10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips From a Former Bridal Consultant

You could say that weddings have been a part of my life for a LONNNNG time! Before I became a wedding planner, I worked with a catering company and was a bridal consultant at a small boutique. Both jobs gave me a different perspective on two very different parts of some couples wedding planning experiences.


In my years as a bridal consultant, I learned some tips and tricks of the trade- from the time you book your appointment, to picking up your dress from your final fitting. Want the inside scoop? Let's get started!




#1 BUDGET: I get it, budget might as well be a 4-letter word, but it is really important to figure out how much you want to spend, and how much wiggle room you have. Don't forget to set funds aside to account for alterations (most brides need at least a few hundred dollars worth). You can also add shoes and undergarments to your attire budget.


#2 BE OPEN-MINDED: This is one of the biggest takeaways from working at the shop-go in with an open mind and try on different silhouettes! You never know what is going to look amazing on you and people are often really surprised with the dress they end up with.


#3 BE PREPARED: Bring the proper undergarments and type of shoes you might want to wear on the big day. It doesn’t need to be the exact pair, but choose a heel height or flat shoe that you want to wear on your big day.


#4 SIZING: Dress sizing: there is a special place in hell for the people who created wedding dress sizing. “Street size” and wedding dress sizes can be very different and most women need to buy a larger size to accommodate a full chest or bigger butt and get it altered. Don’t get stressed about the sizes!!


#5 WHO TO BRING: Keep your party SMALL- the more people the more opinions.


#6 WHEN TO START: Start shopping around 9-12 months before your wedding. Some dresses can take over 12 months to arrive in the store!

#7 CHOOSING A DRESS: Most people don’t cry when they find their dress- and that’s okay! Everyone processes emotions differently and it doesn’t mean the dress isn’t “the one”. Also, don’t be afraid to say yes to one of the first dresses you try on!


#8 DRESS REGRET: Dress regret happens when you see other dresses and think that you made a mistake with the dress you chose- 9.9 times out of 10, it isn't a mistake- you chose your beautiful dress for a reason! My advice? Once you say yes to the dress, archive your dress Pinterest board and move on to another part of wedding planning.


#9 FITTINGS: You should schedule at least two fittings (more if your weight fluctuates or you are working with a challenging or fitted fabric)- be prepared with the items you plan to wear on your wedding day. You can even schedule your hair and makeup trial around your fitting to get the "full picture". MAKE SURE YOU CAN SIT AND BREATHE IN YOUR DRESS! There is nothing worse than struggling to look cute when you can't breathe during your first dance or when you sit to eat your salmon at dinner.


#10 BUSTLES: Bustles are one part sorcery and one part functional and two parts annoying. Bustles allow you to pin up your train after your ceremony so you can dance and walk around your reception without everyone and their mom stepping on your dress. Your seamstress is a wizard and has likely made the hook and eye or clear buttons almost impossible to see, so it makes it REALLLLY challenging to find when you at your reception and your wedding squad is 3 glasses deep into the champagne. Bring a friend to your final fitting and take of video of the seamstress showing you exactly how to find the bustle. Send the video to your bridal party (and planner!) to save precious time getting you back out on that dance floor!


Happy Planning!


xoxo,

Lissa


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