originally picture yourself wearing.
  • The majority of sample gowns available for try-on are sizes 8-12. If you are very petite, the shop will be able to accommodate you using clips. If you are plus sized, call around to find a store with the most gowns available for you.

Make an Appointment Early

Time is of the essence when ordering a wedding dress because most take 8-9 months to be delivered. This doesn’t include the time it takes for alterations to be completed. Therefore, we suggest making an appointment with a bridal shop as one of your first tasks in planning your wedding.

Remember Your Budget

Calculate your budget and set aside 10 percent for your gown. If you want to spend more than that number, you can find other areas within your wedding budget where you are willing to cut back. It’s a good idea to let your bridal consultant know what you want to spend on your dress. Falling in love with a dress you can’t afford can be heartbreaking and they can help keep you on track within your dress budget. In addition, keep in mind that alterations and the veil can cost around or above $150 each.

Two is a Crowd

The fact that you’re getting married is not only exciting for you, but also for your friends and family. And because they are excited, they will likely have opinions about your wedding dress style and other details. As the bride-to-be, remember that yours is the opinion that matters the most. To make your wedding dress appointment more enjoyable, limit the number of people you bring to your first appointment so that you don’t get overwhelmed with too many opinions. Bring your mom and one other respectable person such as your maid of honor or your sister. After you narrow it down to a couple of gowns or make a final decision, call in the crew for a second appointment.

Bring Your Accessories

Make sure you bring all of your accessories to your consultation including your shoes, veil, jewelry, and any other pieces you plan on wearing on your big day. Whether you plan to wear sparkly stilettos or cow-kickin’ cowgirl boots, having your shoes present will also help you decide which dress is best. If you don’t have a veil, try on different styles and lengths while at your appointment. For more ideas, you can ask your bridal consultant what they would add to your look or what brides with similar styles wear to complement their dress.

Take It From the Pros

Bridal consultants work with hundreds of brides just like you. They are familiar with the inventory and understand which styles of dresses will look best on your body. They see all types of gowns on girls just like you day-in and day-out. That said, plan to try on dresses you envision yourself wearing, but also ask the consultant to pick a few they think will look good. You may really like a style that you never thought about wearing!

Are you in the middle of planning your wedding? Check out our other blog posts for more wedding tips!