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8 Must Know Tips Before Wedding Dress Shopping

We're usually all about the flowers, but the dress is quite possibly the single most important and dreamed-about detail of any wedding. From our earliest days as little innocents and hopeful romantics, we lay in bed dreaming of walking down the aisle with every graceful step in a vision of beauty that would captivate all who watched us. As tastes evolve with age and cutting-edge trends come knocking on our door, we may shift our desires slightly but the unending anticipation of finding ‘the perfect one’ never diminishes; it drives us forward in search of something truly amazing that is true to ourselves. So what will be the dress I choose to walk down the aisle?

Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most momentous parts of the best day of your life, and to make it easier - and more fun - we have just the thing for you! Before you prepare to step into the fitting room for the first time, take note: having a few necessary items (think: tape measure!) and being prepared to ask yourself some key questions can help ensure that your shopping experience is as stress-free and joyful as possible.

What’s more, don’t forget to bring along a few trusted friends or relatives – a second opinion is always invaluable. With these recipes for success in hand, we hope you will have nothing but good times plus lasting memories when it comes time for trying on that gown. So get ready—shopping for your wedding dress awaits!

1. Invite only your closest friends and family

With all the excitement of planning a big day, it's easy to get carried away with who should be in attendance when dress shopping. Even though it seems like inviting everyone would make it extra special, remember that at the end of the day, this is your event and your journey! We know you’re looking to bring joy to everyone special in your life but on occasion less really is more. An overcrowded wedding world can blur the focus on what matters most - having those few closest people there to witness and celebrate with you is probably enough. Speaking from experience here, help from these confidants can also simplify the whole process of getting to “I Do” as they understand you best and have an eye for detail that can be critical for a perfect day.

2. Trust your sales consultant

Trusting a wedding consultant is key to finding the dress that speaks to you on your special day. After all, professionals who specialize in wedding attire do this every single day. If a dress isn't quite giving you that abracadabra feeling, don't stress—you won't hurt anyone's feelings. And if you're lucky? You'll fall head-over-heels in love with one of their choices and you'll look like absolute royalty in it! Who knows what looks best on you better than someone who does this for a living and has your dream dress in mind? Now go forth, bride-to-be, and find the perfect dress!

3. Be open minded

When you're dress shopping, it's important to go in with an open mind. Sure, you might have a dream dress in mind that you want badly, but it's important to remember that fashion is all about personal style and taste. It's totally okay to try on styles and silhouettes that are totally different from what you expected originally - you may find something even better than what your initial vision was! That's why we believe every time you try on a dress, no matter which one, it'll be an opportunity for self-discovery; how could it not be when you're able to see yourself literally transformed into a whole new person in each piece?!

4. Prepare inspo photos

If there's one thing your fairy godmother isn't going to help you with, it's finding that perfect wedding dress. But don't worry – coming to your appointment prepared is sure to make the magic happen! Researching beforehand and getting an idea of the type of dress you’re looking for means you'll have a base to narrow down from. Whether you prefer beading or lace, a tight bodice or a looser fit - there’s someone out there who can make it! And bringing photos of your dream aesthetic and venue can also help give your consultant an idea of what your vision is. When it comes to picking the right gown, doing your homework pays off in more ways than one - so get researching soon and keep those reference photos close at hand!

5. Bring heels similar in height to your wedding shoes

When you think of finally finding your perfect wedding dress, the next steps can sometimes seem a bit daunting! But don't worry—once you've picked out that dream dress, the consultant and alterations staff will be there to take your measurements for the custom gown. To make the process smoother, it's important to wear shoes with a similar heel height as your wedding shoes when meeting with them - this ensures that minimal alteration changes will need to be made once your dress arrives. Your confidence's guaranteed to skyrocket wearing those heels too; not only does it give you better posture in the dresse, but knowing you're comfortable and supported makes every shopping experience more enjoyable.

6. Start looking twelve months before your wedding day

If you’re saying “I do,” you best believe it takes a lot of “do” to pull off that perfect wedding look! It's quite a production—from finding the perfect dress and booking fittings for adjustments to making sure it arrives in time for the festivities. Generally speaking, give yourself six to ten months from start to finish; don't start earlier as it can cause more harm than good. If you fall in love with a gown too early, trends may have changed by the time your big day rolls around, leaving you with serious FOMO (that's "fear of missing out," if ya didn't know) and second-guessing your initial choice. Don't worry, though: shop with confidence knowing that 12 months will give you plenty of time to pick your one-of-a-kind gown and make sure it fits like a dream come true!

7. Plan your wedding budget before shopping

Before you start your wedding dress hunt, you should know that having an idea of how much you are willing to spend is essential. What many brides forget is the hidden costs associated with a special occasion gown, such as alterations! It's easy to get swept up in the romance of finding the dream dress only to be hit with a hefty alteration bill afterwards that goes beyond your budget. The trick is to take about $500 off the top for potential alterations before you even step foot into the store; this way, your consultant can show you gowns within your realistic budget and if you fall head over heels for one and need it adjusted, you already have room in your budget for those changes.

Limit your store selection to 3 or 4 stops

Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can be a fun but overwhelming experience - especially if you try to check out too many different stores in the area. Not only can that lead to exhaustion, but it can also make it really difficult to remember which bridal shops you visited and what dresses you liked. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to keep your selection limited – why not narrow down your choices to three or four stores at most? That way, you’ll have enough options without having too much of a struggle keeping track of all the details!

Most importantly, remember why you're shopping

It can be so hard to let go of the feeling that something better is out there, and we understand. Everyone’s dream dress looks different, and yours is sure to be unique too. That being said, when you try on a gown and you love it – really love it – don’t keep shopping. You might as well start looking for accessories since you’re officially done with the stressful part! Because while we all want to find that perfect dress, sometimes just finding one that you like enough is all that matters.

And if you remember why you’re here, which is to celebrate love, your search will be much more fulfilling and rewarding. So rather than let the pressure overwhelm you, take a moment and enjoy planning for your dream wedding day – it's worth it!

The dress of your dreams is definitely out there and when you find it, embrace it—and make sure you are having too much fun twirling around in front of the mirror that you forget about searching for something else! Trust that the amazing gown picked out is everything you’ve ever imagined and give yourself full permission to just enjoy this moment as beautiful bride-to-be walking down the aisle in an even more beautiful dress.

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