Mind The Pricetags
Shopping within your budget is important. If you or a member of your party encourages you to try on a dress that is way out of your budget "just for fun", prepare yourself to fall in love with it. It does happen and can hinder any other dress you try on after that as it may not measure up leaving you in a tough spot. If you know you're not going to spend outside of your budget on your dress, don't waste your time by trying on a bunch of gowns for the fun of it when you can be zeroing in on gorgeous gowns in your realistic price point and selecting from all of the amazing options that are available to you. Also, keep in mind that the everything adds up! Don't forget to factor in the additional costs such as tax, alterations, headpiece and jewelry.
Don't let the timeline fool you, your wedding will be here before you know it! You really should budget at least six to eight months to get your gown—and that's if you're really decisive. If you find yourself to have a hard time making decisions or if you are really picky or don't know what you are looking for, start looking at least 8-12 months before your big day. Once you find "The One", say YES and purchase it! Your wedding gown is a major check off this list so having that done will help you move along to other important parts of the planning process.
Book an Appointment
While appointments are not necessary, they are really helpful because that at least gives the salon notice that you are coming in at a certain time therefore making sure a Consultant is available to help you. You may not think you need loads of help or may plan on just browsing through the racks and trying a few on, but having a professional along side you can help turn that sea of white racks into a narrowed down section based on what you are looking for! You may get lucky and get a Consultant just by walking in, scheduling an appointment guarantees that you will have undivided attention. If there is a specific Consultant you want to work with, request her by name when you book the appointment.
Trust Your Consultant
Never say NO based on how a dress looks like on the hanger. If your consultant brings you something that she is sure you should try on, you should try it on - even if you don't initially love it or think that it's "you". It is incredibly possibly and very common for a Bride to fall in love with a dress that she originally did not like the look of on the hanger. Remember that not only does your Consultant works around these gowns all the time, but she has been with you the whole time and has been thinking about which dresses she can recommend to you based on your comments and critiques of the ones you have been trying on. Keep an open mind, you never know!
Shop At the Right Time
Taking a half day off to shop on, say, a Tuesday morning is absolutely worth it. Saturday afternoons are the most popular times—which actually makes them the worst. For a more stress free, calm environment, try to avoid the busiest times. A calm and quiet store means you may feel less pressure and more peace of mind as you make the big decision. Another shopping trick: Don't bring an entourage. It may be tempting to include all your friends in this experience, but any more than one or two adds up to too many clashing opinions.
As many women often do, you may have plans to lose a few pounds before your big day and even if you do, your body lines and silhouette usually stays the same. This means that THE DRESS will always be THE DRESS no matter what size you are! Besides, it is a lot easier and much less expensive to take a gown in than to try to make the dress work if it is too small.
While most salons will have shoes and a slip on hand for you to try on with your gown, you should still come prepared with a nude bra and underwear for the fittings. While many dresses have a built in corset complete with bra cups, you may feel more comfortable with your own bra and appropriate underwear is always a good idea!
Trust Your Instincts
When you find the right dress, you'll know—you won't want to put on anything else and you will feel like a Queen in it. Have some tissues handy; it can be an emotional moment!