When looking for the perfect wedding dress, there are many factors that tie into finding one that is just right for you. These days brides aren’t limited to white and lace. While that’s great in terms of options and variety, it can make finding the perfect dress a bit overwhelming.
Then, of course, you have to think about the cost. Everyone knows that wedding dresses tend to be on the pricey end, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to blowing the budget on your dress. There are ways to get discounts, find amazing deals and even rentals!
The bottom line is that with a bit of planning and a little homework, you can cut the stress of finding that perfect dress. Forget running to every dress store in the tri-state area. Skip spending afternoons in hot, chaotic shops while you try things on blindly. Dress shops can be hot, stifling, claustrophobic and stressful.
That’s why we’ve broken the challenge into five simple steps. These steps will guide you from setting a budget to putting on the finishing touches. Let us help you find the perfect dress for your perfect day.
Step One: Set A Budget
The average wedding dress costs around $1,200. At the same time, there are amazing dresses that can run into the tens of thousands. Knowing the amount of money you can spend on a dress is a crucial part of dress shopping. Going into a store with your amount in mind will help the process go much smoother.
When setting a budget for your dress, be realistic. Setting your budget lower means you’ll have more to spend on other things. But don’t make it so low that you won’t be able to find something you really love. Remember, you can always spend less – it’s a budget, not a goal.
Step Two: Pick the Type Of Wedding Dress You Want
There was a time when wedding dresses were all pretty much the same. But these days, there’s an almost endless number of options when it comes to wedding dress styles.
Look for a style that accentuates you and your body. Details are very important with your dress whether it be jewels, bows or length. Your dress doesn’t have to be any specific style, just be sure that whatever dress you choose, it is the dress that you feel special, comfortable and overall, beautiful in.
Knowing the kind of style you want before you begin seriously shopping will help prevent ‘Option Overload’. Walk into a store knowing generally what you want and you won’t have to sift through their entire collection.
Step Three: Think Outside the Shop
When looking for a wedding dress that is best for you, make the most of the resources around you. Check out the websites and social media for local shops to see what they offer. At the same time, ask friends, family and social media connections for their recommendations.
Check out local thrift and consignment shops for truly one-of-a-kind options. Also look online at sites like thredUP and Posh Mark, where you can find amazing consignment options. Some boutiques and shops will also rent gowns, so be sure to check out their websites or ask local wedding groups.
There are shows on television such as ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ that could help you see the different kinds of dresses as well as designers that you could be interested in. There are sites, books, and even ask friends or relatives about places that they would recommend. The most important thing to remember is that this dress is your statement and you want it to be the perfect one.
Step Four: Don’t be Afraid to Add Your Own Flair
Sometimes you find the perfect wedding dress but feel that there’s just …. Something missing. Many dresses can look a bit plain when you’re trying them on. Luckily it’s fairly easy to make alterations and additions that can be transformative.
If you love the dress but think it needs something extra, speak to your stylist about how you can add some flair or a personal touch. More often than not, wedding dress shops will alter your dress by adding belts or pieces that you desire.
Keep in mind that adding onto your dress can alter the price, so always be sure to ask. If there are personal items you’d like to add – such as a belt, ribbon or a family heirloom – bring it with you to a fitting. This is your day and any modifications you want added to your dress, most shops will be more than happy to work with you.
Step Five: Be Your Own Advocate
No matter what the price of your wedding dress, it’s a big purchase. You’ll invest a lot of time and energy finding the perfect gown. When you are going through fittings and alterations, don’t be shy about speaking up. Voice any concerns or questions as you go along and develop a good rapport with the stylist or seamstress you choose to work with.
Being up front and confident isn’t the same as being a Bridezilla. Advocating for yourself is all about honoring the fact that you are worthy of this amazing event. Your happiness is important, so be sure that every part of your wedding day brings you joy.
By knowing what you want and setting a comfortable budget, you’ll be able to shop locally and online to find an amazing dress. If you order online, be sure to order ahead of time and reach out to a local tailor, seamstress or wedding boutique to take care of any adjustments it may require.
Planning ahead and staying ahead of the game will keep your dress search nearly stress free. You can apply this same formula to any tuxedos or other gowns your wedding party may need. Keep it simple and remember your wedding is your time to shine.