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Whether you have been thinking about your dream wedding gown and doing your fair share of research since quite some time now or you have even started thinking about your bridal look until your other half suddenly asked the question, bridal dress shopping always seems overwhelming at first. It is normal for people to share their advice when you are just starting the process; however, these advice are rarely anything other than what you would easily find in the plethora of small and big bridal websites.

However, there are certain pieces of advice that are necessary yet not so easily available. Without these, the bridal dress shopping experience can easily turn to be stressful rather than enjoyable. Wedding dress is likely one of the most important pieces of garments that one is going to own. Moreover, it is a substantial investment that one is going to make. So, let’s take a quick look at these less mentioned tips that  will help you choose the right wedding gown for your big day. 

  • There is no alternative to research:

You might have a beautiful silhouette chosen for your bridal gown, the sleeves and neckline are yet to be decided and you pretty well know that you want to consider only white bridal dresses. Despite having all that figured out, you may or may not actually like the dresses that you put on when you finally hit the bridal boutique. So, do your research to have a fair idea of the available option in styles, patterns, fabrics, colours, silhouettes, necklines, sleeves, prices and more. Know what’s closest to your personal style and what will look the best on you. Browse through bridal websites, pin pictures to your Pinterest boards and get yourself some bridal magazines to compile a visual file of your favorite dresses.

  • Don’t be too rigid; be open to different styles:

So, yes you already have a dress in mind that you want to wear for your big day but have you actually tried it on yet? Is the fabric comfortable? Is the silhouette right for your body type? Ask any bridal consultant and they will tell you that most brides come into the boutiques with a set idea of what they want in their gowns but don’t actually find it appealing after putting it on. Instead they fall for something completely different, in the end. So don’t be stuck on just one idea and be open to trying new styles. Who knows, you might end up  finding your dream dress in a style that you didn’t even know you liked.

  • Keep in mind that you need to go for bridal sizing:

Bridal dresses should always be bought in one or two sizes up that what you wear for your regular clothes. This is because you do not want to wear something uncomfortably tight for fifteen plus hours at a stretch on your big day. Trust us, no matter how wide you smile, your discomfort will get captured in the photographs. Also, when it is time for the final fitting, it is much easier to take a bigger dress in that work with a dress that’s way too snug to begin with.

  • Shop early but not too early:

If you want a dress that is made to order, you might want to consider that some dresses take six to eight months to be made. After that you would still need some time for alterations and accessorizing. So, start shopping for your bridal dress early on. However, be mindful of not purchasing a dress so early that it grows out of the latest fashion by the time your wedding date rolls in. The latter is especially true for those brides who have a long engagement and start shopping immediately after getting engaged.

  • Factor in the non-obvious costs before finalising your budget:

Ye, it is not a pleasant thing to talk about numbers but doing so now can save you a lot of heartache later on. When you are setting a budget, know that you can’t spend the entire amount on the dress. Some amount should be put aside for tailoring, accessories (your veil, jewelry, and shoes), and cleaning and preserving the gown after the wedding. Whether you are paying for the dress or if it is a close relative or a loved one, be mindful of not overshooting the budget. Know that if a dress is too expensive and someone else is supposed to pay for it, you can pay the difference in price yourself.

  • Make appointment and shop on a weekday:

Do your research and shortlist a few good bridal boutiques. But most importantly, do not waste time trying to find a dress at a salon that doesn’t have many options available to suit your budget or style. Make an appointment before you visit a boutique and let them know of your preferences so that you get to see the collections of your liking once you are there. Besides most bridal salons don’t display the dresses for potential customers to just leaf through. You would need to make an appointment to get a consultant who will guide you. The appointment should preferably be made on a weekday to avoid the crowd of brides on the weekends.

  • Note that bridal dress shopping is a whole day affair:

If you aren’t extremely lucky, chances are that you won’t instantly love one from the first few white bridal dresses that you try on. Before long you will find yourself trying one dress after the other and time will fly by. So, it is advisable to cancel all other plans on the day that you go bridal dress shopping and focus solely on finding the dress.

  • Choose the members of your shopping crew very wisely:

Yes you love your mother, your mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, maid of honour and a whole bunch of bridesmaids but not everyone can give you the right suggestion or opinion for your bridal dress. If you have ever tried to arrange a dinner venue for ten people then you know that it will be extremely hard to get everybody to agree on just one dress. Don’t care for that chaos; take only the selected few with you for your wedding dress shopping whose opinions matter the most to you.

  • Wear the right undergarments:

It can be hard to imagine how a strapless dress would look on you if your printed undergarments are showing. Remember to wear or at least bring a change of nude-coloured undergarments to the bridal salon. And don’t forget your shapewear!

  • For the salon appointment, wear the type of shoes that you are most likely to wear on your wedding day:

Don’t use the communal heels that some salons have for you to wear when you try on the dresses; bring your own ones. Ideally, you should bring or wear heels of the same height that you are most likely to wear on your big day. If you are getting married at a beach and will be wearing flip flops or flats, wear the same kind of shoes to the appointment. You will know how the dress will look with your actual bridal shoes on.

  • Trust your bridal stylist:

When your bridal stylist says that a dress looks better on, trust them. They understand your body type and your style preferences, have a fair idea of what will look good on you and fit your budget, and have ample experience in helping brides find their dream dresses – they are your best friend at the moment.

With these points being discussed, there are a few more that you would find useful. If you are a plus size, call ahead and inform the bridal salon before they fix the appointment.


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