8 Tips Before You Go Wedding Gown Shopping

Whether you have been dreaming of your perfect wedding gown since you were a little girl or haven’t really paid much attention to what the difference is between a mermaid/sheath/ball gown or A-line style, there is one thing you have in common – you all in fact will be needing bridal attire of some type because unless you’re planning on having a nude wedding (no judgment here!) it is kind of a necessity 😉

This may be a task you can’t wait to check off but maybe the mere thought of it is making your hands sweat. Oh, friends trust me; I’ve seen it all. Before I was planning in my business full time, a small way I was able to still be involved with sweet brides and still feel like I was helping in some little way on their day was as their wedding dress consultant. I juggled this with my business about 5years and it was such a great ride. Not to mention always being around couture gowns (and occasionally trying new samples on 😉 well that’s a bonus alone!

So as you are beginning this step of your wedding planning – where should you really start? What should you do first? Is there any sort of preparation that should be going into this? I’m sharing today just a few tips I’ve learned over the years in hopes that it will make your shopping just a bit less stressful and lot more fun!

  1. Research a Bit: Now, I’m not saying you need to go buy all the latest issues of Bride magazine and overwhelm yourself in that way, but simply browsing mildly through Pinterest and getting an idea what is potentially out there is beneficial. It gives you an idea what you may immediately like or know straight up, “that’s not happening!”
  2. Keep an Open Mind: I realize this is following the point I just listed, but hear me out on this. I cannot tell you how many times I actually picked the dress my brides would ultimately choose themselves as their wedding gown. Keep in mind this is your consultant’s job. She is the professional here and while I cannot personally vouch all salons, if you are going to reputable shops, they will know what they’re doing and be knowledgeable in this area. I found that often times, a bride would be convinced a style would look awful on her body and then after I finally talked her into trying it on, the reaction was always a favorite part to me. And sometimes while that dress would not in fact be the winner, it would open up the possibilities of more options in that particular style that she had not originally thought about.
  3. Make appointments: This may seem like a no brainer however, all salons may not require appointments or allow walk ins and in that case, imagine how frustrated you would be if you showed up only to find out that information and then walk right back out the door. Making appointments will allow your consultant to prepare, find any gowns you may already be interested, and simply give you time as well as the attention you need
  4. Budget: This is probably a word you’re already very in tune with. Figure out what you want to spend and make your consultants aware of that number. Typically they will ask, but if not, let them know. Maybe you have some wiggle room but if you have a bottom line, that needs to be communicated. I can’t tell you the sinking feeling you will get if you fall in love with a gown that you ultimately cannot have. It will stick with you and may ruin the process. Nobody wants that! Which leads into our next point –
  5. Don’t’ even think about trying on that over budget gown: I’ve heard it before, “ Oh, I’m just trying it on, it’s all fun!” It is all fun until you try on that stunning Monique Lhuillier lace gown with hand beaded crystals – then all of the sudden nothing compares. You will find your gown, trust me
  6. Pick your enterouge wisely: As sad as I am to say, this is a make or break in your experience. We know you love so many of your friends and family but all of those lovely people have an opinion of their own and while they may not mean any harm in offering that opinion, it can really take a toll and make things that much harder. And remember sometimes less is more J
  7. Give yourself plenty of time: More often than not, the gown you select will not actually be made until your order is placed. That means production will not begin until then and these gowns take several months to be made. Allow yourself plenty of time and free of that additional worry.
  8. When you find the one, stop looking: Please by all means, do yourself a favor and stop looking when you think you found your gown. If you are happy and by all means if you already placed your order, move on to the next wedding planning order of business then. There will always be more gowns. You really could look forever. Your gown is stunning! Remember and just trust your instincts, and ours 😉

Kirstyn Marie Photography

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Hannah Hildebrandt is the founder and lead planner at Hannah Hildebrandt Events! Learn More

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