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It’s Time to Buy a Dress!

March 22nd, 2011 by Jeannine

Wedding dresses

Buying a wedding dress is one of the most anticipated moments for a bride-to-be. It was definitely my favourite part of the wedding planning process, but it also ended too quickly. Can you believe my dress ended up being the first one I tried on? I had a good approach to my dress hunt (my awesome consultant helped too) so I thought I’d share some tips before you head off to your first dress appointment. It will definitely make it easier for you to find “The One.”

Know when to order.

Generally, wedding dresses are made to order, unless you are buying off the rack.  It usually takes about half a year for a dress to come in so it isn’t wise to order last minute.  If you order early, you will have peace of mind that your dress will arrive as scheduled and have enough time to get it altered. You also won’t have to pay a rush fee.

Know what to order.

Before you go to a bridal salon, look through magazines and websites to figure out what style of dress you want. Do you want to look like a princess? Go with a ballgown. Do you want to show off your sexy figure? How about a mermaid or fit and flare? Are you fun and casual? Consider a tea length dress. Would you feel more comfortable in a classic A-line?  Sleeves or strapless?  Silk, satin, taffeta, tulle, lace?  White, ivory, or a unique colour? There are so many possibilities, but whichever you prefer, let your consultant know so the right dresses will be pulled for you. Don’t forget to bring pictures to your appointment.

Have a budget and stick to it!

It’s very important that you know what your bottom line is. You will be asked how much you’ll be willing to spend.  I would give them a figure less than your bottom line, for example, if your budget is $2000, say $1500 instead. Consultants will likely pull dresses closer to your max price. You never know, you may be able to find a dress you love for much less than you expected.  If not, then you have some wiggle room to increase the price. Be sure to keep in mind that alterations can add to the cost of your dress and, most importantly, stick to your budget, otherwise, you’ll have to cut costs elsewhere.

Have an open mind.

If the style you love isn’t flattering or is too expensive, consider trying on other styles or dresses by a different designer. You might be pleasantly surprised if a style you vetoed earlier ends up being the dress of your dreams.  Besides, it doesn’t hurt trying on another gown and if you’re having fun, it prolongs the experience! I would also suggest not pigeon-holing yourself to a certain designer in case their dress prices all exceed your budget.

Bring a small panel of judges.

Bring a select group of supporters whose opinions matter to you, likely your family, your maid of honour and your bridesmaids.  You’ll need them to give their honest opinions, which will help you make your final decision.  I would advise against bringing too many people, as too many opinions may end up confusing you. Remember that ultimately, this is your wedding dress.  If it doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, it isn’t your dress, no matter what other people say.

Have fun!

Make the most of this experience and don’t get frustrated if you can’t find “The One” on your first try.  Be optimistic because somewhere out there is a dress for you, and it will be worth the wait and effort once you find it.

Good luck with your search!

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