How to find THE Dress: Tips from a Bridal Consultant

How to Find THE Dress Image

The wedding gown. THE dress you are going to get married in. Whether you’ve dreamed of a tulle ballgown your whole life or you are searching for the perfect boho chic frock, there are a few things you should know before you start your search. No worries bridal babes! The Blush Bride has you covered!

Gather the Gal Pals

Choose your entourage wisely. Invite family members and friends who will remain positive and encouraging during your search. Generally you want to invite two to six people with you. (Six being a maximum.) Most brides bring their mother, sisters, maid of honor, and maybe their mother-in-law to be. Too many opinions can be confusing, but once you choose the gown you want your closest people to celebrate with you. Share your vision with the group so everyone is on the same page when searching for the dress.

Determine Your Budget

Decide on a budget before you hit the stores. Although you may be flexible on the price if you find a dress that takes your breath away, it is always best to have a ballpark number. (Or even a set budget.) Do you want to stay around $500 or are you open to dropping $4,000 on the gown of your dreams? There are beautiful dresses at every budget, but there is nothing worse than a bride falling in love with a dress her budget doesn’t allow. A good bridal consultant will respect your budget and help pull gowns within the range you’ve given them. Many salons require a 50% deposit to order the dress and the remaining balance will be due when the gown arrives in store.

Plan the Search

Some brides want to stop by the nearest salon as soon as the ring is on their finger, but there is some planning involved. Find a day that works for your entourage and set some appointments. Four appointments in a day should be the maximum. A girl can only try on so many white dresses before she starts to feel overwhelmed. If you are unsure of where to start, read some reviews of local bridal salons. Some brides choose to travel to the closest “big city” to their hometown. Whatever suites your fancy, don’t forget to break for lunch. A grumbling stomach is the last thing you need when trying to make a decision. As the bride, you will want to wear nude undergarments and maybe bring a pair of heels.

Determine Your Style

This may be obvious, but do some research to determine your style before hitting the racks. Pinterest is a great resource when used wisely. When looking at gowns online, keep in mind that you may only see one part of the dress in the photo. I can’t count the number of times I have seen a bride come in with a photo of a beautiful low back but she hates the high neckline required to support it. Keep in mind the overall feel and style of your wedding day. If you had a feeling Mr. Right was going to pop the question and already created a Pinterest board for this very moment, you may skip this step.

Trust Your Consultant

A good bridal consultant will be able to pull gowns that flatter your body type, match the style you described, and fit within your budget. If you don’t like something they show you be honest. It won’t hurt their feelings if you don’t like a dress. (They didn’t design it!) Explain what you don’t like about the dress so they can avoid that detail the rest of the appointment. If they pull a “wild card” outside of what you described, give it a try!

Ordering the Dress

When you find a gown you like, don’t be afraid to say yes. (Even if it isn’t what you originally had in mind.) When you can picture yourself walking down the aisle, there is not need to keep trying on dresses! The bridal salon will take your measurements and down payment for the gown. Trust the size chart and order the size you are now. You can ALWAYS get gowns taken in! (It’s not so easy to let them out.) After you find the dress, stop looking. You are going to look beautiful on your wedding day! On to all of the other fun wedding planning decisions!

Things to Keep in Mind:

+ Sometimes it can take 6-8 months for a bridal gown to come in, so shop in advance!

+ Bring nude undergarments and heels with you to your appointments.

+ If you find your dress at the beginning of the day, call the other salons and let them know you need to cancel your appointment. It’s the polite thing to do.

+ Be sure to ask about any discounts on bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, or accessories with a bridal gown purchase.

+ Alterations are normally a separate cost and should be included in your budget. They can be pricey depending on what needs to be done. (Anywhere from $100 to $600 or more!)


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