I am always preaching about the necessity of having a shopping plan. A plan helps you find exactly what you need and stay on budget. This advice especially holds true when shopping for wedding dresses.
Bridal wedding gowns are probably the most difficult things to shop for because everyone else involved in the wedding has an opinion, there is always a budget to consider, and the day itself is one of the most memorable days of your life. So when shopping for your bridal attire (or helping your friend shop for hers), consider these tips.
Before you even think about style or budget, think about location and season. These two aspects of your wedding will influence the design of your dress more so than anything else. What one bride wears to her winter wedding on the East Coast is completely different than what another wears to her spring wedding in Hawaii.
Now that you have location and season in mind, you can start stocking up on bridal magazines for inspiration. This is the fun part. Who doesn’t love bridal magazines? Let everything inspire you – the gowns, the hair, the makeup. Everything. And don’t limit yourself to the established designs of the dresses. If you like the skirt from one dress but the sleeves of another, cut up the pictures and play. Bridal salons and boutiques are ready to help you achieve your desired look, so know what you want before you go in. But be flexible, too, because you won’t really know what looks good on you until you try it on. Decide on at least three dress styles before you go shopping. Take photos and collages with you. This will help your sales consultant find your perfect wedding look.
Be realistic about your budget. Lace and embellishments will increase the price of your dress, so be willing to compromise. You may not be able to afford a crystal encrusted lace dress. However, you may be able to purchase a gown with a lace bodice and taffeta skirt. So stick to your budget and be prepared to make some mature decisions.
Lastly, don’t compromise when it comes to your personal style. If your taste is modern and sleek, you will be uncomfortable in a full skirt ball gown. And if you desire to play princess for the day, the last thing you want is something simple. So no matter what everyone else’s opinions are, stay true to yourself. It’s your day, your wedding and your moment to show the world how beautiful, loved and elated you are.