Do Your Homework
The bridal industry is bigger than it has ever been in America. The average couple spends more than twenty thousand dollars on their wedding day. About fifteen hundred dollars goes toward the bridal gown. While it may seem like a lot of money, it is often well spent. Most contemporary gowns are made by talented designers who have entered the bridal market as prices have increased. In fact, many of the world's top fashion designers now make wedding dresses.
Our first and possibly most important tip for the bride-to-be is to look through lots of bridal magazines before shopping. Going to a bridal boutique or salon before you have even a rough idea of what you want is often a waste of time. At the very least, you should know if want a formal or an informal wedding. The venue and style of the ceremony also has a profound effect on the dress. A dress for a beach wedding, for example, is much different than one that is worn at a formal wedding held in a church.
Make an Appointment
Once you have decided what type of wedding you want, it may be time to plan a trip to your local bridal boutique or salon. If you want to try things on instead of simply browsing, it is always best to make an appointment. That way you know there will be an experienced salesperson there to answer your questions.
Don't Take an Entourage
They used to say that too many cooks spoil the broth. Well, the same goes for shopping. When there are too many opinions about which dress is best, it can be difficult to make the right choice. We strongly suggest that you only bring along one or two people dress shopping with you. Most brides-to-be ask their maid of honor and their mother to come along with them, but there are no hard and fast rules. As long as the person has good taste and you value their opinions, they should make great dress appraisers.
Don't Fall in Love at First Sight
Like babies, most wedding dresses are beautiful. Not surprisingly, some shoppers fall in love with the first dress that strikes their fancy. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, per se. It is possible to find the perfect dress right off the proverbial bat, though it is highly unlikely. Most women try on at least a dozen bridal gowns before they find one they are comfortable in. It is important to remember that looks are not the only thing. A dress might look absolutely stunning on a mannequin, but it might not flatter every figure.
Try on Several Dresses
Continuing with our previous point or tip, it is vital to learn what a dress actually looks like when you wear it. This might seem unspeakably obvious, but many women ignore it, nonetheless. A dress should flatter your figure in real life and in pictures. In fact, it is probably a good idea to have someone snap a few shots of you wearing each prospective dress with a digital camera. That way, you will know how you look in photographs.
Consider Your Budget
Some brides-to-be get so caught up in finding the perfect dress that they completely forget about their budget. Yes, the dress is extremely important, but you must also consider accessories. All brides need shoes and most wear veils. Then there is the cost of alterations. Most dresses need a nip here and a tuck there to fit correctly. One great thing about bridal boutiques, salons, and warehouses is that they often employ experienced seamstresses. Depending on the purchase, they may agree to throw in your dress alterations for free.
Most brides-to-be start shopping for their wedding gowns nine months to a year before their big days. That may seem like a lot of time, but designer wedding dresses often need to be shipped. At the bare minimum, a bridal gown should be ordered at least six months before the wedding. This often leaves more than enough time for several fitting sessions and the necessary alterations.
Finding the perfect bridal gown takes time and patience. Be patient and learn from the many styles you encounter, and you'll find that perfect dress yet!