From the amount of angst involved, you might think finding the right wedding dress was a close second to finding the right person to marry! Don’t stress. These tips will help you narrow down your selection to the dresses that you’ll really love.
Before you go near a wedding dress shop, it helps to do your homework. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and spend an enormous amount of time if you aren’t prepared, but if you go with an idea of what you want and what to expect, shopping for your bridal gown is a lot more fun.
Tip One: You are not a hanger. It doesn’t matter what a dress looks like on a hanger or on anyone else. You and your dress have to work well together, like you and your partner. Think about what style dresses most flatter your body – the one you have now, in real life, not the one you had in college or the one you hope to have someday. (Remember, you’re beautiful right now.) Trying to change for a dress is as unhealthy as trying to change for another person. Think about various styles – empire waist, A-line, trumpet, fishtail, mermaid, ball gown. Learning the lingo about silhouettes, necklines, hem lengths and other details and understanding what most flatters your body shape and size will help you focus on the best choices.
Tip Two: You don’t have to bring your mother and all of your bridesmaids with you. In fact, less is more. Getting other opinions is a great idea, but consider who you invite to join you shopping. One or two close friends who are confident and positive is all you need.
Please don’t bring anyone who is hypercritical or negative. That friend who is always trying to get you to join her latest weight loss effort? She does not need to come. The one who manages to leave you second guessing yourself? Maybe she can meet up with the other one for a skinny latte while you shop with more supportive and enthusiastic friends.
Tip Three: Go prepared to try on wedding dresses. You aren’t going to wear an old bra and running shoes to your wedding, so don’t wear them to try on dresses. This is the perfect occasion to go get fitted for a quality bra. Do your hair in a simple version of how you might wear it on your wedding day, and wear the type of shoes you want for the wedding. If you want to wear ballet flats so you can dance at your reception, don’t try on dresses wearing four-inch heels. Once you are in the dress, walk around a bit. Heck, dance around a bit – but just a bit! Sit down too. You want to have an idea of how the dress will feel during your wedding and reception. Ask a friend to get photos of you in the dress from all angles to help you decide.
Tip Four: Be fearless. If you’ve been secretly dreaming of a dramatic dress, go for it. Don’t like white? Go for any vibrant color in the rainbow. Blue was once the traditional color for Irish wedding dresses. Be open minded and try things the shop staff suggest. Don’t be pressured. Take your time. Look at lots of dresses. Listen to other opinions, but follow your heart.