He asked, you said yes, and now you need to find the perfect dress. Wedding dress shopping can be one of the most exciting and fun times of your planning process, but without the right preparation, it can be a complete nightmare. Avoid the perils of wedding dress drama by following these simple steps:
Plan Ahead: Eliminate added stress from your dress shopping by planning it out carefully. Set aside plenty of time, early in the wedding planning process, to go dress shopping, giving yourself ample time to think about your decision before making a purchase. Even when ordered from bridal warehouses, wedding gowns can take weeks or months to get ordered and shipped, plus they’ll undoubtedly need alterations leading up to the wedding, so make sure you start your dress shopping as early as possible.
Do Your Homework: Flip through bridal magazines or websites to get an idea of different dress styles and designers that interest you so you know what you want to try on. Also, it’s a smart idea to do some research on the bridal shops (warehouse and boutiques) in your area, noting their hours and whether or not appointments are required, and map out a plan of attack. It’s a smart idea to visit several stores to view dresses of different styles and price points so you can find your dream dress and stick to your budget.
Bring the Necessities: When heading out for a day of dress shopping, there are a few essentials that you should always have with you. First of all, be sure to bring along the proper undergarments (in white or nude) for trying on dresses with varying necklines. Also, it’s helpful to have a pair of heels in the same height you plan to wear on the wedding day, as well as any jewelry or headpieces/veils you might be considering to see the overall effect with the dress. A camera is a crucial piece of equipment in order to snap shots of your favorite gowns to reference later when trying to make your decision. Last but not least, the most important thing you can bring along is a trusted friend or relative (or several) to give you honest feedback about each gown.
Be Open: You might have your heart set on a strapless princess gown, only to fall in love with a form fitting sheath. As great as it is to have an idea of what you like, be open to the possibility of discovering and loving something totally different. When you go dress shopping, try a variety of gowns, taking recommendations from the salesperson, to ensure that you’re getting the absolute perfect gown for your big day.