1. Keep an open mind and always try the dress on!
It's helpful to have a few styles you are interested in for your big day, but always keep an open mind when dress shopping. Dresses on a hanger look very different compared to a dress worn by the bride, and you may end up falling in love with a completely different dress style than you would have imagined!
2. White is not always right.
Fun fact: white wedding dresses are actually bleached to have their snow-white look. Natural white fabric is actually a slight off-white colour, so you'll find that there are varying shades of white available to you when you shop for your dress. Wedding gowns can come in off-white, ivory, champagne, oyster, and even blush (a very subtle pink colour)! There's no need to feel restricted to the traditional white dress.
Set a budget and let the bridal consultant know your price range and preferred style. They can help make your dress search easier by suggesting dresses that fit your criteria.
4. Always leave extra time for alterations.
On average, it can take anywhere from 6-8 months for wedding dresses to arrive after your put in an order. Almost all brides require some form of alteration (common alterations involve the dress length and bust area), so make sure to include plenty of time for alterations. Most bridal stores will ask for two fittings - one for the initial fitting and a second closer to the wedding date.
5. Select a few friends and/or family whose opinions you trust.
Wedding dress shopping can be fun and exciting, and it’s natural to want to bring all of your friends and family. Keep in mind, however, that second opinions are different from four, five, or six different opinions! Too much feedback can be overwhelming, and sometimes, you may start leaning towards a particular dress because other people favour it, instead of deciding whether you like it. Choose a select few close friends and/or family members whose opinions you trust and respect. These people will give you honest and constructive advice on whether dresses you try on suit you or not, which will not only help you find the gown you want, but also help streamline the elimination process.
6. Be mindful of the wedding location and weather
Be mindful of your wedding location and the potential weather outcomes. The most important part of finding your ideal wedding dress is not only that you feel beautiful in it but that you feel comfortable in it. If you’re hosting a destination wedding, for example, consider whether you’re willing to wear a voluminous dress in the heat versus wearing a lighter dress.
7. Wear the right undergarments
It's important to figure out the right undergarments when trying on dresses. Some wedding dresses may come with built-in bust support, but others may require special undergarment pieces to help you feel comfortable on the day of your wedding. Your bridal consultant will normally help you with this bit, as it will be part of your tailoring process.
8. Wedding dress sizes
Most brides are alarmed when they see wedding dress sizes on the tags - don't be. Wedding gown sizes are larger than regular clothes not only because they are an entirely different type of garment, but they fit differently as well. Depending on the style or designer you could be going up anywhere between 2-4 sizes from your usual size.
Make sure you have a good idea of how you want your hair done on the day of the wedding. This will help determine whether you want to wear a veil or stick to a simpler head piece. Always consider the style, shade, and length of the veil. You want it to compliment your wedding dress, so think about whether you want a cathedral veil vs. a short veil, double layer vs. single layer, beading vs. lace, and so forth.
You'll be asked to bring your shoes to your first fitting so that your dress length can be properly tailored. If you're particular about your wedding shoes, we suggest you start looking early!
We hope some of these tips helped! Wedding dress shopping comes with a lot of details but can be a memorable experience with an open mind, some good friends, and a great bridal consultant! The BFF team, especially, is here to make your dress shopping experience easier and we'll help you find the perfect dress for your wedding day. Book your appointment today!