10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips and Tricks

Saying "Yes to the Dress!" can be one of the hardest decisions to make as a bride. There are so many options out there and it can be overwhelming! I have worked at one of the top bridal stores in the U.S., so here are a few tips and tricks when shopping for your wedding dress!

1.Go by yourself to your first appointment. I know, you want to bring your 12 friends, but I promise that will be nothing but a headache! Go by yourself, at least for the first time, get an idea of what you like, then come back in with a few friends and try on dresses you know you already like.

2. Do your hair and makeup like you would on your wedding day. So many brides have a hard time envisioning themselves wearing a dress they love because they came straight from hot yoga to their appointment. It's about being able to envision yourself walking down the aisle, and if you look like you just ran 7 miles, it's gonna be a lot harder to do.

3. Book your appointment during the week. During the weekends the consultants are usually juggling multiple customers, so your experience may not be as good, and could lead to you potentially not finding your dress. If you would like a quieter, more personalized experience, don't make your appointment on the weekend!

4. Know what the "Extras" are. When you are asked “What is your budget?” you probably wouldn't think to include extra items like your veil or alterations. In fact, there are 11 extra things your stylist will try and sell you besides your gown: shoes, veil, bracelet, necklace, earrings, headband, belt, bra, slip, preservation kit, and garment bag! And most brides will need alterations too, so that’s an extra couple hundred dollars. Knowing this beforehand can help you stand firm in your budget when the pressure is on to buy other things!

5. Ask about discounts on other bridal stuff! You’ll usually get discounts on other bridal items if you get your dress from this place! This includes, shoes, bridesmaids dress, flower girl dresses, and even mother-of-the-bride and grandmother-of-the-bride dresses!

6. Think about having a corset put in your wedding dress. If it doesn't already have one, consider getting one put in because these are a life-saver the day of the wedding! You won't have to worry about your zipper popping, and the sizing is SO flexible, if you happen to loose or gain a few pounds, you'll just pull the ribbon as loose or tight as you want it! It will usually cost you anywhere from $100-$200. This can also be a great solution if you find a dress that's too small, as a stylist will likely order a dress 2 sizes smaller for ladies wanting to have a corset put in.

7. Come in as soon as you can after you get engaged. Dresses can take up to 6 months to come in, especially if you will need a PLUS, PETITE, or EXTRA LENGTH dress. Keep in mind, alterations will take an extra month or two after you get your dress! There are so many things when planning a wedding that you can’t do super early, but getting your dress is NOT one of them. It should be one of the first things you do, besides booking your venue.

8. Use the online dress finder to find dresses. On the store's website, there is a feature where you can input what features you would like in a dress and it will show you all the dresses with those features. Then, you can save those dresses to your profile, and they can pull that list up when you come in for your appointment! This saves SO much time! (and time is important when you only have 90 minutes to find the dress of your dreams!)

9. Ask about payment plans. If you find a dress that it a little bit out of budget, or you find a dress within budget but you want to get all the accessories, remember there are payment plans! A soft credit check will determine whether you get approved for this- and the best part, they’re usually interest-free for at least 6 months! Layaway is another option as well which will probably give you 60 days to pay it off. You have to have the exact dress in store you'll be buying, so it will be an off-the-rack dress. If they don't have your size or color and you would still like to do layaway, there is another option. Essentially, you pay the dress off as you would a regular layaway, and once it’s paid off in full, it’s then ordered in the right size and color. The only thing with this is, you have to have a good amount of time before your wedding to be able to do this. To break it down, paying off the layaway takes 2 months, + up to 6 months for the dress to come in, + 2 months for alterations, + factoring in you don't want to pick your dress up the week of your wedding, that’s about a year.

10. Research the bridal lingo. Make sure you do a little bit of research to know the bridal gown verbiage before your appointment. It makes the process a whole lot smoother for you and for your stylist.

11. (okay I lied there's 11) Ask about the preservation kits! If you're planning on getting your dress dry-cleaned after the wedding, this store will offer it to you half-price if you buy it the same day you buy your dress! Dry cleaning will cost you about $200, but they offer dry cleaning plus heir looming for $90! They will give you a box, you put your dress in it after the wedding, and drop it off at the closest UPS using the pre-paid shipping label. Then they'll clean it and use a solution that will preserve it for 30 years! It's sent back to you in an heir loom box you can display. It's great to have even if you're planning on selling your dress because you would have to have it cleaned anyway!

Click Here to read 5 Must-Ask Questions When Shopping For Your Wedding Dress

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