Tips for Brides and Wedding Gown Shopping
Shopping for your wedding gown should be a fun and stress free adventure. Unfortunately today, brides seem to put so much pressure on themselves to find “the One” they forget they are getting a day of shopping and trying on some absolutely beautiful gowns. Its not everyday we girls get to try on gowns fit for princesses. Tip one is have fun. You are getting to play dress up for the day. Let the little girl inside of you come out and play. You do not have to critique every detail of every dress, instead enjoy the different feelings each dress gives you. From rustic bride, sophisticated, southern belle, to glamorous celebrity walking the red carpet. Enjoy a day of putting on some of the most beautiful gowns most of us will ever try on in our life. Have FUN!!
You are the centerpiece of the wedding, pick the dress you love! Of course you are shopping with a purpose. To find the gown you want to were on your wedding day. Some brides think they have to plan their dress around their venue, or around their bridesmaids gowns. This is not the easiest way to fall in love with a dress. Tip two, find the dress you love that makes you feel beautiful, not the dress you think will work with your venue. Too many times I see brides struggle between two dresses. The one they love that they feel the most beautiful in, and the one they like and feel pretty in but they think will work better with the venue. I am sorry, and apologize ahead of time to everyone who has given the opposite advice. Do not choose your dress to fit your venue, choose the dress you feel the most wonderful in. Why? Because when you feel beautiful, you stand straighter, you smile bigger, and you shine more. When your confidence is higher it shows, and what you will be left with after your wedding is over, is 100s of photographs of you in a gown that made you feel radiant. That is what matters.
Too many opinions can make a fun day a stressful day! Brides often think they have to bring all their bridesmaids, their grandmother, mother, sisters, future-mother in law, aunts, and cousins to go wedding dress shopping. Every now and then it works out for them, but to often when a bride brings more than 3 people we see the group take over the appointment and somehow the bride’s wants and opinions get pushed aside. She wants to make everyone happy and they all want to be the one who picked her dress. How many of you honestly think if you brought 10 people to pick out one dress they would all pick the same one? Please, you’re lucky if you can pick the same restaurant much less all agree on the same dress.
Tip Three, when choosing who comes shopping with you don’t think you have to include everyone in this decision. Choose the couple people who know you the best, and who want you to be happy and won’t push their opinions on you but encourage you to make your own decisions. Choose the people who will make it about you, not about them. Trust me you will be much happier in the long run. You can include the others in other parts of your wedding dress shopping experience. Truthfully the more people who don’t know what your dress looks like before the wedding, the more people you will WOW on your wedding day, and isn’t that more fun anyway?
Don’t over-shop and overwhelm yourself! For some reason brides think they have to go to every bridal boutique in the area and try on every dress available before they can commit to “the one.” Too much shopping adds stress and confusion to the shopping experience and eliminates the excitement and celebration. I have heard several brides say they have been to 7 boutiques and just can’t say yes. They start to, but then go home and think what if there is a dress at another store I like better. So they keep shopping. Then after trying on 100 bridal gowns probably finding at least 10 “the ones” they end up just buying a dress because they are so sick of shopping. They aren’t excited about their dress, they honestly don’t even care about it anymore because by that time it caused her more frustration than anything else. She is just ready to have that part checked off her list. Tip four, don’t over-shop, smart shop. I’m not saying don’t go to a few shops, I’m saying don’t put so much pressure on the dress to make you feel a certain way. Remember, it is just a dress, a very beautiful dress, but just a dress. If you start off thinking you need to try on every gown their is, stop regroup and instead of needing to try one every dress, start by trying on every silhouette. Try on sheath, trumpet, aline, ball gown, mermaid, fit-to-flare, modified aline. Try on strapless, sleeveless, square neck, sweetheart, boat neck, scoop neck, v-neck, off the shoulder, bateau gowns. Then figure out which of those you like best on your body, which shapes your neckline the best. This will help you narrow down the style dress you need and instead of trying on 100 gowns to find the one you may only have to try on 5, or 10, or 20. Trust me, when that happens you will be choosing the gown you love, not the gown you are settling for.
Don’t nock it till you have tried it! You may be surprised what looks good on you body. I have had so many brides tell me she needs to only look at aline or ball-gowns because her hips are too big. Generally I smile and humor them for the first couple of dresses and see their reaction, then I ask if they wouldn’t mind just trying on a more fitted dress, just for me. When they say yes, and I put them in a gown that hugs them just a little bit lower than they are used to and most the time they gasp, because well they look so darn good. Sometimes I get a bride who wants only mermaids, but for some reason she just can seem to commit to the a gown, again I ask her to humor me and just try on an aline or dropped waist and all the sudden the bride that was inside of them comes out. You can see them smile and they say “I didn’t think I wanted all this poof but I love it!!” Tip Five, be open minded. Do not limit yourself to one type of silhouette until you have tried them all. Bridal gowns are made so much better than most dresses, they are lined and have built in bustiers and hold us and pull us in places that make us look, oh so very good. Do not be afraid of trying something because you have a part of your body you want to hide. Be open minded and let the stylist put you in something that might just surprise you and end up making you feel better than you thought possible. Also, don’t let the dress on the hanger fool you, gowns were meant to be on bodies not hangers. The stylist know how they look on so trust their judgment.
Don’t over-extend your budget! Everyone has a bridal budget, it may be small it may be big. Make sure to let your stylist know your budget. Do not be offended when they ask, and be grateful when they work hard to keep you in your budget. Every bride at our boutique is treated the same no matter what her budget is from very high to very low. We believe all brides deserve a fun and memorable bridal dress shopping experience. Let your stylist be your budget ally, and remember she is only working with the information you give her. So if you budget is flexible she needs to know that too. Tip six, don’t try on gowns outside of your budget. Unless your budget is flexible stick to it. There are so many amazing gowns in bridal boutiques. Prices can go pretty high, and be very reasonable. Let your stylist know your budget range so you do not fall in love with anything that is outside your budget. The worst thing I see is when a friend of the bride pulls a dress that is over a brides budget. Stylists don’t want to offend anyone by saying it cost too much, but they also don’t want to get the bride in a gown and have her fall in love with it only to discover she cannot afford it. It is heartbreaking. So if your budget is not flexible then stick to it. This will save you and everyone else so much heartache and disappointment. You want to be able to love your gown, not settle for it.
Timing is everything! Bridal gowns are not like other dresses. They are made to order. This means the production of your bridal gown does not start until your order is placed. It also means that once the order is placed the designer/manufacturing team is making the dress just for you. This takes time. Some of our designers offer rush cuts, and other options to get you dresses here faster but on average plan for your gown to take between 3-5 months to be made and shipped to your boutique. Tip seven, don’t procrastinate. Since it takes gowns 3-5 months to come in this means you need to order your dress about 8 months in advance at least, to plan for alterations. You have to remember after the dress comes in it will have to be fitted to your specific measurements in the alterations and customization process. This process takes an average of 6-8weeks. Plus I always encourage brides to keep a buffer month in mind. In case there are any production delays. So first things first ladies, when you get the ring, step two should be get the dress. There is no reason to wait to order your dress, instead of thinking “I have plenty of time” think lets check that off the list so we don’t have to stress or worry about it anymore.
Don’t let one thing hold you back! Think of a bridal gown you try on in the boutique as the first stage of your bridal look. The dress may be absolutely perfect as is, or just missing one small detail. You wish it was sweetheart instead of square neckline. You wish it had straps instead of strapless or visa versa. The straps are too thick, too thin etc…
Tip eight, customize your gown to fit your unique bridal style. Don’t let one detail be the thing that keeps you from saying yes to the dress, because most of the time that one detail can be changed. You can make a square neck dress sweetheart, you can thin your thick straps or thicken your thin straps. You can add straps in a way that looks like they were always there not just an after thought. I re-did the entire neckline of my bridal gown. My gown was v-neck with really thick straps. After I was done with my seamstress it was sweetheart with very thin organic lace straps. Don’t be afraid of changes, bridal seamstresses are used to major changes, so small ones are second nature to them. Plus this is a way to make the dress a one of a kind, just as you are a one of a kind.
Look before you leap! There are so many ways to look at wedding dresses now before you actually start trying on. There are online sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire that have more dress images than you can look at in a day. I personally find myself playing on Pinterest whenever I am bored pulling images of styles of dresses I find simply stunning, you can do the same. Tip nine, see what styles your drawn to, and pull the pictures. This doesn’t mean don’t be open to other styles or similar styles, that is still important. If you start seeing what kinds of dresses you are drawn to it will help the stylist know a great place to start when it comes to trying on gowns. She will be able to see what you like and what gives you visual interest. She can then find dresses with similar features that will look good on your individual body type.
Shop with us! If you want a boutique that has a large variety of styles and staff who genuinely care about their customers then you need to shop here. We get bridesmaids and friends of brides all the time telling us they wish they had known about our boutique and shopped with us because they were just treated like a number where they bought their gown. We get brides from literally all over the nation to try on dresses at our boutique. We work hard to have a wide variety of styles and silhouettes to fit all body types and all budgets. We work really hard to have amazing customer service, and to get to know our brides so that we can help her find her perfect bridal style.
Tip ten, shop at Circle Park Bridal Boutique. We have a great track record with our brides trying very hard to help keep the bridal shopping experience fun and stress free. We work hard to honor a brides budget, to help her find her unique bridal style and narrow down which styles look best on her. Our stylist take the time to get to know the brides and are not focused on up-selling our customers. They are focused on simply helping each bride find a gown that makes her feel beautiful and special the way all brides should feel. We genuinely love working with brides and want to do everything in our power to make them feel welcome and to help each bride own her own bridal style. I’m not going to say our designers never have delays or problems all boutiques face this problem, but our staff work hard to make sure the bride gets her dress on time and looks absolutely beautiful on their wedding day. We haven’t missed a wedding yet. (Nock on Wood ) Our stylists get so excited about helping a bride find her gown, and love to see the smiles and tears that come when she looks at herself in the mirror and sees how absolutely beautiful she is.
Please let us be apart of your special day, we would love to give you the full bridal dress shopping experience. Our designers make such beautiful quality gowns that will take your breath away. I would honestly say if you are anywhere near Dallas, Texas you have to stop by our beautiful bridal boutique, and let us treat you like a princess. Check our our website www.circleparkbridal.com to view all our wonderful bridal designers, and give us a call at 972.387.0100 to set up your appointment today. Or you can BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT ONLINE.