Wedding planning is a lot of work – some of it daunting and some of it exciting – but we can all agree that shopping for a wedding dress is one of the most thrilling adventures you go on.
For me, it was stressful. I knew what I wanted, but at the same time had no idea what I wanted. I’m sure most of you brides-to-be can relate. So now that I’ve been there and done that (I said YES TO THE DRESS!) I want to share some things that I’ve learned along the way!
Understand Your Expectations and How You Can Meet Them
When it came to looking for my wedding dress, I knew I wanted something unique. I love fashion, especially vintage fashion, and I wanted something to reflect that. I obviously spent hours looking at dresses online but could never pick an exact style I wanted.
Once you have a vision of what you want to wear on your wedding day, try to pinpoint exactly what it is about your vision that you love. Do you want lace, do you want a frou frou ball gown, or do you want something simple and sleek?
It’s not helpful to design your dress in your head completed unless you’re getting it custom made for you. However, having an idea of what speaks to you and gets you excited is important before you shop so you don’t get lost at the bridal salon.
Only Bring The People You Want There
I have a HUGE wedding party, three of which are my brothers. When I went to go find my dress, I planned one appointment with all of them to have that experience. I wasn’t expecting to get my dress at my first appointment (more on that later). However, I had major anxiety before heading to the bridal shop because I thought I invited way too many people. At the end of the day, it was the best decision I ever made (even my brothers were there)!
That all being said, don’t feel obligated to invite all of your bridesmaids/bridesmen and your entire immediate family if it doesn’t feel right. Some of them might have opinions you don’t want to hear, they may not share your vision, or you might just not want that number of people there. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them, and they should understand that.
Shopping for a wedding dress is so overwhelming, the last thing you need is a bunch of people you don’t want there clouding up your experience.
Know Your Budget and Stay In It
When I got engaged, my mom insisted that if nothing else, she wanted to buy my wedding dress for me. I’m her only daughter, and it was such a special thing to be able to do this for me. However, when I asked her for a budget, she refused to give me one and instead told me to just focus on finding my dream dress.
Thankfully, my dress ended up being way less than what she had in mind, but you have no idea how bad I stressed about the money! If you don’t have someone else paying for your dress, or you do, make sure you establish a budget and don’t shop outside of it.
How many of you have seen brides cry on TV because they fell in love with a dress that’s $2000 more than they can spend? Don’t be that girl! There are plenty of beautiful dresses that any budget can buy – you just may have to get more creative when you shop.
As a lingerie blogger, I know the importance of wearing the proper lingerie to such an important appointment. I wanted to wear a seamless, shapewear panty – as I would highly recommend – as I have a little bit of a stomach that I don’t necessarily want to flaunt on my wedding day.
So when it came time for my appointment, it was laundry day and I didn’t have the right one, so I ended up being stuck with a black shapewear panty that didn’t quite fit. It blurred my vision momentarily because all I could see at first was a big black mass under my dress.
So learn from me! Have your lingerie picked out beforehand and washed before you go to your appointment. Similarly, when you go for your alterations, try to already have the lingerie picked out that you’re planning on wearing that day! I’d recommend the Elissa bra and panty sets from Parfait – they’re gorgeous yet super supportive.
When You Find The One, STOP LOOKING!
I was NEVER planning on finding my dress at a bridal salon. Going to the shop I did was just to get a feel for what’s out there. However, the dress I chose was one I was staring at online for months, and it was the first dress I found when I walked into the shop.
I tried on maybe two other dresses, plus the one I chose in a size that didn’t fit. My wonderful sales associate ended up finding one closer to my size that I could try on because I couldn’t stop thinking about that one dress. Once I put that on, that was it. Sure, there could have been other beautiful dresses at other places, but as soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I cried (so did everyone else).
It was such a beautiful moment for me, my family, and my girlfriends, and I just knew it was the one. So when you have that moment, STOP! If you try on every dress that exists because you just never know what else is out there, you’ll never be happy and you’ll exhaust yourself.
Now that my wedding is creeping up fast (AHH!), I’ll have lots more tips to share with you. If there’s something you want to know about wedding planning, leave a comment!
Do YOU have any wedding planning tips you can share with me?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!