Ask the Expert: Top Five Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

by Ryan Conner | March 19, 2014

VictorHarper

A Victor Harper couture gown could be “the one.” You can see the collection at StarDust Celebrations.

Thanks to Marsha Ballard French from StarDust Celebrations for answering this week’s reader question:

What are the top five tips for getting the most out of my dress appointments? I want to be as prepared as possible.

Plan Ahead
Bring pictures (from Pinterest, magazines, and online) of what you like. Do some basic research on designers’ styles and price points and know how they align with yours. Comprise a list of adjectives to describe the feel you want to achieve. Here are five fairly encompassing styles we see brides interested in most often:

·         unique, fashion forward, sexy/hot – “JLo-ish”
·         light, whimsical, airy, flowing – “Mid-Summer’s Night Dream-ish”
·         classic, elegant, traditional – “Grace Kelly-ish”
·         rustic, easy to move, romantic
·         20 or 30’s art deco – “Gatsby-ish”

Trust your Stylist
While we love for you to come in with your own thoughts and ideas about what you’re looking for, we encourage you to be open minded! Our stylists are all bridal professionals with years of experience and are experts at finding brides their perfect wedding gown. While you may not initially like something on the hanger, don’t be afraid to try it on! More than 60% of brides deviate from their original vision of “the dress.” We have so many brides who think they won’t like a certain silhouette, but as soon as they try it on and see how it fits, it totally transforms their ideas and will often end up being the gown they wear down the aisle.

Keep the Circle of Influence Small
Limit the number of guests you bring and keep it to people whose opinions you respect and those you trust to listen to your wishes above their own. We suggest no more than three people.

Know Your Timeline
Allow yourself six to eight months’ lead time. Gowns take four to five months to make, and you’ll want to consider alterations time (allow four to six weeks) and time for a bridal portrait (about two months) if you’re taking one.

Maximize your Appointment Time
Communicate with your stylist about what you like and don’t like once a dress is on, being as specific as possible. Also, be considerate of your bridal stylist’s – and other brides’ – time. If you’re shopping during a weekend, your stylist probably has a full schedule so arrive on time and be aware the scheduled end time.

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