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10 Tips for Brides Shopping for Their Perfect Wedding Dress

Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. However, with countless styles, fabrics, and places to choose from, it can also be overwhelming. To help you navigate this journey, here are ten essential tips to ensure you find the dress of your dreams and ditch the stress.

1. Start Early

Begin your dress shopping at least 1 year before your wedding date. This allows ample time for ordering, alterations, and any unexpected delays. Custom dresses, in particular, can take several months to create. The dress is in every picture, so it is important for this to be one of the 1st things to check off the list so you can plan accordingly/match your wedding vision with.

2. Set a Budget

While this may not be the most fun part of planning, establishing a budget early on helps narrow down your options and prevents you from falling in love with a dress that’s over what you're wanting to spend. Remember to include costs for things such as alterations and accessories.

3. Do Your Research

Before heading to the bridal shops, gather inspiration from their website, Pinterest, and Instagram. Note the styles, fabrics, and designers that catch your eye. This will help you communicate your preferences to the Bridal Stylist.

4. Choose the Right Bridal Shop

Select the bridal shop known for its excellent service and a wide range of styles. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Booking an appointment ensures you get personalized attention. Also be aware of your interaction with where you're shopping so make sure they fit your personality and will make this process fun and stress-free for you.

5. Keep an Open Mind

While it’s great to have a vision, be open to trying on different styles. Many brides end up choosing a dress that’s entirely different from what they initially envisioned. Wedding gowns look different on the hanger than they do on us. Trust the expertise of your consultant—they might suggest something that surprises you.

6. Come a Little Dolled Up

Coming to your appointment with your hair or makeup styled similar to your wedding day inspiration can help you envision yourself on the actual day. While this is never a requirement, it certainly helps paint the picture, especially if you are a visual person!

7. Focus on Fit, Not Size

Wedding dress sizes often run higher than regular clothing. Don’t get hung up on the number; focus on finding a dress that fits well and flatters your body type. It’s much easier to take a dress in than let it out.

8. Bring the Right Undergarments

Wear nude undergarments and bring a strapless bra to your appointments. If you’ve already chosen your wedding shoes, bring those too. The right foundation garments and shoes will help you get a true sense of how the dress will look and feel on your big day.

9. Your Entourage

While it’s tempting to bring a large group for support, too many opinions can be overwhelming. Limit your entourage to trusted people whose opinions you value and who value what you are wanting. Remember, at the end of the day, the final decision is yours.

10. Trust Your Instincts

When you find “the one,” you’ll likely feel a sense of certainty and excitement. Trust your instincts and don’t feel pressured to keep looking once you’ve found a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident. That feeling of finding THE dress is such a special moment, you don't want to lose it.

Bonus Tips

Plan for Alterations

Almost every wedding dress will need some level of alteration to ensure a perfect fit. Keep this in mind when starting your wedding dress journey, while dresses can take upwards to 6 months to come in, you'll want no less than 3 months for alterations! Schedule fittings well in advance and budget accordingly as standard wedding dress alterations can range from $500-$1,000 not including customizations.

Have Fun!

This is such a big moment for you and your significant other, remember to have fun! Don't stress too much about those little details and trying to make everything "perfect," your special day will be perfect because you are marrying the love of your life!

By following these easy tips like starting early, doing your research, and staying true to your personal style, you’ll find a dress that makes you feel like the most beautiful version of yourself on your special day. Happy shopping!

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