Shopping for Your Wedding Dress

Before you decide on where you are going to buy your wedding dress just know that the dress is almost the most important part of your wedding day. Also think of all of those photo shoots you will be doing so you want the perfect dress. The dress can make the difference in having fun or just an awful time. So when choosing a bridal shop make sure that they are a full service shop which means they can do alterations and help you in any possible way concerning your wedding dress. Since most likely you have never shopped for a wedding dress before I have put together a list of questions you should ask the bridal shop.

1. How long have they been in the wedding business?

2. Are they buying directly from the manufacturer?

3. Do they have any special discounts if they do the alterations?

4. Can you get the alterations done at the shop and how much is the alterations?

5. Who will be doing the alteration of the dress and how long have they been doing this?

6. How long will the alterations take?

7. Do they charge bustling and pressing charges?

8. How long in advance do you have to order your dress?

9. What days and hours are the shop open?

10. Ask about discounts if you order your bridesmaid dresses from this shop?

11. Do they carry any other merchandise besides dresses?

12. Will you receive any discounts if you purchase any of there other merchandise?

13. How will you have to pay for the dress and how much in advance?

14. Can you call them any time and ask any questions?

15. How many employees do they have and how long have they worked at the shop?

Although the price of the wedding dress can be a big factor you should also take into account the customer service aspect of the business. If you order from a shop that has the lowest prices but lack in customer service ultimately you will not be satisfied at all.

Wedding Dress Dilemmas

According to a recent survey, the top wedding dress dilemmas include dresses not being sexy enough, brides feeling faint at the price tag, pushy and unhelpful mothers and too-short hemlines! We believe that there is a wedding dress for every bride – and there are ways to make your search a lot less stressful! Sometimes wedding dress shopping can be difficult and at times, overwhelming, but if you plan carefully, have a good idea of what you’re looking for, and most of all have an open mind, you should be able to avoid these common dilemmas.

In our experience, the top wedding dress dilemmas are:

Indecision: Brides who start wedding dress shopping without a clear idea of a) what dress style suit their body shape, or b) what they are looking for, often struggle at first. There’s also a problem when a bride ends up falling in love with more than one dress – which one to choose?! Be open to the suggestions of others, and learn when to let go if a beloved style just doesn’t suit your body shape. Usually our brides just know when they’ve found THE dress, but other times it can be more of a difficult decision – this is when the opinions of trusted friends and family can come in handy… but beware, as this leads us onto our next dilemma…

Too Many Opinions: Interestingly, many brides-to-be have the most problems with their mothers and mothers-in-law rather than the actual dress! Be aware of how much your taste may vary compared to your mum’s, or your bridesmaids’, and try to stay cool if no one can agree with each other! One way of avoiding this situation is to spend some time before you go shopping doing some research into dress styles with whoever you plan on taking with you – that way you’ll know if your opinions are going to differ wildly. Try to bring someone whose opinion you really trust, and listen to the bridal store staff; they have many years of experience and will give you an impartial view. Another approach is to visit bridalwear stores alone at first, and bring in your friends and family to help you choose when you’ve narrowed your choices down to just one or two. That way they have less leeway to make your life difficult!

Adrenaline/Feeling Overwhelmed: Treat your wedding dress expedition like an endurance event! Make sure you’re well rested, well fed, have drunk enough water and if you start to feel faint or woozy, sit down immediately. Sometimes the tightness of the dresses, the adrenaline of trying on something so special and general feeling of being overwhelmed by the situation can lead to low blood sugar and faintness. Look after yourself – unless you’re getting married tomorrow there’s no rush! Take your time to find the right dress and spread your shopping expeditions over several visits so you are able to fit in trying on as many dresses as possible.

Too Rigid Ideas: Unless you’re prepared (and can afford) to have your wedding dress made completely bespoke to your specific visions, you must be prepared to compromise slightly on your choice of dress. You may have a particular style in mind, but you have to allow for the possibility that certain dresses just won’t suit your body shape. Sometimes you have to let those ones go…. and find an even more fabulous wedding dress instead! It’s good to have clear ideas of what you’re looking for, but don’t prevent yourself from being pleasantly surprised by something that you never normally would have chosen.

How to Shop For Your Once in a Lifetime Wedding Dress

He proposed, you said yes. The wedding planning is in full gear and its time to shop for your wedding dress. Your wedding dress is the most memorable and expensive dress you will ever purchase. Here is some practical advice to make your shopping trip fun and let you know what to expect.

Make an appointment to try on wedding dresses. Some bridal salons don’t require them, but an appointment will guarantee you the individual attention of a bridal consultant and space in the dressing room.

Time your shopping trip to your best advantage. If you shop on a weekday afternoon, you will get the most attention and you will not be competing with a lot of other brides like you would on weekends. You also get more time to shop.

You will get the best deals if you shop in November and December when the bridal salons are slow and new merchandise is arriving. There will be more sales and more incentives to buy because they need to clear out stock to make room for new stock that is arriving. Wedding dresses arrive in cycles, with the late fall and early winter being the time the manufactures ship out new merchandise.

Don’t shop too early, if your wedding is two years away and you are not prepared to buy, stay home and surf the net for ideas. The styles will change and your idea of your dream dress may change, along with your weight and wedding plan. The style may also be discontinued by the manufacturer.

Don’t shop too late. Wedding dresses should be ordered 9 months to a year in advance. The manufacturers take 16 to 20 weeks to fashion your dress because of all the hand work that is done on the dress. You also need to allow transportation time and time to have alterations done. If you shop at the last minute, you will risk major disappointment. You will either have to buy off the rack or pay the manufacturer extra for rushing your dress.

Shop prepared. This should not even have to be mentioned., Wear underwear on your shopping trip. Wear clean underwear and be freshly showered or risk major embarrassment. Some salons will send you home to shower or come back with underwear and who can blame them? You are trying on expensive white dresses! And if you don’t wear underwear, you’ll be standing in the dressing room buck naked. If you are uncomfortable, you consultant will be doubly uncomfortable.

Bring along a strapless bra if you have one and a pair of heels to get a feel for how the gown will look on you.

Don’t shop with a posse. Shop with someone you trust, your mom, your sister, your best friend. Don’t shop with your entire wedding party. Too many people means a lot of confusion for you and your consultant. Too many opinions will make you crazy. Are they giving you their true opinion, or picking out a dress they would wear to their own wedding? Invite your friends to see your choice after you’ve made your choice. They’ll be more interested after you’ve chosen your dress. Sure, a huge shopping trip sounds like fun, but you’ll totally regret it when you leave exhausted, confused and aggravated.

Don’t try to cram too many shopping appointments in one day. Trying on wedding dresses is exhausting. You’ll be standing up in heels for a long time. Some of the dresses are very heavy. Pretty soon you’ll be suffering from white blur, a wedding term that means that all the dresses are starting to look alike. Limit your appointments to no more than two a day and take time in between to grab something to eat and drink. The only way you can be on top of your dress shopping game is to be fueled up, hydrated and relaxed. Its going to be a long day!

Shop with an open mind and a good attitude. You have a dress etched into your mind. You are closing yourself to dresses that may be more flattering on your figure, cost less money and be THE dress. Be open and receptive to different necklines, body styles and fabrics. You may leave with the dress still etched in your mind, but you may just find THE dress if you stop telling yourself that you are picky. By constantly reinforcing your pickiness, you’ll make yourself and your shopping companion crazy. Bridal consultants are trained and experienced in finding dresses that make the most of your figure and hide the parts that need to be hidden. Stop whining and listen, you’ll be amazed at how fabulous you can look if you just open your mind and adjust your attitude.

What to expect when shopping for your wedding dress. Expect to be warmly welcomed into the bridal salon and meet your consultant. Your dress consultant will ask you some questions about your wedding. They’ll ask you about the type of wedding, the formality of the wedding and your wedding dress budget. They aren’t being nosy. They need to help you choose a dress from a mind boggling selection of dress styles. You can’t try everything on in the store, its physically impossible. They also need an idea of your dress budget, so you don’t fall in love with a dress that is out of your price range. If you want to see dresses under a thousand dollars or under five hundred dollars, tell them honestly to avoid a lot of disappointment on your part.

You will be shown styles, feel free to say no to anything you don’t like. Be honest, you will not like everything and it will help your consultant pull more dresses that are in line with what looks best on you and you like.

You will be helped try on the dresses. Dressing yourself in a bridal salon is difficult, so expect to be helped on and off with the dress, in addition to zipping the dress.

You will be asked more questions, for example, do you feel comfortable in this style?

Your consultant will categorize your dresses by the dresses you like, the maybes and the definite no way. You might want to retry the dresses you like to cut down on your selections. Your consultant will keep the dress style on file so when you return, the can find the style.

If you are uncomfortable in the style, its a no. If you feel overwhelmed in a style, its a no. If you feel fat in a style, its a no.

And above all, do NOT be pressured into buying a dress by anyone. If you feel pressured, gracefully say you’ll be back to try it on once your mind is cleared. Don’t buy anything from pressure. Buy the dress because you love it and its THE dress!

Top 18 Ways That Help You Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

Finding wedding dresses on a budget is not a hard process…you just have to know where to look.  Although they may be the most logical place for you to look first, you probably won’t be able to find the best prices in town at your local bridal dress shops.  The question is where do I start looking?

Here are the Top 18 Ways to Help You Save Money on Your Wedding Dress:

1. Shop on Ebay – eBay is a terrific place for the bargain hunter looking for wedding dresses but remember to always read the descriptions carefully and pay attention to how much the seller is charging for shipping and handling fees.

2. Order From the Internet – There are a number of fine online bridal merchants that offer unbeatable prices.

3. Dicker Over the Price – Sometimes local bridal shops will match prices that you find online, BUT you have to ask.

4. Buy “Off the Rack” – You can find some stores such as David’s and BridesMart in the U.S. that offer a good selection of moderately priced dresses with in stock sizes of 2 to 24.

5. Check the Classifieds – Be sure to check your local newspaper classifieds or online ad service such as Kijiji.

6. Shop in the Department Stores – Another great place to look for wedding dresses on a budget. Don’t discount places such as Sear’s and JCPenney. They often times carry a few budget wedding dresses for unbeatable prices.

7. Get It Made – If you have fallen in love with a dress that costs over $1000, you could perhaps consider having a custom copy made for you by a talented local seamstress.

8. Sew It Yourself – If you are a good sewer (or know a friend or relative who is) you can consider making the gown yourself.

9. Buy a “Sample Gown” – Another great source for wedding dresses on a budget is buying a sample gown. You just might occasionally go into your local bridal shop and find a rack of gowns on sale.

10. Wear Your Mom’s Dress or Borrow a Dress – Even if it is a little out of style or date, you would be surprised at how well a talented seamstress could jazz up a vintage gown.

11. Order a Bridesmaid dress or Less Formal Gown – Many bridesmaids’ gowns can be ordered in white. You can easily find a beautiful, less-formal wedding dress this way.

12. Vintage Clothing Shops – Wedding dresses can also be found at vintage clothing shops.

13. Outlet Stores – Yes, there are bridal outlet stores for bridal designers and retailers that can offer you substantial savings on wedding dresses.

14. Fabric Swap – If your perfect gown is made of silk, ask if it comes in other more affordable fabric.

15. Travel to Another City/State/Province/Country – Combine a smaller town with other savings such as lower sales tax or favorable exchange rates.

16. Hire a Student – If you have a fashion school or college nearby, you might just be able to hire a student to make your wedding dress for you.

17. Charity Sales – You can also find wedding dresses on a budget by checking out charity sites such as Brides Against Breast Cancer.

18. Rent a Wedding Dress – Rental prices can range from $100 to $600 with deposit required and the gowns are professionally cleaned after each rental and can be altered to fit (check with each rental shop).

So you see, there’s 18 Ways to Finding Wedding Dresses on a Budget…although you want to look your best on your wedding, you certainly don’t want to pay more than you have to on a dress that you are going to wear for just a few hours!

Happy Bargain Hunting!