Well, I'm going to share some tips from the experts, as well as give a little run-down of the different options available, as well as tips to save money and stay stress-free! So, hopefully instead of being a dreaded outing, you can relax and have as much fun as possible finding the dress that is uniquely you.
If you are like me and know next-to-nothing about planning a wedding, I recommend you read (and bookmark!) the Simple Wedding Checklist on about.com. According to that list, you don't even need to think about your dress until approximately 8 months before your wedding date. By then, you will have a good grasp of what your theme, colors, and general atmosphere of your ceremony will be. This knowledge is essential to narrowing down your choice of dress. The location of the wedding will also determine factors such as train length, fabric, etc. I find it useful to have a general idea of the styles of dresses you are interested in before you hit the stores. Pinterest, the web, and bridal magazines are a great place to start. Clip and/or print pictures to put in your wedding book, and even take them with you to show your dress consultant so he/she can help you find the perfect dress.
That being said, I'm going to share a list of do's and don'ts for dress shopping from blogger Raquel Kelly via The Huffington Post.
- DO take your time. If you are rushed, you may not make the best decision. And you will definitely save money if you take the time to shop around for the best price.
- DON'T just stand there! When trying on dresses, make sure you move around, sit, walk, even dance! You will be spending quite a bit of time in it, so make sure it's comfortable.
- DON'T bring your entire entourage. At least not the first go-around. When you have too many opinions bouncing around the room all at once, your own creative vision may get lost. Bring one or two close women (for example, your mother and your maid of honor) to the first shopping trip. Once you have your selection narrowed down to a few dresses, that would be the time to include the rest of the entourage (and DON'T forget to get your fiancé's opinion too!).
A more modern and cost-effective method of dress shopping is to do it primarily online. There are many discount dress websites that can get you a great dress on a tight budget, and they make the dress to order and fit it to your custom measurements. The only problem with this, is if the dress is not exactly what you expected when it arrives, you may have to go through a lengthy process to change/return/re-order, so if you choose to go this route, you may want to allow extra time just in case!
Below is a short list of some of the top discount dress websites:
Now, there are entire blogs dedicated to the subject of wedding dresses, and I'm going through the process for the first time myself, so if anyone has any other tips or advice for me (and the other readers), please feel free to leave them in the comment section!
Until next time,