It’s time to shop for your dream dress! I wanted to share a few tips from a planners perspective as well as from my experience working in a high end Bridal Boutique in my hometown of Richmond, Va. Shopping for your wedding dress should be a fun and exciting experience! Some brides have dreamed of this day for years with a full Pinterest board to show it, and others don’t have a clue until they start trying on. Both experiences are so fun to see and the realizations brides make in the process is an exciting opportunity that I have. Here are a few tips for brides in any scenario, whether you’ve dreamt it or need to try on each style to find the perfect gown for you!
Helpful Dress Tips
- Allow yourself plenty of time to find the perfect gown! This means starting the process shortly after getting engaged, but not too quick, enjoy the engaged bliss first!
- If you have an idea of what kind of dress you would like, look at your local boutiques (or where you’re willing to drive) and see what designers they carry. Some boutiques can request to borrow dresses from designers that they carry- always ask about this if you have your eye on a particular gown!
- Book your appointment with the boutique as soon as you know your availability! Some places can book up weeks in advance, especially for weekends!
It takes roughly 4-6 months for a wedding gown to arrive after placing your order. Some designers may be able to work quicker than others and customizations may affect the time as well.
- When you order a dress, it is based on your measurements but that doesn’t mean the dress comes in without needing any type of adjustments. This means, you need to allow about 8 weeks for alterations. Typically, brides need a bustle installed, a hem, cups inserted, and minor adjustments, but on the off chance that the dress needs more alterations, it’s important to allow extra time.
- Make sure you have alternations done by a bridal seamstress. Wedding gowns are very different from formal dresses, pants, shirts, and other every day clothing. Most bridal boutiques will have recommendations for you if they don’t have one in house.
- Find your wedding shoes before your dress arrives! You’ll need these for alterations since your hem will be done and you want it to be perfect for the day of your wedding!
- Once you’ve picked up your dress, keep the gown in the gown bag! It’s important to keep it protected and in a safe space. Store your gown in a closet or on a flat surface, such as a bed that is out of direct sunlight.
- Lastly, If you want to try on your dress at home anytime between picking up the dress and taking it to a seamstress, have someone help you get zipped up. It’s very important that the zipper is zipped straight up to avoid damaging or twisting the zipper (they aren’t cheap to repair). The best way to ensure the zipper is straight, is to have someone else clasp the hook and eye and then zip straight up. Typically stiffer fabrics are a little harder to zip since they are thicker, you may have to push your hands back at the waist on the fabric so the zipper doesn’t have to pull too hard.
Have fun!! This process isn’t meant to be stressful which is why it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time! Ask all of the questions you may have while at your appointment, no question is too little or “dumb”. This is most likely your first time trying on wedding dresses so consultants expect to answer questions and share their knowledge with you. I know the ladies at Annalise Bridal Boutique love their job, including me! Not many things come close to helping a bride find her wedding gown!
Maggie and Whit- John Marshall Ballrooms
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