From Say Yes to the Dress to I Found the Gown, TLC has us brides spending countless hours watching these favorites. So when it is time for you to stop daydreaming of when you will get the chance to dress shop and make it a reality, how do you prepare?
While we love these shows, it is not always the experience brides have when they dress shop. These shows can either set us up for unrealistic expectations or prepare us for a bridal gown appointment. We prefer the latter, and we are guessing you do too!
Kleinfields (Say Yes to the Dress) and Brides By Lori (Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta) are large bridal shops (much larger than the average) with a large inventory of wedding gowns. If you are going dress shopping in your local neighborhood, you shouldn't be comparing the two! Although, it is what we have in mind as brides, so it sets us up for unrealistic expectations. This post is to help prepare you for your dress shopping experience, see our tips below!
1. Do your Research & Make an Appointment
Always make an appointment! We can't stress this enough! If you want proper care and time dedicated to you, an appointment is a must. At some shops, this is even a requirement! Research the store and what designers they carry. Look at the designer's websites, do you even like the dresses? Remember, just because you like a designer, does not mean the bridal shop will carry every dress by that designer! Typically shops order between 10-20 dresses from a Spring or Fall collection. If you are wanting to try a specific gown on, call and see if it is available to try on or see if they can get it for you to try on!
2. Prepare for your appointment (budget, fabrics, styles, designers, etc...)
This piggybacks off the last point. Do you like what you see the designer puts out. Maybe they have a heavy lace collection or a lot of mermaids, do you like this? Is this what you are going for?
3. Go early in the morning (schedule lunch afterward)
Try and schedule your appointment first thing in the morning. Bridal shopping can be tiring, so plan a lunch afterward. You will be hungry, the break will be nice, and the company of your loved ones will make it a memorable meal! You may be celebrating the purchase of the gown you found earlier that morning (yay! pop some champagne!) or you may be thinking about it and heading back after you take a lunch break! Either way, scheduling a break such as lunch between bridal shop visits, is highly recommended!
4. Bring proper undergarments (what you are comfortable with others seeing)
Ladies, take it from me, I used to work at a bridal shop. Wear or bring undergarments you are comfortable with your bridal consultant seeing you in. A thong may not be the best choice. A strapless bra may be a great idea for you to bring. Just be comfortable. You will be getting in and out of luxury dresses. Some big, some with many material layers, just be comfortable in your skin, whatever undergarments you choose to wear!
5. Consider who you are bringing (less is more)
This is not the time to bridal your bridal party! I repeat this is not the time! It may not even be the time for your mother-in-law. It may be best suited for a close friend, a sister, your mom, or a very close aunt to be there. Bringing two people is ideal because you will not be overwhelmed by opinions and most likely you are super close to these people who will help assist you in finding that gown!
Have a question preparing for your appointment? Let's hear it! I started my wedding industry career working at a bridal shop that I almost purchased right out of college! Let me help answer any of your questions!