I have recently begun to try on wedding dresses, and have now had two bridal appointments. After years of watching Say Yes To the Dress, my dream has become a reality…woah, things are getting real!!
Although, in effort of full honesty and disclosure, I will share that I actually starting trying on dresses immediately after I got engaged – some of my friends’ dresses, my mom’s, aunt’s, great-aunt’s, and sister-in-law’s. Whether it was pouffy shoulders from the 80s, or an elegant timeless classic from over 50 years ago, I was game to try on anything!
But recently I decided to make actual appointments at bridal stores. I first went to Bliss Bridal, and was blown away by their incredible new store location on K.L.O. During this blissful appointment, I felt exactly how a bride should feel: special, beautiful, and valued. We had our own private fitting room section, and my group of family and friends felt so welcomed.
I most recently had my appointment at Ashbury Bridal downtown. Ashbury Bridal is a consignment boutique, and I loved their motto of “love it forward”. Shilo (the owner) made us feel right at home, and was beyond knowledgeable about wedding dresses and accessories.
I had always pictured this would be a magical experience, but these appointments exceeded my expectations! As I am still shopping for my perfect wedding dress, and these initial experiences are so fresh in my memory, I wanted to share 5 things that I found helpful to bring to wedding dress appointments:
1. Intentional Attire
Most bridal stores tend to ask you to take your shoes off right away, so you should wear socks or bring socks to wear in the store. I have found that It is helpful to arrive wearing nude underwear and nude strapless bra (if you have them). Wearing both of these help showcase the dresses best. To my surprise (and delight) many dresses don’t require a bra at all…hello comfort! So no problem if you don’t have a strapless bra.
If you wear makeup, make sure you aren’t wearing a ton (particularly lipstick) that could get on the dresses. Same goes for body lotion.
Bringing a hair elastic or having your hair in your desired wedding style when you arrive is helpful to get the full effect of the dress as it would appear on your wedding day.
2. Focused Entourage of family/friends
For my first dress appointment, I brought along SEVEN of my friends and family with me. You could say I was a little excited. My most recent appointment I brought four family members. The smaller group was a bit more ideal for getting feedback without being overwhelmed by opinions. I’ve heard the suggestion of having 1-3 consistent people at each wedding dress appointment, so they can see the full picture of dresses that look best, and they know your style and favourites. I think this is a fantastic tip that I will try to follow!
3. Budget In Mind
Come to your appointment with a budget in mind, and share this with your store consultant. The consultant needs to know the limits, so they bring you dresses within your price range. You may decide to try on a few outside of your price range just to get an idea of specific styles you like. However, just be cautious of the possibility of falling in love with a dress outside your price range. You can also check the bridal salons’ websites or ask over the phone what the price range of their dresses are before your appointment.
4. Wedding Vision
Come to your wedding dress appointment with a few ideas of things you do and don’t like; either in a list you can share with your consultant, or with a few photos. This will give your consultant a starting place. Be open to changes though – you may be surprised by what you like after you try some things on. I originally pictured myself in full lace, and was somewhat set on this vision. However after trying on a few full lace dresses, I decided that despite their visual appeal, I felt completely constrained and almost itchy in these gowns…who would’ve known!
It’s also important to consider your season and venue. I am getting married outside during the summer, and have an outdoor staircase to navigate towards the ceremony. Given this, I am prioritizing comfort over elegance. This is only one factor in picking your wedding dress, but certainly something to consider!
5. Cameras (Aka smart phones)
I didn’t realize how important it would be to have photos to look back on later to review all the dresses I had tried on. It is super helpful! At my first appointment, I tried on around 10 dresses. If I hadn’t had photos to remind me of all of them, it would have been challenging to recall the difference, and which ones I loved. My dress appointment entourages have been awesome at taking photos for me….if they are reading this: you rock!
As always have so much fun with this process…I am certainly enjoying it myself! Do you have any tips for successful bride dress shopping and saying yes to the dress?