So, you said yes, and found The One. Now it’s time to find the ‘other’ one…the dress. Even if you are a gal who has given this subject lots of thought (secret Pinterest boards), nothing can quite prepare you for the real thing. With an overwhelming volume of silhouettes, fabrics, and different styles, you may quickly find yourself in over your head. Don’t fret! We are here to rescue you, sweet Love, as you embark on life’s biggest retail mission.
1. Pre-appointment, do some research
If there is any piece of advice you should take into bridal shopping it is this: do your homework, babe. Raid your friends’ Instagrams, re-pin on Pinterest, or (our fave) go old-school and rip pages out of magazines. Look for commonalities in silhouettes, fabrics, and detailing to help establish your overall “vibe,” and then bring these ideas to your appointments.
2. Come to your appointment prepared with correct undergarments
It can be difficult to imagine how a dress will look when you have your hot pink thong illuminating under it, or your black bra straps poking out. For your appointments, try to wear skin-tone undergarments and a strapless bra. LL is always there to help you figure out what kind of bra will suit your gown the best, too. We got you! (A staff favourite is the Dear Frankie Control Top Thongs
3. Trust your consultant
TRUST. This is the fundamental bond shared between the bride (you!) and your consultant (us!). Although you may have a good idea of the ideal gown, you could try it on and be completely disappointed. Try to stay open to different styles and have faith that your consultant will guide you to your dream dress. You’d be surprised what kind of intuition we’ve gained over the years ;)
Let’s realize that fast fashion has affected our ability to ballpark what a wedding gown could cost. A dress made specifically for you, that incorporates natural silks, fine lace, or beadwork, does cost a pretty penny! So before you set a budget, try to do some research on the creative process involved with producing a wedding gown. (For specifications on what to expect from the designers we carry in the Haven, read our FAQ)
5. Start shopping [1 year-10 months before you tie the knot]
This one has every bride stumped, but it is by FAR one of the most crucial details to know when shopping for your dream dress. We recommend giving yourself eight months to order your dress. This allows enough time for the designer to make your dress, ship it, and for your seamstress to do alternations. Give yourself plenty of time; this way you can avoid rush fees. Remember, Love, you aren’t the only bride in the world getting married.
6. Choose your Haven pals wisely
Of course you want your bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law, grandma, aunt, favourite cousin, best friend, your fiancé’s little sister AND the full gamete of your entourage who know you so well to put in their two cents on your wedding gown. But generally speaking, while the appointment might start off reasonably well, it could quickly get out of hand as opinions begin to soar. Try to narrow your group down to two to three people whose opinions align with your style vision.
7. Don’t be alarmed by bridal sizing
Bridal sizing IS different than regular retail sizing. But, like most apparel sizing, the same goes with the wedding industry: the number on your dress is not representing your body size, it is a garment size. Every designer has their own sizing charts, which allow them to cut the gown. Remember, you will require alterations!
8. Throw out the bridal “rule book”
We’ve seen it time and time again and we’re urging an intervention. Lovers, although we know it’s easy (especially you people-pleasing brides) to get caught up in the jargon of what it means to dress “bridal,” it’s crucial that you trust your instincts. If you want to wear a tulle embroidered ball gown, or a one-piece silk jumpsuit, DO IT! It is your wedding!
Gown shopping is FUN! And at the end of the day, after all the trying on, wedding planning, and venue selection, the only thing that matters is you and your Lover!
See you in the Haven,
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