Saying “Yes to the Dress”: Wedding Wednesday

May 14, 2014

Wedding dress shopping has been the most stressful part of planning my wedding. Weddings are a huge expense, and a wedding dress is a large chunk of your overall wedding budget. Dresses range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on which bridal shops county durham you go to.

Two of my bridesmaids and I at my dress appointment
Madalyn, Me, Brittney

Here are a few things you should know before your shop:

  • Budget: You should have established a budget for the wedding dress. Veil, accessories, shoes, and altering can quickly add up, and you should deduct those expenses from your dress budget.
  • Appointment: Depending on the time of year, wedding dress shops can get crowded. Call in advance to schedule an appointment.
  • Undergarments: I have heard fixed opinions on which undergarments to wear to try on dresses. A good strapless bra or shaper can make a huge difference when trying on a dress, especially with a strapless or very fitted gown. Another idea is using boob tape (buy boob tape here) to support your boobs rather than the traditional strapless bra. This option has become very popular in brides recently as there is no concern regarding seeing a bra poking through the wedding dress.
  • Makeup and Accessories: You should get yourself “dolled up” before your appointment. It will be hard to imagine yourself on your wedding day if you go in with no makeup and bad hair. Having the right bridal accessories is also quite important. Plan your accessories according to your dress design, you don’t want to look overly decorated. So check Name Necklace Official or similar jewelry stores to find your perfect necklace and bracelets.
  • Dresses: Establish a “plan of attack,” create a Pinterest board or pick out designs from magazines that you like. You can show those to the bridal consultant so they have an understanding of what you have in mind.
  • Take Suggestions: It is easy to get lost in an idea of what you think looks good. Many bridal consultants have years of experience which why it can make sense to choose a wedding dress by going to Maison Chic Bridal or a similar boutique. They could suggest a design which might be very flattering that maybe you didn’t consider.
  • Shoes: Remember to take a shoe with a heel comparable to what you plan to wear. The right shoes will give you a better idea of what you will look like on your big day.
  • Date: Many designer gowns are not ready to ship and they can take months to arrive. You need to go dress shopping as far out as possible to ensure your gown arrives in time. Who wants to stress waiting on a dress?
  • Bridal Fairs: Make sure you check out your local bridal fairs. They are generally held twice a year in most areas. It is a great way to get ideas, and it might help you find a dress discount.

Here are a few things I don’t suggest:

  • Don’t take too many people. Dress shops can get crowded, and so can opinions. Dress shopping is overwhelming enough without being overwhelmed with ideas and opinions.
  • Don’t try on any dress that is way over your budget. You will stress yourself out trying to figure out how to pay for it.
  • Don’t try on too many dresses. It should be a fun experience, and you don’t always find “the one” on the first try. Trying on too many styles can make your decision unnecessarily difficult.
  • Don’t stress out. I absolutely started to panic after several weeks of dress shopping. I didn’t think I would find “the one”.

I attended a bridal event called Cocktails and Wedding Bells. I made sure to register will all of the vendors, and I won a prize from a local dress shop. It was a private dress fitting at Twirl Boutique that included hair and makeup by The Pink Lulu, mimosas and hors d’oeuvres for my guests at the fitting, and a dress discount.

I really liked a White by Vera Wang dress that I found online. It was simple but different, and since it was the line carried by David’s Bridal it wasn’t too expensive. It also wasn’t available from this boutique, I showed it to the bridal consultant so she knew what I had in mind.

I selected a few different dresses, and I let both of my bridesmaids in attendance choose a dress they thought would look good on me. They had a large selection of beautiful gowns and my consultant was very helpful.

Our favorite gown of the day came from the Blush by Hayley Paige collection. It had a very simple, elegant, and southern feel.
This gown was the unanimous favorite.

The fabric was enough to make the dress different while still keeping it simple. We added a colored sash and the rhinestone brooch for a little bit of glitz.

I had a wonderful experience at Twirl, but I hesitated on the dress. It was gorgeous and it was very flattering, but I didn’t get “that feeling”.

I am glad that I did wait, yesterday I ordered “the one”: I finally understood what everyone was talking about. Everyone will have to wait until the wedding day to see it!

Where did you shop for your wedding dress? Did you know immediately that it was “the one”? Do you have any great tips for other brides?

Happy Wedding Wednesday,