This content was originally written in response to a request from Amanda Freeman of The Bliss Blog. It was originally published on that blog in March of 2010.
As much fun as it can be to begin the search for your wedding gown, it can be equally confusing and overwhelming. There are gowns in satin, lace, tulle; strapless gowns, V-neck gowns; gowns with full skirts and gowns with straight skirts. How do you know where to start?
I've shopped for a gown myself, altered gowns, cleaned gowns, planned weddings, and helped many women find THE ONE. So, here are some of my best tips:
1. Plan to visit NO MORE than three shops in a day. You'll get tired and confused after that.
2. Take one or two people along with you. Again, more than this, and it can be difficult. Once you find one or two gowns that you really like, you can bring a few friends back for a second look. YOU need to choose your dress, one that YOU love and YOU feel great in. Too many opinions will leave you confused. (And everyone will have an opinion)
3. Eat a good breakfast, and take a coffee break between shops on "Dress-Shopping Day". This allows you to slow down and think about each dress that you like, rather than having a marathon day in which they can all start to look alike.
4. Keep an open mind. Humor your mother and the saleslady; try on a few gowns that they suggest, too. Gowns can look so much different on your body than on the hanger.
5. Don't be intimidated, but be gracious. As the owner of a bridal boutique, we want our brides to ask questions about the gowns, the designer, and more. We love to help you as much as we can. But, on a busy day, we are often helping several customers at a time. Be understanding if a consultant steps away or seems a little hurried. Watch and listen to other brides. You may see someone else trying a gown that you want to try! You may overhear someone discussing their florist or bakery; perhaps you'll get a great contact.
Again, relax and enjoy the process. Most locally-owned shops, like September's Bride, want to provide you with excellent service and will help you find a beautiful gown that fits you beautifully. Have fun!