Working at one of the largest bridal stores in America, I learned a lot about wedding dress shopping! Here are some DO's and DON'Ts when shopping for your wedding dress...
DO your research. Do you know what ruching is, or what an illusion neckline looks like? Do you know what the different silhouettes are? It can take your stylist 20 minutes just explaining all the bridal verbiage, and that's precious time you could be trying on another dress! Trust me, this helps you out since you have a timed appointment.
DO keep an open mind when it comes to what kind of dresses you try on. 80% of brides (no exaggeration) end up getting the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what they had always envisioned themselves in.
DON'T bring a bunch of people to your appointment, (at least for the first one.) It’s hard enough to process everything without adding 11 different opinions to the mix. For your first time, go by yourself and get an idea of what you like and don’t like. Then, write down your favorites and bring back a couple people to help you narrow it down. Limit it to 1 or 2 people who will be honest, but most importantly make sure your opinion is number one!
DO trust your stylist. Dresses pretty much all look that same on the hanger, and while it doesn't hurt to look through the dresses yourself, your best bet would be to explain as best you can to your stylist what it is you want. She'll have a mental inventory of every dress and can find you ones that meet your criteria a lot faster than you can! Trying on dress after dress after dress is not the answer.
DO budget for the extras. If your budget is $500, is that just for your dress, or also your veil, bra, slip, bracelet, shoes and alterations? Cause that could easily add up to over $1,000!
DON'T forget to eat and use the restroom before your appointment! There's nothing worse than being neck-high in a 20-pound Vera Wang Ballgown and realizing you have to pee!
DO be prepared to try on dresses that aren't your exact size. Stores won't have every dress in every size. Usually, though, the stylists can clip a larger dress around you to give you an idea of what it will look like in your correct size, but it will take a little bit of imagination.
DON'T wait too long to start looking for dresses! Designer dresses can take up to 6 months to com in, and plus size, extra length, or petite dress also take a lot longer. Factor in alterations and you're looking at 8 to 10 months!
DO get a second opinion on your size when ordering a dress. Sometimes the stylists will guess your size (and while they're usually right) sometimes they aren't. It's always best to request that someone from the in-house alterations department takes a look at you as well. They are usually more educated in exact measurements than stylists.
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