Is it your first time wedding dress shopping? Have you had a hard time finding your dress? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then keep reading! Our Administrative Coordinator and Bridal Stylist Brittany has listed out 10 do’s and don’ts when shopping for your wedding dress.
- Give yourself plenty of time– You will need to order a gown at least 9 months to a year before your wedding. This will give you some leniency regarding shipping delays or any other issues that may arise. Also, please keep in mind that alterations and bridal portraits may take an additional 2 months before everything is complete. It is not uncommon for brides to plan a year in advance, and we highly recommend it!
- Be honest with your stylist! – It is important that you let your bridal stylist know if you have already been shopping for a wedding dress or if it is your first time. Let us know the actual price range for your gown, the body parts you want to accentuate or camouflage, and any other information that you feel is important so we can help you find your dream dress. We understand that everyone has a vision, and we are here to help you have the best time while shopping – not judge you based on style, size, or price point.
- Research! Research! Research!– Every salon is different, with different styles, prices, and experiences. Please make sure you do your research before making bridal appointments. Every salon wants to make sure you have the best experience possible. If you are looking for a bohemian-inspired dress, but you only see a wide variety of traditional gowns, then that store may not be the right bridal salon for what you need. We will try our best to find the dress styles we carry that are similar to what you are looking for. We can always alter the dress to turn it into the perfect look. When you are budgeting for your wedding dress, please include extra costs for accessories (veils alone can range from $150-$800+) and alterations (which average between $500-$900 for standard alterations). Your $1,300-price point can easily rise to $2000 quickly. The last thing we want to do is get your hopes up for a dress that is out of your preferred budget.
*Shopping pro-tip: Allow your stylist to recommend another bridal salon so you can optimize your appointment. This is not to discourage you, but to send you to the right resources to find your perfect dress.
- Who to bring with you?– In the words of our Lulu’s Manager, “If you would not invite them to the birth of your child, then don’t bring them to your bridal appointment.” It might sound bold but being surrounded by people that support and listen to you will set the tone for your bridal appointment. The opinions that matter are the ones you value.
Also remember, the bridal appointment is about you and only you, so do not let mom, sister, grandma, or any of your friends pressure you into getting something you don’t love. We are here to make you happy and will give you our knowledge and expertise wherever we can!
- Trust yourself– Don’t immediately turn down a dress based on how it looks on the hanger. Try the gown on for yourself and then inform your stylist about what you do or do not like. You may be surprised to fall in love with a mermaid gown when you were solely looking for ballgown styles.
We want you to trust your instinct when you finally put a dress on. You will know if it is the one if you listen to yourself and recognize how you feel in it. You are supposed to feel like the most beautiful version of yourself!
- What to wear to your bridal appointment? – Dress in whatever makes you comfortable and wear undergarments preferably, in skin tone or white colors. You do not have to bring your wedding shoes for your initial appointments, but you will need to take in the shoes you plan on wearing to the wedding during your gown alterations.
- Avoid this mistake– Do not wear heavy makeup, tanner, or a fresh spray tan that will transfer onto the gowns. It will help keep the wedding gowns in good condition for other brides.
- Size Range– Here at Lulu’s, we carry sample sizes from 8-30. We have a selection of plus-size dresses that you can try on in-store, and we can always order a particular style for you! Please note that we do have the ability to order some of our gowns by certain designers using your actual measurements – this is considered customization and does cost extra but may be worth it in the long run if you have the time available for custom orders.
Online shopping tip – The wedding dresses on our website are the exact gowns we have in our store to try on. The sample may not be your size at the store, but we can pin the dress to fit your body, so you can visualize how it will look.
- Prep before the appointment– Here at Lulu’s, every bride that books in advance will receive a pre-screening email. The pre-screening email allows us to let your stylist know your theme, venue, colors and preferred wedding dress styles before your appointment. We love photos! Please share looks you have pinned to your wedding dress inspo board. It will provide your stylist with the best visual description of what you are trying to find. Every detail you give your bridal stylist helps them get you one step closer to finding YOUR bridal gown!
- Last piece of advice – Do not be freaked out that your dress does not fit you perfectly when it first arrives in the store. We take your measurements and suggest the closest size you will need per the specific designer’s size chart (or CHARTS!). Alterations are needed on EVERY gown, even if it is just a hem or a bustle. We like to say, “we order you the cookie dough and alterations cut out the cookie!” You will be amazed at the transformation our alterations team can provide!
Plan your next bridal appointment with these shopping rules in mind and trust your stylist. Ask for Brittany when you visit our store and let us know if these guidelines helped you!
Photo Credit: Joseph Mark Photography