Choosing a wedding dress is the biggest decision of your wedding, alongside choosing your venue! The dress will set the stage for the event theme and and is also something you hold on to for a long time. You will forever have a photo of you, in your dress, with your husband on your desk/in your house… But you already knew that, right?
With that being said, I’m not going to add to your stress by reminding you how important picking the right one is; instead, I’m going to help you navigate the options and make the process easier!
The first step in picking the perfect dress is to establish a budget. Getting a dollar value in mind will help narrow down choices and save the heart ache of falling in love with a dress that’s way out of your price range. You’ll want to consider all the possible extra expenses, such as a belt, veil, jewelry, alterations, a crown (if that’s your style), and even dry cleaning! All of these thing quickly drive up the price of your purchase!
The next thing you’ll want to do before you prepare for your big shopping day is get an idea of styles of dresses you like! You can start by browsing magazines, Pinterest, and other wedding blogs to get a sense of your like and dislikes. Keep in mind while you are browsing, hair styles are a big part of what complete the look for your wedding day, so you’ll want to choose styles that will complement your hair, as well. For example, a flowy, simple dress may look gorgeous on that model with perfect, long hair all tossed in a flawless, messy braid, but your short bob may not have enough interest to dress up the plain dress. You’d need a detail necklace or statement earrings to bring that kind of detail to the same look, all of which cost a fortune as you add on details! It’s not impossible, but spending some time considering all of your options will make the process much easier.
After you’ve settled on a look and have a few ideas in your mind, it’s time to gather your girlfriends and head to the boutique! I advise researching the store you are booking with before you go. Check out the lines they carry, their average price portfolio, and if they have seasonal “sample sales.” The place you purchase from is just as important as the dress itself. You want to go somewhere that has experienced dress experts, and somewhere they understand your style. There is nothing worse that walking out in a dress you love, only to be met by someone with completely different taste than you. It is also infuriating to have an expensive dress (that’s outside your budget) presented to you, only to find out you couldn’t have it, even if you sold your liver! Moral of the story? DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BROWSE!
Now that you’ve gathered all of your girlfriends, family, and bridesmaids, it’s time to hit the fitting room! But what dresses will you try on? Explaining your look to your representative is vital! She may let you browse the racks, in addition to pulling a few of her favs for you. Don’t be hesitant to let her help, she has a lot more experience with dresses being made for different body types. Also, don’t be shy to try on samples if they are having a sample sale… The dress may have been tried on a thousand times, but it’s 1/3 of the cost and a quick dry clean and alteration will make it brand new, custom fit for you. Trust me ;) It’s beautiful, eh?
Raise your arms!! HERE COMES THE DRESS—This is the most exciting part! It’s the most important part too. You’re in your first dress… YAY! You walk out, mom cries, the whole world is revolving around you. It’s easy to begin to feel overwhelmed, in this moment! But take a deep breath and bask in it. It’s your day! However, take my advice. Don’t fall in love with the first dress. Trying on wedding dresses is a different experience; you’ve looked forward to this moment your entire life and no matter what dress you are in, you will feel special. It takes a few dresses to get used to the idea that they are allllll beautiful dresses. They are wedding dresses and someone will wear them on the prettiest day of their life. THAT BEING SAID…. They are not all your wedding dress.
So how do you pick? My advice? Try on a hundred dresses. Take your time. Love all of them. (Don’t worry) you’ll hate some too. But take the time to really process the dresses. Go to lunch and mull the options over. I promise…. I had always heard that “when you know, you know.” I didn’t believe it after trying on a thousand dresses that left me in tears, but believe me when I say… It’s true. You just know!
Don’t let price, selection, or the sales clerk get you down. There is 100% a dress made just for you. You just have to enjoy to journey of finding it!
A huge thanks to:
Blue Bridal in Downtown Denver for my gorgeous dress! My experience was amazing and couldn’t have been an easier/more pleasant!
Walnut Street Photography for capturing the most perfect day of my life. You were wonderful to work with and absolutely professional with all of my family!