It’s time to go wedding-dress shopping—the day you’ve been dreaming about ever since you met your fiancé! While most brides know to look through bridal magazines, Instagram, and Pinterest for wedding-gown ideas and bridal designers they love, the rest of the first-time shopping experience may be a bit of a mystery. Sure, you want to feel like Cinderella, twirling around as you try on wedding gowns and sip champagne, with your mom and BFF’s teary-eyed and lending support and love. But there are some details that you should know in advance that will make this experience the best it can be. In addition to making an appointment beforehand and confirming that the bridal salon carries your style and favorite designers, here are some wedding-dress shopping tips to keep in mind.
1. The gowns will most likely not be the perfect fit
Finding your wedding gown will be unlike any other dress-shopping experience you’ve encountered to date. Since wedding gowns are custom-made to your specifications, bridal salons typically have one sample size of each design in their shop, and it’s usually a size 8 or 10. So if you’re a size 0, they’ll clamp the back to give you an idea of the gown’s silhouette in your size—and if you’re a size 14, they’ll hold the back open so you can also see what the shape and style will look like on your body. If you have curves, definitely call to inquire about the largest sample size they have in the store. Many salons are starting to stock larger sizes—and some salons cater to just curvy brides.
2. You can customize the details
You found your dream dress, but you wish it had little cap sleeves. or a shorter train or a beaded bodice. Be sure to speak up and let your bridal consultant know as you’re trying on wedding dresses. Since the gown will be made to order, many details can be added or taken away depending on the designer. You can genuinely wind up with the wedding gown of your dreams. Sleeves, buttons, trains, laces, fabrics, necklines, colors, beading, bling, and bustles can usually be altered to your heart’s desire. Keep in mind, however, that each customization comes with an additional cost. Be sure to ask your consultant the price of each item you would like to change so that you can make sure you stay within your desired budget.
3. Invest in appropriate foundation garments
We can’t stress enough how important the proper bra or undergarments are to the look of your wedding gown. If you know you want a strapless wedding dress, consider investing in a longline strapless bra, or corset, that truly fits. Be measured for the perfect-fitting bra at a lingerie boutique, and it will make such a difference. Even if you do not intend to wear a strapless gown, the proper undergarments are critical to how the gown will look on your body as you are trying on wedding dresses. While your bridal consultant will be able to advise you on which undergarments are needed for the gown you choose if you arrive prepared it will make your wedding dress shopping experience that much more successful.
4. Look into trunk shows
Trunk shows are when designers bring their entire collection to a bridal salon in your area. Typically, a bridal salon may offer half a dozen gowns from one designer, but during a trunk show, you’re able to see all of their gowns. You’ll also be able to talk to the designer or representative in person, hear which gowns they’d suggest for your wedding, and even customize something entirely your own. Since a representative is often present in the store as you’re trying on wedding gowns, they’ll be able to tell you whether they can make the gown you love in satin instead of Mikado, whether they can add long sleeves to your favorite sheath, or which laces they could swap out on the bodice or skirt. Bridal salons also typically offer discounts on gowns if you purchase the day of the trunk show, so if there’s a specific designer that you love, be sure to check their trunk-show schedule—and mark your calendar for when they’ll be traveling to your area. A trunk show is a fabulous opportunity to partake in your custom appointment with your favorite designer.
5. Schedule your hair and makeup trial for the same day
Brides are now scheduling their hair and makeup trials for the same day as when they go wedding-dress shopping so that they can see their entire wedding-day look. This will take a little planning, but it’s entirely doable. Once you know the bridal salon that carries the styles and designers you’re interested in, schedule your appointment well in advance. Then coordinate the date with your hair and makeup trial. Give yourself enough time for the trial—which typically takes between one and two hours—and travel time to the bridal salon. We’d suggest a morning makeup/hair trial with a bridal salon appointment in the early afternoon. This is a great way to have a lot of fun as you’re trying on wedding dresses—and not have your professionally styled hair and makeup go to waste. Just be sure to plan on having a date-night as well!
If you’re looking for a high-end wedding-dress shopping experience with exceptional customer service, contact us at Bridal Atelier Montclair. We’re conveniently located in the heart of Upper Montclair, and our experts specialize in wedding gown, jewelry, and accessory selection. Your family and friends will have a great time in an intimate and relaxed setting. Please request an appointment when you’re ready to find your dream gown.