This weekend I got to do what I’ve been waiting to do just about my whole life, what most girls can’t wait to do — go wedding dress shopping! Honestly, I couldn’t have had a better time, or a better experience! It was definitely everything I hoped it would be.
From the second we walked in the door, I was treated as a great priority, and was assigned a consultant who was AMAZING! She was very attentive to what it was I was looking for, so sweet, was very knowledgable about so many dresses, and honestly made me feel so comfortable!
There were a few key things that I learned during my shopping experience, that I sort of knew going into it all, but have experienced it first-hand kind of just validated those things for me, and I want to share!
First of all, book an appointment in advance! Most bridal boutiques do require you to have an appointment, so be sure to give yourself, the boutique, and your bridesmaids if you plan on bringing them, enough notice so that you are able to prepare! Having an appointment helps make sure that you get the most out of your shopping experience, with a consultant being attentive to only you, and for giving you the privacy you’ll want and probably need. Rather than be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a crowded store. In addition, you’ll want to give yourself PLENTY of time before the wedding to order a dress. Most dresses take 6-8 months just to be DELIVERED to the shop, let alone alterations that need to be done, so time is of the essence.
With that being said, like I mentioned before, if you plan on bringing bridesmaids or friends or family or whomever with you, be sure to give them enough notice to when and where you plan on going. Dress shopping can potentially take hours, depending on how indecisive you may be, or how many boutiques you plan on going to. So have a game plan.
Also, while you may want to invite your entire bridal party, it’s probably best to keep your wedding dress shopping party small. It’s great to have a second, or even third opinion (believe me you will need it), but having six or seven different opinions can be overwhelming and cause you to hate the dress that you may have otherwise loved. Although, be sure to remember, in the end the opinion that matters the most is yours.
Second, listen to your consultant. They are working with you for a reason, because they know what they are talking about, and they are there to help you find exactly what it is that you love! When I first met with my consultant, the first thing she asked is what I had in mind. From fit (sheath, a-line, ballroom, mermaid, etc.) to neckline (illusion, strapless, spaghetti, halter, etc.) to style (lace, chiffon, etc.) and everything in between. While this seemed overwhelming at first, especially since I had no idea really what I wanted, she helped me eliminate what I didn’t want. For example, I knew for sure I didn’t want a ballgown, and I’m not a fan of strapless dresses, so that helped to eliminate an entire selection of gowns that I otherwise would have wasted time trying on.
Many times when you call to make your appointment, they will suggest you bring in any photos of gowns that you like, to get an idea of what it is that you are looking for. So save some Instagram photos, and fill up those Pinterest boards, because believe me, a few pictures can help your consultant find you the perfect dress.
In addition, if your consultant pulls out some dresses that you maybe didn’t originally have in mind, or maybe isn’t your normal taste, don’t shut it down right away. Unless you absolutely hate it, give it a chance. My consultant pulled out a few dresses that I honestly would have never even thought to try, but after seeing them on I have to admit, they were some beautiful dresses and she did her job, and she did it well!
Lastly, when you find the right dress, you’ll know. There is really no way of explaining it except that you will just know. I tried on so many beautiful dresses, but when I got to the one that I ultimately ended up getting, I just had a whole different attitude towards it. When you find the one you want, you won’t have a single doubt about it, and you’ll find nothing wrong with it. Both my mom and my mother-in-law-to-be said that as soon as I tried that dress on I was smiling from ear to ear and would not stop! Like I said, you’ll just know.
I have no words for how great my wedding dress shopping experience was, and I am SO very excited to be able to wear my dress! If anyone is interested, and from the Philadelphia area, I did my shopping at Bridal Garden in Marlton, New Jersey! They had such a large selection, and if you buy your wedding dress there, your bridesmaids will get a discount on their bridesmaid dresses from there!
Share your wedding dress shopping experience with me, I’d love to hear it!