Thursday, January 22, 2015

All About Saying "YES" To Your Dream Dress

Every girl dreams of walking down the isle in the perfect wedding dress. But the process of choosing a bridal gown can be anything but simple! Here are a few tips and tricks that made wedding dress shopping my favorite part of the wedding planning process thus far!

1. Gather inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, and from various websites. 
My advice is to save some images of dresses that you are in absolute LOVE with. Whether it is the style of the gown that captivates you, or the uniqueness of the fabric that has you oohing and ahhing, snatch up these images and create an inspiration board. 
Here is the inspiration board I created for myself:
I just made a simple collage of images of dresses that I loved, what my sweet Dave would wear, and what I envisioned the bridal party wearing as well. I also included an image of how I want my hair styled (because I truly am a firm believer that different hair styles go better paired certain dress neck lines), and the robin egg blue heels I am going to be sporting as my "something blue". 

Tip: Have an idea of the style of dress you like, but be open to trying other styles as well.

#2. You must set a budget. 
Often times 12% to 15% of the wedding budget is reserved for the wedding gown. However, this is really up to your preference. Don't stress about the budget. There are so many beautiful gowns available at a very affordable price.

Tip: If you are searching for the perfect gown that may be a little over budget, keep an eye out for sample sales and trunk-show promotions and discounts. You may be able to snatch up your perfect dress and still purchase it under your intended budget.

Tip: It is also important to remember when buying a gown, that most often, the store will require you to put a 60 percent deposit down to order the dress. When your dress is delivered to the store, you are then asked to pay the remaining 40 percent.

Tip: Also keep in mind that alterations are often times an additional fee.

#3. Pick a Location 
When choosing a bridal shop, look for bridal shops that offer a large selection of gowns. I also feel that it is important to purchase your gown from a bridal shop that can complete alteration services. 

Be prepared to tell your bridal consultant all of the details of your wedding. You should be open to sharing your color palate, the theme and location of your reception, and your number of bridesmaids. This will help the consultant get a better idea of a gown that will compliment your theme. And if you have 11 bridesmaids like me, you want to make sure you choose a dress where you will stick out amongst the bridal party.

Tip: The best time to go shopping for a bridal gown is as soon as possible! It is important to order your gown at least 6-9 months before your wedding date. I purchased my dress last week, the middle of January, and the gown will not be in until May and then I have to allow 3 months for alterations! Holy smokes people, buying a wedding dress is quite a timely task. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, so it does not become an added stressor leading up to the date of the wedding.

Tip: Also be aware that most bridal shops are closed on Sundays. Make an appointment ahead of time to ensure that you are paired with a consultant and have the additional time you need to find yourself the perfect wedding dress! 

#4. You don't have to say yes to the dress the first time you try on bridal gowns. 
I was so excited to try on bridal gowns for the first time, thought I knew exactly the style of dress that I wanted and had myself convinced that I would instantly fall in love with one dress. Well here is the thing. I fell head over heels in love with two dresses. Two very unique and different dresses. I felt all of this pressure to just choose one or the other, but deep down I was a hot-mess and on the verge of a mental breakdown. I ended up walking away from the experience empty handed and filled with disappointment. 

Oh the humor. In all honesty, don't let this be you! When you start to feel overwhelmed with your decisions, take a deep breath and relax. Then go grab a venti caramel latte from Starbucks and a box of Oreos and you should be back to normal in the snap of a finger.

Reflecting back, I am so ecstatic that I gave myself some time to really think on the options. A week later, I was browsing the internet and ended up stumbling upon another dress that had literally every feature that I had hoped for in my wedding dress. And it wasn't going to break my parents bank. I scheduled an appointment to try on the dress and instantly knew that this was the dress I was going to marry David in. So folks, when you know, you know. Don't rush yourself. 

#5. Bring Along Some of Your Favorites
I would not have been able to say "YES" to the dress without having some of my favorite ladies by my side. Their encouragement and support made my experience full of wonderful and unforgettable memories.
I brought along my mom, Grandma and Aunt Michelle. The first time I tried on dresses I brought along my mom, grandma, my sister Macie, and two of my besties and bridesmaids, Madi and Taylor.

Tip: Make sure you really think through the people you are inviting to come along. The more people, the more opinions. 

Saying "yes" to the dress is one of the most exciting parts about wedding planning! My hope is that you will fully embrace the experience! 

1 comment:

  1. eeek Love this :) just one more step towards you becoming Mrs. Butterfield!


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