Dear brides, it is never too early to begin looking for your dream gown. Most wedding gowns are made to order, and production times can range from 4 to 6 months. So, once you have your venue and an idea of your vision, it is time to start looking for that perfect gown.
Here are some tips to know before setting out for that perfect dress:
- Set a budget. Call around to see what the prices ranges are in your area. Take your whole budget into consideration then set your gown budget. Remember, when setting your budget, alterations are not included in the cost of the gown. Be prepared to add an additional $300 to $800 for that perfect custom fit.
- Make an appointment. After you have done your research and pinned all your favorite styles, it is time to set an appointment! Most bridal boutiques operate by appointment only. An appointment will reduce the stress of not knowing whether a shop can accommodate you and will ensure you a personal consultant. Keep in mind when setting your appointments, weekends are the busiest days for all retail stores. Try booking your appointments mid-week in the early afternoon hours to reduce the chaos of an overcrowded salon.
- Eat! Don’t let hunger and fatigue ruin your special day. Whether it be your wedding day or dress shopping day, you need to eat. Trying on gowns is hard work and you will need the energy.
- Try all the silhouettes. Yes, we know you want a mermaid gown, a ball gown, an A-line gown, etc. but just for fun, try each silhouette. Just to be sure. Many brides end up in a different shape than they initially envisioned, and the result is a stunning, stylish, and happy bride on her wedding day!
- Trust your consultant. Share your vision with your consultant and try her recommendations. You will be surprised at how many gowns look like an empty sack on the hanger yet come to life on the body. And remember, the worst that can happen is you don’t like it- no big deal!
Bonus tip: It's about the process and the time spent with your closest compadres. Enjoy the moments, don't take it too seriously, and just know your perfect gown is out there!
Wedding Gowns: What To Know Before You Buy
Every bride dreams of that magical moment when she tries on her wedding gown for the first time. Unfortunately, that dream can quickly go awry if she is not prepared for what lies ahead. There are several important factors all brides should know before stepping out to find that perfect dress.
First, it is never too early to start shopping. Most wedding gowns are made-to-order, meaning, they can very well take up to six months to get from the designer to the store. If the wedding is in less than six months, visit a local bridal boutique and give them the time frame upfront. Many shops work directly with designers and can either rush ship, sell the sample right off the rack or check the designer’s warehouse inventory to decrease the wait time. That said, start early and avoid the hurdles if possible.
Next, set a gown budget and stick to it. Wedding gowns are expensive and can run from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars. It is highly advised to not try on gowns that are over budget, doing so is recipe for disappointment. When setting the budget keep in mind many bridal shops work with brides and allow a deposit for special orders cutting upfront costs in half. The remaining balance becomes due when the gown arrives in the shop. Check around as some shops offer layaway plans as well.
Do not forget to include alterations in the overall gown budget. Bridal alterations are more than simple tailoring; lace, hand sewn bead-work and delicate materials all contribute to the high cost of bridal alterations. Brides should be prepared to spend between $300 and $800 on their alterations. Again, the materials and fit will determine the final cost.
Most importantly, have fun! Every bride deserves an enchanted experience that she can treasure for a lifetime. Being prepared will allow the bride to enjoy her “yes to the dress” moment.