Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping: How to Prepare and What to Keep in Mind

Choosing the ideal wedding gown is an exciting aspect of wedding preparation. Before you dive into the world of bridal salons and fittings, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful wedding dress shopping experience.

Find Wedding Dress Inspiration

Before you visit a bridal boutique, take the time to gather inspiration. Browse real weddings, create a Pinterest board, and save photos of wedding dresses that catch your eye. This will help you establish your preferences for neckline, sleeve type, fabric, and gown silhouette. Familiarize yourself with popular wedding dress designers and their styles to help you budget and find the right salon that aligns with your tastes.

Make an Appointment

Always schedule an appointment before visiting a bridal boutique. This ensures that you receive the full attention of the staff and prevents any potential disappointment from being turned away due to a no walk-in policy, especially during COVID-19 precautions. If there’s a specific dress you want to try, call ahead to confirm its availability.

Choose Your Dress Shopping Crew

Consider the salon’s guest policy and decide who you want to accompany you. Avoid bringing a large group as it can lead to conflicting opinions and distractions. Select a few trusted individuals whose input you value and who will support you in finding the perfect dress.

Finalize Your Wedding Dress Budget

Once you have established a wedding budget with your partner, determine how much you can allocate for your wedding dress. On average, wedding attire accounts for 6% of a couple’s budget, with the average cost of a wedding dress being $1,800 in 2021. Set a budget before your appointment to guide your consultant in selecting dresses within your price range.

Tips for a Happy Wedding Gown Shopping Experience:

Eat Before Your Appointment

Have a light meal before your appointment to sustain your energy and avoid feeling lightheaded. Stay hydrated and get enough rest leading up to the appointment to feel your best.

Consider Additional Costs

Remember that your dress budget includes more than just the gown itself. Factor in the costs of accessories like a veil, sash, jewelry, wedding shoes, and undergarments. Also, plan for potential alteration expenses. Discuss these additional costs with the salesperson or ask for an estimate during your appointment to make an informed decision.

Explore Trunk Shows and Sample Sales

Take advantage of trunk shows and sample sales to find designer gowns at reduced prices. These events offer an opportunity to maximize your budget or find a last-minute wedding dress.

Opt for Weekday Shopping

If possible, schedule your appointment on a weekday morning or afternoon. Saturdays tend to be the busiest at bridal salons, so choosing a quieter time will allow you to try on dresses without the crowds and avoid feeling rushed.

Trust Your Stylist and Your Instincts

While it’s essential to have an idea of what you want, be open to your stylist’s suggestions and recommendations. They possess expert knowledge and experience in finding the right dress for each bride. Trust their expertise and keep an open mind during the dress fitting process.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your wedding dress shopping journey. Remember to enjoy the process and trust that you’ll find the perfect dress to make your wedding day truly special.

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