You’re heading out in search of your perfect wedding dress, and you’re ready for a break from wedding planning and to be pampered at a boutique. But what really happens when you visit a wedding gown shop, bridal boutique, specialist store, or department store bridal department? Does the whole process seem overwhelming? Don’t worry, it’s really quite easy, here’s what to expect at your first appointment..
When you first arrive, one of the stylists will sit down with you and discuss your wedding plans, bridesmaids, venue, theme, etc. to get an idea of what gowns might be suitable. She will also look at any pictures from magazines that you bring along, to get an idea of the sorts of dresses you like. You will then spend some time looking along the rails of gowns to pick out styles that you like, and then your stylist will help you into each one, pinning it to fit you, so you get a really good idea of how it would look on the day. You will usually be lent some wedding shoes to try the dress samples on with, but you need to make sure you wear suitable underwear. Your appointment will be for about 1 hour, and you will probably try on 5-6 gowns during that time. You can take a friend or your mum along with you to help, but remember it’s your day and your dress, so don’t ask for too many opinions.
When you find your perfect dress, you will somehow just know. It’s a bit like meeting your future husband! If you want, come back with a friend for further advice. It’s best to select a couple of favorites from all the ones you’ve tried on so it will be easier to make your final decision.
Generally, all dresses are made to order, with alterations made nearer to your wedding day (brides often lose weight as the big day gets closer). It will take about 5-6 months from the date of placing the order, depending on the store or boutique, so even if you’ve just got engaged, you should start making appointments to try on dresses. The same applies to bridesmaids dresses, although in some stores they have a few that are available ‘ready to wear.’
You can pay for your dress by cash or card and some stores offer payment schedules that spread the cost of your gown over a number of months at 0% interest! It’s always worth asking if this is possible.
The appointment ought to be a break from your hectic planning, so make sure that you go to a place that will treat it like so. Get suggestions from friends or coworkers on places they may have been liked or disliked. It is more than acceptable to visit numerous stores. And most importantly, don’t stop until you feel that you’ve found your dress!