When selecting a gown for the special occasion, you want it to be perfect. Ten different opinions Mistakes Brides can make it difficult to reach consensus and lead you further away from what you truly desire. Cristina DeMarco of Bridal Reflexions in New York said that she believes brides should bring only two people when shopping for her dress: herself and one other person.
Debra Lash from The Wedding Tree in La Crosse noted that many brides prefer being with their mom and best friend or sister when shopping for dresses. “They generally have the bride’s best interest at heart, not what she wants them to wear,” she wrote. Theresa Misso recently shared her experiences shopping for dresses; when you are standing in large gowns with people around you talking loudly asking you to take it off or put it on, you need someone honest who can say “I love it,” even if it’s not you saying so.”
Shopping Too Soon
Many couples prefer to extend their engagements, but it is becoming more common for them to start shopping 12 months prior. Lash noted that brides typically fall in love with a gown the moment they try it on, making buying difficult if she is not yet ready. Also, avoid visiting bridal salons until you’re certain about making a purchase.
Before you begin shopping for a gown, it’s important to have all of the details for your wedding planned out. Your venue and bridesmaid colors can influence whether or not white or off-white you choose; Tolu, one of our real bride bloggers, advised that formal gowns with lots of embellishments and long trains may look stunning in a ballroom but may not suit a beachfront location. Finally, decide which decor colors best complement each other and whether to go all white or off-white.
However, it’s best not to wait. According to DeMarco, most dresses take five to eight months for delivery. While you can place a rush-order if you need it sooner than five months, be aware that it may be more expensive.
Are You Excessively Chassying Dresses
Fans of Say Yes to the Dress may have witnessed brides trying on hundreds of gowns without finding their dream gown. According to DeMarco, most brides will try between four and seven gowns before narrowing down their selection; any more than 10 could lead to confusion.
Many brides take too long trying on different dresses. Lash noted that the biggest mistake brides make when shopping for a gown is not buying it once they find it. “She can become overwhelmed and forget what it was she wanted to find. This can lead to doubt in yourself and cause faith to waiver,” he warned.
Crista, a real bride blogger, kept looking until she felt the tears coming down her cheeks. While trying on Priscilla Boston dress (pictured right), Crista noticed her family around her looking teary-eyed as well. Crista stated that while they may not have bought that particular dress, her reaction left her questioning why others weren’t crying too. Even though she didn’t purchase that particular gown, this left me reflecting on my shopping experience nonetheless.
Steep Discounts and Swaying
Be wary of 70% discounts on designer gowns! Lash warned that “the biggest mistake I’ve seen brides make is buying their gown online or from a shop with an “only today” deep discount.”
Sample sales are popular among brides-to-be, but it’s essential to remember that you are usually purchasing a sample. This means hundreds of brides have tried on the gown and may have stained or damaged it; therefore, inspect for damage before making your purchase. When someone can find an identical dress at half the cost, some brides end up spending hundreds to repair what is wrong with their sample dress.
Be encouraged, but don’t despair. Sometimes you can still find amazing gowns at great prices. Kimberly Sanicki of Wanaque in NJ recently found her dream wedding gown at Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides” event where a stunning Essense Of Australia gown had been marked down from $3,000! Kimberly and her mom carefully examined the gown before paying; Kimberly noted that “my mom made sure it had all its crystals and didn’t need washing or hemming.”
The Wrong Size
Wedding gowns tend to run one or two sizes smaller than street clothes, so don’t get too attached to your size. As Gesinee from Gesinee’s Bridal in Concord, CA advised, “Don’t focus on your actual size; instead, focus on how your measurements match up with that designer’s size chart.”
Are you thinking about losing weight before the big event? Lash noted, “If I had a nickel for every person who said they’d make weight loss, I’d be rich.” Take it easy and choose a size that flatters your figure – many dresses can be adjusted up to four sizes without altering their look, though most cannot be taken in more than one size.” As DeMarco advises, “Be realistic when setting goals in order to reach those weights.”
What happens if your dress doesn’t fit? First and foremost, don’t despair. You can still eat a crash diet to accommodate. As DeMarco stated, “There is always something you could do.” You could order fabric, add beads or even create a new backing to suit your measurements.”
Sticking to a Single Style
DeMarco stated that 95% of brides leave us with something completely different from what they imagined when they entered our store. You can bring photos of dresses you like, but it’s best to ask your consultant for their recommendation as you won’t know how they will fit on your body from just looking at it on a hanger. For instance, DeMarco mentions that some brides might have more hip circumference than they do elsewhere and thus may need something more fitted; otherwise, covering her figure won’t do much good either. A more fitted gown would showcase her curves, make her appear slimmer, and be more flattering than covering up her figure altogether.
DeMarco noted the most common mistake she sees brides make: they settle on a dress because someone else has influenced them to do so instead of following their heart.
It is essential to carefully choose your shopping companions. Lash noted that many people who might accompany a bride might view gowns and decide if it works best for them rather than the bride.
If you find that a particular dress doesn’t suit you or if someone in your circle of friends is pressuring you into buying it, remember that returning it can be done later if you’re still having dreams about it.
What About Dresses You Don’t Have the Budget For
Do you find a beautiful gown on display but can’t quite justify spending the money? Why should you still give it a shot? Lash warned against taking risks when purchasing items; “you must ensure that everything you purchase is within reach.”
Before visiting a salon, be mindful of your budget. Also, ensure the salon you select fits within your financial means; Lash has heard brides express dissatisfaction with other salons’ displays of dresses beyond their budgets. He added, “Our strict policy keeps customers within their budget so it makes her happier and the entire process runs more smoothly.” Bridal shop employees will have more rewarding lives if happy brides make purchases from them!
Accounting for additional costs is nearly impossible. Let’s say you have $2,000 saved up for your gown – there’s no need to buy one that costs $2,000. Alterations tend to be more costly and delivery and tax charges may apply as well. Gesinee noted that nearly every gown requires some modifications at some point – no matter how minor such as a hemline – which could add up over time with additional charges like taking in or letting out the bodice. Furthermore, don’t forget about undergarments, shoes (or hair accessories), jewelry – or other accessories – to complete the bridal look.
Avoid Making a Mistake when Selecting Your Store
For plus size brides, call ahead to see if the store you prefer stocks plus-size samples. Gesinee advises that even without playing “paper dolls”, it is possible to imagine how a style looks on you.
Lash noted, “It can be challenging to judge fit by holding a gown up against your body.” If a bride falls in love with one of our gowns in size 12, we will do our best to find another in her size.”
Gesinee stressed the importance of making sure your shop is an authorized retailer for the designer. Without authorization, you may not receive a genuine gown and the designer won’t be able to guarantee its quality. Check their website to find which stores are authorized in your region or give them a call at their number.