5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress
Every bride has a completely different experience when shopping for a wedding dress based on a variety of factors like where she lives, her love (or dislike) for fashion, whether she's been dreaming of what her gown would look like since she was a little girl or whether it's just another thing she has to figure out in planning her wedding. No matter the different feelings a bride has going into the experience, I think we can all agree that the wedding dress will ultimately set the tone for the wedding day and be one of the most memorable garments she will wear in her lifetime. That being said, it's a very big decision that should be treated with special attention.
Personally, I think it can and should be an enjoyable experience!!
Having gone through the wedding dress shopping experience myself recently, there are a few lessons I learned along the way that helped me through it and made me realize when I found “the one.”
1. Have an idea of what you like.
It’s super important to be aware of the different possibilities and styles for wedding dresses. If you go in blind, the experience can feel completely overwhelming when you first go into a shop.
Browse the web or magazines beforehand and note down what type of fits (A-line, ball gown, mermaid, etc.) that you are drawn to and what type of fabric you might like. How would you want the dress to feel and move? Take into consideration the weather during the time of year and that you will be wearing the dress all day. What do you envision the tone and style of your wedding being like (very formal vs. casual, or rustic vs. modern)? Search for gowns that evoke the mood you want to set for the day.
Take mental notes of what you like.
2. Do your research.
Now that you have an idea of what type of dresses you might like, research where to find them.
Every shop, boutique or specific designer typically specializes in certain styles. Going in and trying on dresses takes time and energy, you don't want to endlessly go in, shop by shop, finding that they don't even carry styles that you are interested in. That can set the experience off to a bad start.
Preparation is key.
3. Customer experience matters.
As we've already established, a wedding dress is a very special garment that marks a major milestone in your life. So shouldn't the experience of trying on and finding our dress be an enjoyable one where we are treated with extra care and attention? I think, yes!
Not only should your sales consultant greet you with love, ask you questions about your wedding and bring you dresses to try on that meet your criteria, but a good consultant will be personable, try to get to know you and listen to your feedback so they can offer suggestions.
When I tried on dresses at The Gown Shop, I kept thinking that there was one fit that I would like. As I was trying them on, for some reason they just weren't working for me. It was only when my consultant, Audrey, recommended trying different fits – and ultimately bringing me a dress I didn't think I'd be open to, that I actually found “the one!”
Overall my experience was such a delight and I feel like every bride deserves that.
4. Trust your feelings.
Going into wedding dress shopping, I didn't know what my 'aha' moment would feel like -- Would I know right away? Would I cry? Would I need my entourage to light up and tell me it's the one? Would I even make a decision for that matter?!
Everyone has their moment of knowing and exact reactions may differ, but we have to trust when it just feels right.
For me, at first I was surprised that I even liked the fit on me. Then I started noticing the details, how different they were than I have ever seen before. I had to do double takes...I actually LOVED the way it fit on me. I felt sexy but sophisticated and elegant at the same time. I felt like I wasn't a little girl trying on a dress, but instead I felt like a woman that was ready for her next chapter in life. I felt very me. I also did tear up when I realized that my fiancé, Jason, would just think I looked absolutely beautiful in this dress. That he would love this dress, and that I felt like the bride that I wanted to be in this dress. That's when I knew that it was “the one” – my wedding dress.
So when looking for those feelings of knowing you've found the one, just like love, just like you were able to find that partner that you somehow knew was the one you wanted to share the rest of your life with, you will also come across that one dress that will make you know.
Allow yourself to feel it and soak in the moment. It's such an exciting time!
5. After you have found 'the one' - stop looking!
After you say yes to an engagement proposal, would it be wise to continue browsing dating websites just to look and see if something better might come along? My guess is most people would say no.
I feel like it's the same with a wedding dress. Now that you've found the one, trusted your intuition and went for it, why would you even tempt yourself by continuing to browse or try on other dresses?!
Just like a soulmate, there may be many great options for potential suitors that all have different, wonderful traits that you are attracted to, but you have to trust that the life partner you have chosen is the right fit because it's just meant to be.
Refer back to lesson number four: Trust your feelings and stick with them. Don't tempt or second-guess yourself. You chose your dress because it felt right. Trust that it is right.
After not seeing my dress for six months during the time it was being made, I finally went in to pick it up! Although I was a little nervous that I wouldn't have the same feelings as I did when I first tried it on, or that it wouldn't fit, I kept reminding myself that there was a reason I chose it and that it would be great.
I am so happy to say that I am even more in love with it now then the first time I tried it on! I am counting down the days until I get to walk down the aisle in it and I can't wait to see Jason's reaction!
Good luck on your search and remember to enjoy it!