Back in February, I got to have the moment that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl. I said “yes” to my beautiful wedding dress! The experience was everything I could have imagined, and then some. Every girl deserves to have that special moment, and whether you are a wedding guru or a novice, there are certain ways to achieve it! Read my tips on having that perfect “say yes to the dress” moment below.
Set your budget, and ONLY look at dresses within that budget.
How many times have you been out shopping, fallen in love with a cute blouse, tried it on, and then looked at the price tag to find out it was $80 more than you were able to spend? It’s pretty freaking soul crushing. Now, imagine that on the scale of “I’m buying the most important dress I will ever buy in my life,” and imagine how much your heart would break if you could not afford to buy THE dress. Because of this, I really can’t stress to you enough how important this is. Your dream dress may or may not be within your budget, but it is essential that you do not look at dresses that are not within your means. Even when you are just researching, and getting an idea of what you want it’s a good idea to only look at dresses and brands that you know you can afford. Pick salons that have gowns within your budget, and when you get there be up front with your stylist about what your budget is. Also, take into account the cost of a veil, bridal accessories, and alterations- it adds up fast.
Research bridal boutiques in your area
Do you want a bohemian style dress? Vintage? Classic? Believe it or not, bridal boutiques have their personalities that are as diverse as the dresses they carry. This is why it’s important to make sure you go to a boutique that matches your style. The way I found the two bridal boutiques I ended up going to were by proximity and the brands of designers they carried. I have been obsessed with Anna Campbell dresses since I discovered Pinterest in high school, and there are only two boutiques in Texas that carry her line. Thankfully, one of them was a short hour long drive to Austin. The other boutique was also down the street from the first in Austin, and it carried Hayley Paige- another designer I love (and within my budget (-: ). It’s also important to point out that just because a boutique carries a certain designer’s line, it does not mean that they will carry the dress you fall in love with online. Before you book an appointment to try on THAT dress, ask them if they carry that style. If you have no idea where to start, I suggest using The Knot’s general app to find boutiques, and their Look Book app to familiarize you with brands and styles.
Keep your body type in mind.
That mermaid dress that you just lllllloooooovvvvveeee is beautiful, but if you know that mermaid dresses don’t accentuate your shape, then why try it on? Wedding dress shopping is no different than regular shopping, and you know how discouraging it is to get into the dressing room and be trying on things that just don’t fit. Quite frankly, planning the perfect wedding is stressful enough already, and there is no reason to make what should be a beautiful experience a stressful one. While I think all of Anna Campbell’s designs are beautiful, I knew from looking at them online that they were not built for my shape. I ignored this fact and had my heart broken when none of them looked good on me.
Eat a small meal before you go
You don’t want to try on dresses feeling like your three weeks over due with a food baby, do you? I ate yogurt that morning, and I was fine until lunch!
Do your hair and makeup before you go
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t go to the mall, try on clothes, and feel good in them unless my hair looks decent! As I said before, wedding dress shopping is SHOPPING-just elevated. Obviously, if you feel and look your best, you’ll be in a good mood. Good Moods=Good Vibes= Positive Karma= Finding your dress! Plus, if you have an idea of what you want your wedding makeup to look like, this is a great way to see if that burgundy lipstick will look good with your dress beforehand.
Bring whoever and whomever you want
We all LOVE “Bride Friday” on TLC. One reoccurring piece of advice we have all heard over the years is “don’t bring too many people to your consultation.” This is total BS. With ten bridesmaids and an incredibly blended family, there was no way on God’s green Earth that I was going to be able to limit the attendees to three people! Every person that came and their opinion was incredibly important to me. So, this is who came: my mom and dad, biological dad and my step-mom, my grandparents, my maid of honor, five of my bridesmaids (one being my future sister-in-law), and my future mother-in-law. Guess what? There was no arguing, no meltdowns, and we all had a great and memorable experience. Obviously, you should think long and hard about if the people you are thinking of inviting will add value not only to their opinions but the day overall. If you don’t think they would, don’t bring them. If you think they would, then invite them, and the ten other people you think would also!
Follow your gut
I was certain that I had found the gown I was going to get married in online previously to trying it on. When I did get the chance to try it on, I adored it! When I showed my family the dress, they also adored it. When I got ‘jacked up” with the veil and wedding jewelry, I knew I looked beautiful. As much as I loved the dress, though, I had this nagging feeling that I should keep looking, and low-and-behold at the next boutique I found a dress that I had zero reservations about. As women, we already have strong intuition, so we might as well put it to good use and follow it!
& the absolute BEST advice I received before trying on my dress:
Wear modest underwear and a strapless bra/ sticky boobs
Seriously. My mom has seen me naked 1000+ times, but I would have felt so uncomfortable in just a thong in front of my future mother-in-law! Even if you are not trying on strapless dresses, every dress you try on will look 100X better without straps.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from that day, and that weekend! Since everyone was in South Texas, my fiancé’s parents held an engagement crawfish boil for us the next day.
What advice do you have to offer for anyone trying on wedding dresses? Let me know in the comments!