To my brides-to-be and/or wedding dress dreamers, the day is here!
I finally booked one too many bridal appointments, pretended to know the difference between ivory and diamond white, and alas, found my dream wedding dress!
For a rundown on how it all went, I invite you to grab your favourite mug, fill it up with coffee, and watch the video over on my YouTube channel!
for a TL;DR excerpt on the video itself – I found my dream dress! The exhibition was long and weary, especially when you combine getting a gift from mother nature with a dash of the flu and a cold sore the size of a meteorite
But all islands-on-my-face aside, I had an absolute blast trying on sparkly dresses for a week. Playing the bride before my big day served as a reminder to me – it awakened a sense of presence that this is happening. I am alive and well and getting married. I am able to dance around in pretty dresses and fall in love and plan out the best day of my life, because I am here. and as cheesy as that may sound, I never thought I would ever see this day.
anorexia’s gotta be rolling in it’s grave at the sight of my strides.
Okay, enough cheese. Time for some tips and tricks to make your wedding dress shopping experience as smooth peanut butter (but you will most likely experience the crunchy kind, ‘cuz that’s just life).
TIP. 1: GET INSPIRED
Open up your Pinterest board and start pinning styles that you both love and dread. This is going to help a ton in narrowing down your search, while also helping you cancel out styles you dread. For example, after pinning about 50 dresses, I could easily see a theme I loved (lace, floral, and that timeless ivory tone) as well as styles I was not a fan of (strapless ball gowns, overly bedazzled busts, and blinged out belts).
TIP. 2: STAY OPEN-MINDED
As much as Pinterest is helpful in figuring out your preferred style, don’t be afraid to step out of your box and try styles you didn’t except to like! I found that most of the dresses I pinned on Pinterest looked amazing on the models, but on my curvier and more muscular frame, it looked much different. So trying on different styles of dresses while keeping the same elements I loved from my Pinterest board really helped!
TIP. 3: DON’T LET EXTERNAL FACTORS RAIN ON YOUR PARADE
Now this is a tip I wish I adhered to a bit better. For example, although 95% of my consultants were awesome, there was the occasional one that was far too pushy with her sales tactic. Coupled with my existing lack of decision making skills, I didn’t have the funnest time at that specific appointment. If I could do it over, I would have practiced tuning out the extra pressure and sales pitches.
TIP. 4: DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT
Again, I wish I did this a bit better. For instance, something I had a big problem with was salons that didn’t allow photos being taken. This would have been a deal breaker to me had I done my research, since most of my bridesmaids couldn’t attend the bridal appointments. I wanted them to be a part of the experience as best as I could, so not being able to snap and share a photo was a definite bummer. Also, most of the stores that wouldn’t allow photos also didn’t share the dress information with me, so if that is something that it important to you (i.e. to research the designer, see the dress on various models, find an average value for the dress), make sure you know what the rules are before making your appointment!
TIP. 5: DON’T BE AFRAID TO DISCUSS YOUR BUDGET
I think it’s really important to share your budget with your consultant. There are a ton of dresses at various values, and usually consultants are happy to work within your range to find your dream dress! And as consultants help to accommodate to fit your price range, make sure to stay firm on that price point. That means that trying on a dress thats $1,000 over budget is probably not the best idea for your emotional and financial status.
bonus tip: There are some stores that only carry exclusive designers that are on the higher end of most budgets, but I found that this info is usually shared on their websites.
TIP. 6: PRACTICE HONESTY AND OPENNESS
During one of my appointments, a super rad consultant told me to speak my mind about all the dresses I try on! “No hard feelings, because I didn’t design them!” In speaking up with full honesty, I was able to narrow down my hunt and finally say yes to the dress
TIP. 7: SLEEP ON IT
I think it’s more than okay to leave your appointment without a concrete answer. Sometimes the excitement of the appointments can really sway your decision – If you’re great at decision making, this probably won’t influence you to the same degree as my ambivalent self. But just know that there’s no harm in taking a step back, looking at photos, and reflecting back on each dress. I took a week to realize the dress I wanted was the first ever dress I tried on. Had I have gotten it on the same day, I would have probably been more anxious since I wouldn’t have tried on as many dresses as I hoped to.
But at the end of the day, and 70 dresses later, the right dress still seemed to call my name.
TIP. 8: DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY YES
Although it can sound contradictory to my previous tip, I think dress shopping is the perfect opportunity to practice your decision-making skills. While it’s more than okay to take the time you need, once you put your thoughts in order, don’t be afraid to seal your wedding dress journey with a heartfelt & resounding yes
Congratulations to all you bride-to-be’s! I wish you love and light on route to say I Do!