I said YES to the dress as our wedding countdown continues! If you didn’t read my last about saying yes to my dream dress, I said yes to the first dress I tried on at the first boutique we went to. Needless to say, I wanted to put together a list of tips and things to know before going dress shopping. All these tips were so helpful and made my day go so smoothly. All of these tips have been gathered from my personal experience, and also from other brides I’ve talked to. I know they will help you, as you prepare to find your dream dress!
1. Go in with an open mind
The best thing you could do is go in with an open mind. I was pretty sure about the style and design I wanted, but I told myself to be open to other possibilities and not shut down other options. I tried on many different styles and designs, and I’m so happy I did! I still chose a style I had in mind, but I can safely say I kept my mind open to all the styles out there and I have no “what ifs” about different styles.
2. It’s OK to fall in love with the first dress
I was reading The Knot with my mom the other day (and don’t get me wrong, I love The Knot), but they wrote down not to buy your first dress you try on if you feel it’s the one. I have to disagree, completely. The first dress I tried on at the first boutique I went to ended up being my dream dress, and I had no doubt in my mind it was the one. Even though I was so sure about the dress, we still went to my next bridal appointment to try more dresses on just to make sure. And let me tell ya – what a great idea that was. I kept comparing every dress I tried on to the first one, and that’s what made me even more sure it was the one.
FUN FACT: The owner of the boutique I bought my dress from told me that about 66% of brides pick their first dress at the first boutique they go to.
So, if you fall in love with your first dress, EMBRACE IT! There’s nothing wrong with that, so don’t feel like there is. There aren’t rules, people!
3. Do research
Yes, you need to go in with an open mind, but you also need to do your homework. Start doing research (Pinterest is where it’s at) and look at all of the gorgeous dresses out there. Start narrowing down some of your favorite styles, so when you go in for our appointment, you’re not totally lost and you at least have an idea of what you like and don’t like. For me, I know I didn’t want to try on any puffy dresses, so that eliminated a bunch for me.
4. Go in with your budget
Have your budget set BEFORE you go. This is a major must. Both boutiques I went to asked for my budget, and all of the dresses I tried on stayed in that range. You need to have your budget in mind, so you can manage expectations and look at the dresses in your budget. It’s not the end of the world to go over budget by any means, but it definitely helps to go in with one in mind. Because my goodness, costs add up fast.
5. Wear the right undergarments
This was more important than I realized, and I have my lovely Matron of Honor Tania to thank for preparing me! Simply put – have the right undergarments with you.
6. Bring flip flops
Also, thanks to my Matron of Honor, she bought me white flip flops to wear when I was trying on my dress. This was such a great thing to have, because the only shoes I had were my knee high boots and mismatched socks. White flips were easily the way to go.
7. Do your nails
I painted my nails the night before with the color I am planning to have for the wedding, and I’m so happy I did! It’s such a small thing, but it made all the difference! I felt like it helped complete my look, and I loved the extra touch it gave as I was wearing my dress.
8. Take photos
TAKE PHOTOS! I didn’t take any, but my mom and cousin did and I am so grateful for that! They serve as beautiful and precious memories that are priceless to look back on. I’ve looked at photos from dress shopping every single day since we went and smile just as big each time. No shame there. 🙂
9. Go to all your appointments, but don’t make too many
Ah, a brilliant tip that my future sister-in-law Sarah gave me. Don’t make too many appointments – just don’t. Sarah told me to have 3 tops, and that having anymore would be too overwhelming. Am I glad I listened to her. I only had 2, and they were plenty enough, clearly. Also, go to all your appointments. Even if you find the one right away, going to your other appointments only helps solidify your decisions. But, take this with a grain of salt. If you happened to schedule 4 more, maybe cut some back. It’s up to you, but if you were like me and only had 2, go to both!
10. Pop the champagne
Ok, perhaps the most important one… POP THE CHAMPAGNE AND CELEBRATE! You found the dress, so celebrate! When I said yes to the dress, my stylist popped a bottle and we all sipped and talked about the day and my dream gown. I sat in my dress for the remainder of my appointment while drinking champagne and was on cloud 9. This was a moment that I will never forget, let alone a day I will never forget.
There you have it, 10 tips that will help you when you embark on your wedding dress journey!
But most importantly, enjoy it. Be happy, live in the moment and cherish those moments. Days go by too fast, so make sure to appreciate every single moment.