Top Decisions to Make Before Shopping for Your Wedding Dress
This is a guest post from NewYorkDress.com about top decisions to make before shopping for your wedding dress.
The time has finally come. You’ve met the perfect person – the love of your life – and they’ve asked you to spend your life with them. You know what that means…
It’s time to pick out a wedding dress!
For most brides, the wedding dress is one of the most important decisions in the wedding planning process. This dress is one of the most important gowns you’ll ever wear! Therefore, it’s no surprise that choosing the perfect look can feel like a daunting task.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the wedding dress options around you, don’t panic. We’re here to help! The key to finding the perfect dress is simply knowing how to shop. Follow these simple rules and picking your dream dress will be a breeze!
Don’t Shop Too Early or Too Late – Top Decisions to Make Before Shopping for Your Wedding Dress
Weddings take a long time to plan (about 13-18 months on average). A lot can happen in that time: your body could change (many brides use the engagement period to up their workout game), your tastes can change, the wedding theme could change, and a whole lot more.
Because of all this potential for change, it’s wise to wait a minute before you put a dress on your credit card. Give yourself plenty of time to look at your options and make sure you find the right dress for you!
When should you start shopping? For store-bought gowns, a good rule of thumb is six months before your big day. For a custom-made piece, you can start the process 9-12 months in advance. This gives you plenty of time to shop around, but ALSO leaves ample time for fittings and alterations.
Does this mean that you should ignore wedding dresses entirely when you start planning? No way! Check out bridal magazines, websites, and even browse your local boutique. The more dresses you see, the easier it will be to spot that one perfect gown when the time is right.
Brush Up on Dress Terminology
Walking into a bridal shop can feel like walking into a different world – a world full of tulle and lace, where champagne flows at all hours of the day (love that). But while this world may be fun and beautiful, it also has its own unique language… and if you’re not familiar with it, things can get lost in translation.
Before you start shopping for your wedding dress, it’s important to understand certain wedding dress terminology. Try to brush up on industry lingo such as:
- Cathedral Train: a long, formal train (on either your dress or your veil) that usually extends six or seven feet behind you.
- Watteau Train: A long, cape-like train that falls from the shoulders to the floor.
- Illusion Backs or Necklines: Sheer backs or necklines on the dress that feature lace appliques, crystals, sequins, or other embellishments.
Knowing these terms will make it easier for the boutique to narrow down your options and find the right gown for you.
Figure Out a Budget
In the U.S., the average cost of a wedding gown is $1,631 – but it can easily be lower or much, MUCH higher. One of the best ways to find a gown that suits your style and your bank account is to set a budget before you shop.
Sit down and figure out all the things you’ll need for your wedding-day ensemble. This can include your shoes, your veil, your jewelry, and anything else that might come to mind. Then, figure out a number you’ll be comfortable spending on all these items in total. Got it? Write it down, take it with you to the shop, and DO NOT OVERSPEND!
Once you have a budget, you and your bridal stylist can work together to find a dress that looks great and has a price tag you (and your future spouse) can handle.
Research Wedding Dress Styles
Today’s brides have a lot of choices to make, from their wedding colors to the type of bouquet they want to carry down the aisle. And the choices certainly don’t stop in the bridal shop; there are countless styles, designers, and even colors (seriously, there are many different shades of white) to choose from!
How can you avoid suffering decision fatigue as you shop? The trick is to get prepared ahead of time! Start researching wedding dress styles in bridal magazines or on sites like Pinterest. This is a fun and easy way to help you narrow down your options, so you can enter the shop or online store with a plan.
Shop According to Your Shape
Every bride wants to look gorgeous on her wedding day. Her hair should be perfect. Her makeup should be on point. Her dress should be breathtaking… and her body should be, too.
These days, there is a dress style for absolutely every shape, so it’s easier than ever to find a gown that makes you look like a goddess. All you have to do is look for dresses that flatter your body type!
Not sure which dress will suit you best? Here are a few guidelines you can use:
- Pear-shaped brides: waist-defining ball gowns.
- Hourglass girls: mermaid cuts.
- Apple-shaped brides: A-line dresses (Hint: A-line also looks great on pretty much anyone).
- Athletic ladies: Sheath-style gowns.
Obviously, you don’t have to limit your search to only these styles. But if you’re not sure where to begin, these suggestions are a great jumping off point to help you find the dress that makes you really feel like a bride!
Don’t Panic if You Don’t Say Yes to the Dress at the First Appointment – Top Decisions to Make Before Shopping for Your Wedding Dress
Most women have been dreaming about their wedding dresses since they were little girls. Because of this, some brides feel A LOT of pressure to pick the right gown – and to pick it the first time they hit the boutiques.
But here’s the thing: finding the perfect dress, like finding the perfect partner, takes time.
If you visit your local bridal shop and don’t see a dress you love, it’s ok to leave empty-handed.
Take your time trying on as many gowns as you need to. You can even check out a few online bridal shops; these stores tend to have wide selections and reasonable prices that will suit any budget. And whatever you do, keep on searching until you find a dress that makes you COMPLETELY happy.
With these guidelines, you will be able to find that perfect wedding dress in no time at all. Just remember: this is a dress you will cherish for the rest of your life – if there was ever a time to be choosy, this is it!
Author Bio: Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of NewYorkDress.com. NewYorkDress.com, established in 2008, is the #1 online source for Evening and Prom dresses worldwide. As Creative Director, Jonah works to create the ultimate online and in store luxury shopping experience with a focus on service and personalization.
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This was a guest post from NewYorkDress.com about top decisions to make before shopping for your wedding dress.