7 Steps to Shopping for the Perfectly “You” Wedding Dress

1. Clarify: Define your aisle style. Collect images, labeling each with what you do and don’t like. Consider what will look best on you over what is the trend- those wedding photographs will be with you for life (80’s puff sleeves, ’nuff said).

2. Time It: Most dresses are made to order, so it is advisable to begin shopping 6 months- 1 year in advance. Shop only when you are ready to find and buy it. Finding the dress of your dreams and later discovering that it’s no longer availableis the fast track to a bridezilla-worthy-roar.

3. Where to go: Research bridal shops in your area- but also consider unconventional options like vintage shops, wearing a family heirloom wedding dress, or having your gown custom made (especially if you are a budget, eco-minded, or alternative-taste bride). Wherever you go, make an appointment first! Visit shops during the week if at all possible, since they will be less busy than on the weekend.

4. Who to Bring: Hit the town, but don’t shop with too big of a posse. What happened to the bride who brought 12 people shopping with her? Epic meltdown. Limit your guests to 2-3 whose opinions you value and who respect your tastes.

5. Prep for It: When trying on wedding gowns, bring a strapless bra, hair tie, shoes of the approximate height that you will be wearing, and if needed, a shaping garment like spanx. Most importantly, bring a smile on your face. Being nice goes a long way for having the best experience. You get what you give out- capiche?

6. Find It: In most designer salons, you are going to be brought dresses to try on. Have an open mind about trying on, all dresses look different on the hanger. Taking suggestions about what styles suit you can lead to finding the best dress for your shape. Don’t hesitate to clarify your’ vision if you are not seeing what you want.

7. Make It Yours: Get your gown professionally altered and customized. Do this 1-4 months prior to your wedding date, timing depends on seamstress availability and if your size is still fluctuating, you’ll want to wait until as close to the wedding date as possible. Personalize your gown by add a belt, dyeing the inner tulle a fun color, or with fun hair accessory or statement jewelry.

You’re set. Rock that aisle, girl!

Wedding Dress Basics – 5 Things to Know to Before Finding Your Wedding Dress

Chances are your wedding dress will be the most important clothing purchase of your life. Yes, you will only wear it once; but, will you ever wear another dress more anticipated and more talked about? And while this is indeed an important clothing decision, you have probably never gone through the process of purchasing a wedding gown until now. Thankfully, I have rounded up useful advice to get you started on your way to walking down the aisle in the dress of your dreams.

Start Shopping Early

Time is of the essence. Most likely, you did not get engaged after a week of dating, so why would you want to rush such an important shopping decision? Planning a wedding is stressful, and the last thing you want to add to your worries is dress shopping. You need time. Not only do you need time to shop, but keep in mind that you will also need time to wait for your dress to arrive and time for fittings. Try to start looking for your perfect wedding dress right after you are engaged. You should aim to purchase your wedding gown at least 6 months before your wedding date, as this will ensure enough time to wait for your gown to arrive and have it tailored.

Wedding only 5 months away, and you haven’t even tried on your first dress? Don’t panic. While shopping early is preferred, you can always buy a dress off the rack, and many bridal salons can turn a dress around more quickly if necessary. You just may have to be a little more flexible in your dress choice.

Educate Yourself

Wedding dresses come with their own unique glossary of terms (or jargon, as you may want to call it). Before stepping foot into a bridal salon, try to brush up on your vocabulary. There are terms for gown silhouette (the basic shape of the gown), neckline, bodice, sleeves, trains etc. Learn the basics and try to narrow down which options you prefer and which ones best suit your figure. Overwhelmed? This wedding dress styles guide provides detailed descriptions on every type of wedding gown.

Envision Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Many bridal salons do not allow you to simply browse through all their wedding dresses. They first ask you a few questions about your wedding and your overall style and bring dresses that reflect your vision to you. Therefore, it’s best to have an idea of what you want before you shop. After you have educated yourself on the various parts of a dress, think about what wedding dress style suits you. Always dreamed of being a princess? A ball gown silhouette is probably your best bet. Dream of showing off a figure sculpted by hard work at the gym? A sheath dress may be perfect for you. Keep in mind that your dress, while suiting your personal style, should also suit your wedding venue. A formal ball gown is probably not appropriate for a beach wedding in the sand, while a sundress may not work in a cathedral.

Know Where to Shop

The most popular choice is the bridal salon, known for a high level of customer service. Bridal salons exist almost everywhere; you can search our local wedding services section for ones nearest you. Of course, all bridal salons are not the same. Some feature wedding gowns from multiple designers, others feature only gowns from one specific designer custom for their particular store. Price ranges vary as well. While many bridal salons offer gowns starting as low as $300, prices at other stores can start as high as $4000. Call and inquire before choosing a store. Brides on a tighter budget can try an outlet. Bridal outlets offer hundreds of dresses, often from past seasons, at a discounted price.

Determine Your Budget

It’s best to have an idea of what you would like to spend before stepping into a bridal salon. This will save you the hassle of going to salons out of your price range or allowing the sales clerk to bring you dresses you cannot afford. The average cost of a wedding dress is around $800. Shop around online and in magazines to get an idea of how much wedding dresses cost and how much you want to spend. In general, your wedding gown shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of the cost of the wedding reception.

Now that you know the basics, this complete wedding dresses guide can walk you through the rest of the process of finding the right wedding gown for you.

Useful Suggestions For Buying a Wedding Dress Online

Actually we will meet with such a problem when shopping online – there are great prices to be had! However, online shopping has some unique advantages, such as a lower price, more choices, and the made-to-order service with affordable price. Nowadays more and more brides choose to buy wedding dresses instead of renting, and then the more reasonable price of online wedding dress shops has become a great appeal to them. Here I would like to share some useful suggestions for buying wedding dress online.

To decide the favorite and appropriate one after your research

We all know the great pity for online wedding dress shopping is that we can’t try it on ahead of time, so it is difficult for us to know whether the style and size will be suitable. You’d better go to offline bridal stores to try on various styles ranges from sleeveless to long sleeve. From short to long, from white to some other colors to make a decision on the type of wedding dress you would like to purchase. And the style you plan to purchase should match with your wedding theme. Then you can go on searching online for other detailing of your wedding dress according to your personalized favors. For example, some have been in favor of lace while other may be totally in love with sequins or embroidery. It all depends on you.

To make comparison on prices and quality among different online shops

Since there are great prices to be had for online shopping, it is essential for you to make full comparison on prices and quality among the sea of online shops. I suggest you can firstly compare the prices among offline shops and you can have some useful information from these offline shops. Then you can look in some professional wedding magazines and some recommended wedding shops on popular wedding blogs to get the information you need and keep up with the latest fashion trends.When comparing the prices with offline shops, don’t forget one thing – you have to pay for the shipping fee for online shopping. You should compare the prices after adding the shipping charges to the price of the dress. It’s advisable to find factory direct selling stores, or online wholesale wedding apparel distributors. And when it comes to the quality, I strongly suggest you to read the customer appraisal. That’s the most direct and objective way to know the credit of seller. But don’t give up a shop for just one or two terrible comments out of one hundred ones.

To get more information on shop safety

When purchasing your wedding dress online, you’d better go with brands and websites you know. If you have no idea, you can ask your friend who has similar online shopping experience for help, or you can read some security instructions for shopping online, then you will have a clearer consciousness of protecting yourselves from being cheated. And to make your shopping more enjoyable, you should make sure that they offer some kind of money back guarantee if there is dispute during the shopping.