Congratulations! It’s time to start your search for the perfect wedding dress. But how will you know when to say yes? Start with some basic rules of thumb. Finding the right dress can be fun and empowering, especially if you don’t worry about following every trend or impressing every friend. Before you get started, keep these ten shopping tips in mind:
1. Start as Soon as Possible
Procrastination is not an option. Short of leaving your fiancé on bended knee to rush to the nearest dress shop, you should be starting your search as soon as you start planning the wedding. Some dresses take months to arrive from the designer, after all, and some customizations and alterations can take weeks or months to complete.
2. Set a Price Before You Shop
Spare yourself the heartache of falling in love with a dress you can’t afford. Figure out how much you can spend on the dress, and limit your browsing to the gowns in that price range. Remember: alterations and accessories cost more, so the sticker price isn’t necessarily the final amount.
3. Shop in the Middle of a Workday
If you’re hitting the bridal boutiques, crowded weekend mornings might get overwhelming. It’s easier to pick the right gown when you have room to browse and time to try on plenty of options, so consider taking a half-day and shopping on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead.
4. Wear the Right Undergarments
The wrong bra will ruin any outfit, and that’s especially true for light-colored, form-fitting gowns. When you shop for dresses in person, wear a nude, well-fitting, supportive bra and underwear. If you have multiple necklines in mind, consider bringing a second bra (or choose a style with detachable straps).
5. Find a Wedding Dress that Fits Right Now
Even if you plan to hit the gym before your wedding, your safest bet is to get a dress that comfortably fits your current body. Remember: you can always take it in to accommodate slimming or toning in certain areas, but it’s more difficult (and often more expensive) to adjust a dress that’s too small.
6. Don’t Give Other Opinions Too Much Power
Want to feel yourself on your wedding day? Shop for a wedding dress that’s right for you, and only you. Magazines are full of bridal fashion trends that look great in glossy pages, but may or may not flatter your body type or stand the test of time. Meanwhile, dressing rooms are full of unsolicited opinions from friends and family members. Your tastes and priorities should come first.
7. Consider a Custom Dress
Sick of trying on gowns that have some, but never all of the details you want? Overwhelmed by the sheer number of options? Consider customizing your wedding dress. Our designers start with one-on-one sessions to learn exactly what you want, and they can tweak their sketches to accommodate your vision as you explore different styles, fabrics, beading techniques, lace patterns, necklines and more.
8. Make Your Own Dress Modifications
Is your grandmother’s wedding dress gorgeous and meaningful, but the style is outdated or not quite you? Did you find the perfect dress in a shop, but it just feels like something is missing? Don’t be afraid to make it your own with wedding dress alterations and other modifications. For example, you can transform the entire silhouette just by shortening the skirt or adding volume with a petticoat.
9. Design Your Own Custom Dress
Of course, the surest way to get the dress of your dreams is to create a custom wedding dress and decide every detail yourself. Some brides know exactly what they want and go straight to the drawing board; others try on countless dresses first, eventually learning which style, structure, sleeve, neckline, color, and length they prefer.
10. Trust Your Instincts the First Time
It should be easy to picture yourself walking down the aisle in your choice. Of course, finding or designing the perfect dress is a different process for every bride, and you may need time to think about your decision. But don’t overthink it, and don’t waste time trying to convince yourself or seek reassurance about a dress or design element that doesn’t feel right.
Ready to find the dress of your dreams? Our design team will help you explore your options, including alterations and customizations that add one-of-a-kind touches to our designer gowns. Request an appointment with us at TK Bridal & Alterations today to start your search.