10 Tips for Choosing Your Dream Wedding Dress
“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
Few things are more delightful and inspiring than getting ready to say “I do” to the person you love. However, there comes a time when the reality of it all kicks in. Where’s the wedding going to be? Who are we going to invite? Do we have a budget? And finally, the biggest question of all: What am I going to wear? Finding the perfect wedding gown is no easy task. Consider these 10 tips before purchasing your wedding dress.
1. Calm Down!
The utter multitude of options can be overwhelming. Don’t panic – there are steps you can take to narrow these down. Some styles look more flattering on specific body types, and personality is always a factor. New York Dress has a lot of posts about choosing the best dress for your body type on their blog. Your choice might also be influenced by current trends, although it doesn’t have to be.
Do research online before heading off to the bridal salon. There are some beautiful gowns on Pinterest. You could follow your favorite designers to see new collections or see if there are any trunk shows in the area.
2. Set a Budget
Now that you’ve regained your composure and settled on a style, set a figure you can afford to spend on your wedding dress. There’s no denying the allure of gorgeous elaborate or ornate gowns that you’re guaranteed to dazzle in – just make sure you can afford one.
3. Plan Ahead
Experts recommend planning as early as a year in advance because it can take up to 10 months to make a gown. You also need to take fittings and alterations into account. Shipping times are a consideration, especially if you’re ordering a dress from abroad. At any rate, start preparing as early as you can. Some salons offer express services, but these can come at a high price.
4. Find a Bridal Salon You Love
If you don’t have one in mind right now, ask friends for recommendations or look at reviews online. It’s a good idea to check their prices in advance as well, in keeping with tip 2. Ideally, schedule bridal salon appointments over one weekend or in one day so you aren’t overwhelmed by endless dress options.
5. Call the Salon in Advance
If you’ve found a salon whose products you like, call them in advance. They may require you to book an appointment or the dress you saw online might not be available. When you call, tell them as much as you can about the dress style you’re looking for. It’s a good idea to communicate the venue to them as well. This does make a difference. There’s an interesting article on New York Dress’ blog about choosing the perfect wedding dress to match the venue. Venues can range from traditional (city hall, church) to mountain, seaside, rustic and more.
Of course, inform the salon when the wedding will be. All this information will help them put together a collection of dresses for you to choose from when you come in for your appointment. If they don’t have your style of choice, ask them if they can order a sample. And on that note…
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Your wedding day is a very important time for you and no issue should be left unaddressed. Ask them if they offer plus-sized samples of their dresses (if applicable), whether they do alterations, how long it will take to make the dress, if you need to pick it up or they can ship it to you, how much shipping will cost, and any special instructions on how to clean the dress and if it’s OK to steam it. If the dress will need specific fastening or bustling, make sure you or a friend knows how to do this.
7. Wedding Dress Sizes Vary Greatly
Wedding dress sizes vary to a much greater extent than sizes of casual clothes. This is why size is an issue you shouldn’t be overly concerned with. 99% of all wedding gowns require some modifications. Ultimately, the gown you purchase will be tailored to ensure a perfect fit. There’s much more to choosing a wedding dress than picking a size.
8. Keep your Options Open
This tip seems to contradict our first one (settle on a style), but it reflects the fact that there are many, many types of brides. Some women find it impossible to choose a specific style and color and stick to those. Traditional wedding dresses are white and A-line, but this is not for everyone. You may have a favorite style and color, but disregarding everything else could mean missing out on something really great. There are backless, strapless, mermaid, even cocktail-style wedding dresses in nude, light blue, ivory, off-white, or champagne. Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown. What you love may surprise you.
9. Keep the Weather and Venue in Mind
Dainty silk and satin gowns are irresistible, but somewhat unsuitable for a cool fall outdoor wedding. Dresses with overlays or sleeves will keep you warm, especially for a wedding party in the evening or an outdoor wedding. A full tulle skirt is just right for a late fall or winter wedding, but not a spring or summer one.
10. Listen to your Heart
This might seem like over-simplifying, but it is a fact of life: what goes for the partner also goes for the dress. Don’t hesitate to say ‘yes’ to the dress that wins your heart. By all means go for an ornate work of art encrusted with gems and sparkling like the stars in the sky if you feel that’s what expresses your personality best.
The Beginning of a Shared Lifetime
The matrimonial union marks the beginning of a beautiful new period in your life. Your dress and every other aspect of the wedding should reflect that. It should be a spectacular experience – and we know it will!
Author Bio: Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of NewYorkDress.com. NewYorkDress.com, established in 2008, is the #1 online source for Evening and Prom dresses worldwide. As Creative Director, Jonah works to create the ultimate online and in store luxury shopping experience with a focus on service and personalization.