Wedding dresses are a big investment. Whether you choose to buy or make your own, it’s important to get the right fit for your shape, style and budget. Here are some tips to help you navigate the dress-buying process.
1. Make a list of your needs and budget (with your consultant’s input) before you start shopping for your wedding gown. This will help you avoid getting overwhelmed and buying something that isn’t what you want or can afford.
2. Shop for a wedding dress during off-season, when you can score deals from bridal retailers and designers.
3. Know your body type and what silhouette will be most flattering for it, then try on several styles that best match your shape.
4. Be open-minded during your wedding dress shopping and don’t be afraid to take chances.
Bridal consultants often hear stories of women who have a specific idea of what they’re looking for, then fall in love with something completely different when they try it on.
5. Be sure to bring a bra, Spanx, or other undergarments that are the same color as your dress’s fabric so that you can try it on with ease.
6. Be prepared for a number of fittings and alterations when you get your wedding dress.
7. Expect to pay more for a more detailed wedding dress, such as one with embroidery, crystals or beading.
8. If you have a smaller budget, consider purchasing pre-owned or discounted dresses from bridal boutiques.
9. Be open to a variety of fabrics and designs, even if you don’t want to spend the extra money for them.
10) Have a friend or family member help you try on dresses.
If you’re unsure what type of dress to wear for your wedding, a friend or family member can help you pick out the perfect look. They can also give you honest feedback on the fit and look of each dress.
10. Be sure to try on a wide variety of sizes, and don’t be afraid to go up in size if you’re not comfortable with your current size.
11. Don’t let a salesperson pressure you into making a decision immediately, especially if you’re not 100% certain on your style or budget.
13. If you have a busy schedule, consider booking an appointment on a weekday.
14. Unless you’re getting your dress custom made, your wedding dress should be ordered well in advance of your big day.
It will take anywhere from 8 to 12 months to order a wedding dress. This gives you plenty of time to check stock and negotiate for any potential rush fees or snags that may pop up.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider trying out wedding dresses from local shops and e-tailers to save money. Many online retailers are offering discounts to encourage people to purchase their gowns, so you can still get a beautiful dress without breaking the bank.