You’re engaged, you’ve set a wedding date, now you need to start shopping for a dress!
There’s so much involved in planning a wedding… the date, the venue, the budget, the guest list, the photographer, the florist, the caterer, THE dress, the list goes on... But don’t freak out! Take a deep breath, focus and get out that pen and paper (or tablet, or phone). I find that making lists and planning my moves helps me make sure I get done what needs to get done, and in a timely manner. Organization is key in keeping me from feeling overwhelmed and anxious. So before you start feeling too stressed about finding the perfect wedding dress, make a plan of action. Here are some tips to finding the wedding dress of your dreams.
1) Use your imagination.
Close your eyes and try to envision what you look like in your wedding dress. Pretend it’s the big day and you’ve just finished getting ready. You stand in front of the mirror. What does your dress look like? Lots of us already have an idea of what we are looking for in a wedding dress. Sometimes this will help narrow down the search.
2) When & Where.
Keep in mind what time in the year your wedding is taking place. Will it be in summer, fall, winter or the spring? Will it be indoors or outdoors? As much as you want to be beautiful, you also want to pick a dress that’s suitable for the season.
3) Buckling down budget.
Eek! Knowing how much money you have to spend is an unavoidable part of wedding planning. As much as we would all like to get exactly what we envision for our wedding, make sure it is within your financial limits. Set a realistic budget for the total cost of everything involved in your wedding and break everything down into categories.
4) Take pictures.
As long as you're allowed to take pictures in the boutique that you’re visiting, go camera-trigger happy! Taking photos of the dresses you try on and having an album (in your phone, or wherever) of them, will help you immensely when you try to remember just how those dresses looked.
5) Body type vs. trends.
I think it’s so important to invest in a wedding dress that fits your body right and makes it look its best. Sure, it’s nice to follow the latest trends and picture ourselves on the cover of the world’s most fashionable wedding magazines, but does it do your body shape justice?
6) Bring the people you want to be around.
It sounds like such a simple task, but really give this some thought. Wedding dress shopping can be a very emotional and vulnerable time. Try to reduce the stress by inviting only the people who you feel comfortable, happy and yourself with. You don’t want someone to say “WOWSERS! Does your butt ever look huuuuuge in that one!” As much as we want someone to tell us the honest truth, we need people who are also supportive and sensitive.
7) Be receptive to suggestions.
Sure, you had a mental list (or an actual printed 26 page booklet) of all the dresses you were certain you wanted to try on, but it may be beneficial to loosen the reins and leave it to the professionals. Being open to the suggestions of your wedding dress consultant might just surprise you!
8) Post decision jitters.
Now your decision has been made, relax and relish the peace of mind that comes from conquering this difficult task. All that remains is excited anticipation for when you get to wear your beautiful dress down the aisle!