By Erika, Fashion Expert
Hey gorgeous brides! Today, we are here to talk about “The Dress” (cue dramatic music). One of the things I was NOT prepared for, especially as a fashionista, was how intimidated I would be by picking out my wedding gown. From the moment I got engaged all anyone could ask me about – after asking if we had a date set – was “The Dress.” If I had a dollar for every person who told me they just knew I was going to pick an incredible, fashion forward, stunner, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be budgeting within an inch of my life.
Honestly, I was mortified that I was going to pick a wedding gown that didn’t live up to everyone’s expectations. I expressed this to one of my bridesmaids who reminded me that it didn’t really matter what every else’s expectations were as long as the dress met MY expectations. I was still skeptical but kept that in mind as I went on my quest to find the right dress. To help you navigate your quest to “say ‘yes’ to the dress” here are some tips that I found helpful:
Do your research but remain open minded. Being a bride with NO idea what she wants is actually a little frustrating for your bridal consultant. There are so many styles, silhouettes, shapes, cuts, and colors to wedding gowns that coming in with no idea – about what you like or hate – means that you and your consultant will have your work cut out for you. You’ll likely spend more time talking about what you hate instead of really narrowing down gowns that contain features you love and that are flattering. Go online, look at magazines and even check out your own closet to see what you like. While you can certainly narrow down certain silhouettes you’re excited to try, also try to narrow down fabrics, materials, necklines, embellishments or details that you love. When I started my pinterest board (years ago) I would randomly add dresses that caught my eye. When it came time to buy my dress I went back to that board and realized that a majority of the dresses I picked had a couple very distinguishing factors. I realized that is what I was drawn to and made it a priority to try on dresses like that. I also tried a few different silhouettes to compare – one of which my consultant suggested. I had an idea of what I wanted but I was still open-minded.
Skip the Peanut Gallery – at first. I got this piece of advice from MANY people and I thought it was crazy. But the more I talked to past brides, and even remembered helping a friend pick out her dress, the more I realized they were right. A LOT of people suggested that I do a dry run of trying on gowns without an entourage. When you’re making such a big decision it is easy to get wrapped up in what Mom, Grandma, Auntie, or Besties want in your dress and forget what YOU want in your dress. I booked three appointments at three bridal salons to narrow down my choices before bringing back my mom, godmother, and future mother-in-law to help make a final decision. Full Disclosure: I ended up falling in love and buying a dress that day. Since I was on my own I called my mom, sent tons of pics, and did a quick little FaceTime. I hadn’t planned on getting a dress but I think part of the reason I felt so good about the choice is because I didn’t have a lot of other voices in my head.
Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. Bridal salons are in the business of making money. And their consultants are compensated for selling gowns. So, it’s entirely possible, that you could end up with a consultant who is pushy or just gasses you up to try to get you to buy a gown from her. It’s OK to say “No.” It’s OK to say “I need to think about it.” It’s OK to say “I’ll make another appointment.” At my first appointment I tried on about 6 dresses. There was one that I liked – which was NOT the style I originally thought I wanted. But, I liked it none the less. The consultant “jacked me up” (added a head piece, belt, veil and even held dresses similar to my bridesmaids’ dresses behind me) so I could get the full picture. I like the dress but wasn’t totally sure. But she really wanted the sale. She pushed me to order it that day so I didn’t have rush fees, because it might not be there next time, blah blah blah. She almost had me convinced I needed that gown. Like I was thisclose to canceling my other appointments and buying that gown. I liked her, she made me feel pretty, and she told me it was the ONLY dress for me. But, in a moment of brief clarity, I remember I had other appointments and told her I would be in touch soon. And, I kid you not, the MINUTE I left the salon and called my mother about the dress I couldn’t even remember it. Not one detail. When I tried on the dress I ended up purchasing, I couldn’t imagine NOT getting married in that dress. Even now, I can’t imagine, 6 months after I got the dress, I still can’t see myself wearing anything BUT this dress. The point is, the consultants will make you feel good; but remember to pick the dress you love, not them.
I have so many other tips that I could share with you but then this would turn into a novel, not a blog post. Ladies, your dress is a big part of your day, so always go with something that makes you happy and feel like the best version of yourself. Happy Shopping!