- So you've made the big decision to get married. Now comes the hard part - finding the perfect dress. Before you visit thirty stores, try on hundreds of gowns and become paralyzed with indecision, take some time to consider the following shopping strategies.
- Before you even set foot in a store, grab a handful of bridal magazines and look through them for ideas.
- What types of dresses do you like?
- Do you like them plain or beaded?
- With loads of lace or with none?
- Jot down the main features of your dream dress - colour, neckline, silhouette, waistline, amount of lace.....and so on.
- Now you're ready to hit the stores.
Use a worksheet to jot down notes as you shop.
Something to Think About
- Before you begin shopping, ask recently married friends, co-workers and acquaintances about their experiences on the bridal gown shopping circuit. Their insights on service, prices and selection at bridal boutiques may help you discover the best places for service and style.
- Know what your budget is. If your budget is $1,000, stick to it. You may want to quote the salesperson a budget slightly lower than your real amount. The salesperson will probably try to interest you in gowns at the upper end or slightly over the budget you've quoted, so by slightly understating your budget, you stand a better chance of staying whithin your set amount.
- Never shop on a Saturday unless it's a last resort. Stores tend to be busiest on the weekend and you could end up spending more time lining up outside the fitting rooms than actually trying on gowns.
- Bring a trusted friend to help you shop and offer opinions. Do not bring your entire wedding party or a dozen best friends! You'll only end up with dozens of suggestions and lots of frustration.
- After a while, all the dresses and stores will start to blur in your mind. Remember to write down a description of gowns you really like and where you found them. When you're ready to narrow down your choices, you'll know what's what and have less problems.
- Narrow your choices to your absolute favourite two or three gowns. Any more than that and you'll never be able to make a decision.
- Once you've chosen the perfect gown, place your order and get a receipt with the price, colour, size, manufacturer, style number and a written declaration of the promised delivery date. If you are getting alterations done at the store, get a written estimate on that as well.
- To ensure your dress is ready on time, tell the salesperson the wedding is one month before the actual wedding date. This will ensure that your dress is ready on time and allows you extra time for alterations.
- If you are using a dressmaker to design your gown, then make sure that the dressmaker is someone recommended by several reliable sources. Choosing a dressmaker or designer strictly based on price could be a costly mistake. A fine dressmaker is a skilled professional and her price reflects experience, design and sewing skills, a sophisticated fashion sense and an enormous investment of time.
What does the perfect gown look like?
- When everyone's attention is on the bride, it is important for her to look her best. Choosing the perfect wedding dress is vital in capturing the bride's elegance and beauty. With all the selections available it can sometimes be hard to decide where to start in selecting that perfect wedding gown. Before one can know exactly what it is they are looking for in a wedding dress, it can be important to understand where some of the modern traditions in popular styles originated from, in order to help make an educated selection.
- Prior to modern times, elegant weddings were held for the prestigious and were mostly arranged marriages. Therefore, the bride and grooms were often looked upon as symbols of the wealth of the family. Because of this, it was thought important for the bride to be adorned with as much glamour and trinkets as possible. Wedding gowns came in many colors and styles and the more large and grand the size of the dress; the more beautiful it was considered. Many of the styles that the wealthy wore were imitated throughout the various ranks of the social classes, but it was hard for lower class citizens to even have a formal ceremony as income was sparse. Instead woman would wear church attire as cheap wedding dresses.
- As time moved on the styles began to change with the culture. But the trend of the rich setting the styles seemed to stay the same. It wasn't until the year 1840 that the white wedding dress was made popular by Queen Victoria. Up until that point dresses were commonly various colors, but the Queen looked so beautiful in her dress that it set a new trend that in a lot of cases carries over to this day and age.
- Today tastes are much broader, but it is still important to consider things such as cost and popularity when selecting a dress for that special day.
- If the budget is willing a designer dress may be the way to go, but it is also important to consider location. A designer dress wouldn't make much sense to wear outdoors at say a beach wedding. Instead a beautiful beach wedding dress would be more appropriate. These tend to be higher cut dresses with less fabric and are perfect for that Caribbean wedding. Not going to the beach, but still plan on having an outdoor or casual service? Informal wedding dresses are a perfect solution for not having to worry about dragging your expensive designer dress through the dirt or mud.
- Modest wedding gowns are available in all designs, colors, and sizes and are perfect for any budget. Wedding dresses are as diverse as the brides themselves. Plus size wedding gowns, custom jewelry, and select accessories are readily available. Not spending as much on a dress can leave money for an exciting honey moon and many may not think spending a lot on a designer dress is practical for a dress that will only be worn once. Others still might want a dress that can be passed down from one generation to the next so going that extra mile on a dress just might seem worth it. What ever it is you're looking for chances are that you can find the right dress for you.