Of all the planning and money that goes into weddings, the bride’s dress is arguably the most important detail to get right! Most brides dream about what kind of wedding dress they’ll wear on their big day for years, and it’s little wonder that when the moment finally arrives, the dress becomes one of the main stars of the whole affair. Getting the perfect gown, however, can sometimes be a longer process than initially anticipated, and it is not usually something you can simply pluck from the rack.
Although finding your dream dress may not be an entirely simple process, and there are many things you should avoid, there is also plenty of great advice to be found on when to start shopping, where to look, and what to expect during the process. Here are three of the most important things to consider when buying a wedding gown.
The Fit of the Dress
There is nothing as fundamental to a perfect dress as the fit, and it takes time to find the perfect fit for your perfect day! Custom-made dresses often require up to two fittings, and you shouldn’t be surprised if a mass-produced one is in need of two to three fittings as well. To best avoid major alteration nightmares, pick something as close to your size as possible and ensure you are properly measured by an experienced seamstress, and keep in mind that it’s much easier to take things in than to let them out.
That being said, choosing a dress that’s much too large can be very labor-intensive and may require more extensive alterations; therefore, prioritize a reputable seamstress rather than an inexpensive one, and make sure to ask if appointments are necessary! Caryn’s Bridals offers on-site alterations, simplifying the shopping/alteration process. Listen to the advice of the seamstress and dress consultant, as they have years of experience and hundreds of dresses behind them. Finally, if you know there will be major body changes between now and the wedding, make sure to fill your seamstress in so that they can be prepared.
Time is of the Essence
Since finding the right dress and getting it to fit properly can be a fairly timely process, it is recommended to start well ahead of the wedding date. Generally speaking, starting the shopping process nine months to a year before the wedding should give you roughly six months for the fittings. Try to get the final fitting out of the way two weeks before the wedding. Yes, there are shops that can do the turnaround quicker; however, you’ll have to pay significantly more for the service and be far more flexible with your expectations!
When shopping, remember that bridal salons have some very busy times, especially during wedding season. Weekends and evenings are also typically busier, so if you have the option of taking time off during the week, you’ll get more time and attention.
How Many People are Involved
The “too many cooks in the kitchen” saying holds true for wedding dresses as well! It is not recommended that you bring an entourage or try to get the opinions of your twenty closest girlfriends. If you’re bombarded with too many suggestions or opinions, the process of finding your perfect dress can become overwhelming. It is best to choose a small circle of people, maybe two or three, that you’re really close to.
Your mother, maid of honor, best friend, and/or sister are usually good suggestions for a good wedding dress consulting team. Make sure to tell the group what you’re envisioning as your dream dress so that you’re all starting on the same page. You’ll want to keep an open mind throughout the process, of course, and take into account the advice of your bridal consultant; however, trusting your instincts is key!