It’s the big day before the big day! You’ve looked through the magazines, visited the websites and read the blogs, but now it’s time to start trying on dresses. For a lot of brides, this is both a joyful and a nerve-wracking time. After all, this is not just any dress, it’s THE DRESS. It’s prom, homecoming, first date, interview for the big job, meeting his parents, all rolled into one…THE DRESS! And the options seem endless. Strapless, sleeved, big and full, sleek, full length, tea length, white, off white. Belted, free flowing. Option after option. So how do you know, where do you start. Here are few tips from the professionals.

 1. Relax. This is the best advice we can give you, not just about the dress, but about the entire wedding process. It’s easy to loose focus because these are big decisions, but keep the JOY in the process. Relax, have fun and enjoy.

 2. Bridal Shops vs. The internet. We know, we know….you are on a budget, but trust us on this one. Even though you may pay a little more, shopping at a bridal shop is well worth the few extra dollars. For starters, you actually get to try the gowns on! You might think you found the perfect gown online, but until you try it on, you can’t know for sure. Material, fit, cut all matter and until you actually see and feel and try on a gown, you just can’t be sure. Bridal shops are generally very good at guiding you through the selections, narrowing the filed based on body type, budget, and tastes. By shopping at a reputable bridal shop, you are guaranteed you will be buying the designer you want and not a knock off. We could go on about the advantages of bridal shops over the internet, but the last thing we will say on this matter is the bridal shop will be there for you through the entire process, from ordering the gown to the final fitting.

 3. Which brings us to the third point. Allow the your gown consultant to suggest some gowns for you, even if the selections are totally off your radar. I can’t tell you how many times we have brought a dress in that the bride scrunched her face up at UNTIL she tried it on! It’s easy to get stuck on certain looks. Sometimes fresh perspective is exactly what you need to find the perfect look. 

4. The Entourage. Shopping for the dress is a big deal, and it should be a wonderful experience. Of course you want to share that with your Mom, your sisters, and your best friends. But just allow us to throw in our 2 cents for a moment. It’s wonderful to travel with the full entourage on the first outing, but keep in mind it’s your day, your dress and your opinion that ultimately matters. The more people you have with you, the more opinions that are coming your way. It can get a little overwhelming. You might love the dress, but a few negative opinions can create self-doubt. We love the experience bridal shops offer. Champagne, pretty things, beautiful dresses, and all the attention on you, and we love that brides share that experience with their nearest and dearest. So welcome the opinions, but don’t’ loose focus that its really only yours that matters in the end.

 5. Be Sure! It’s important to note that with most gowns, once you order it and the order is processed…there are no returns. You will be trying on samples and when your gown is ordered, it will be a custom order. So don’t be impulsive, be sure. When ordering your gown, be honest and realistic about sizing. Most brides are shooting for a ‘wedding day size”, just don’t put yourself in a difficult position by ordering a gown size that may not fit. A seamstress can make alterations, but you will need to allow sufficient time for the process. Most bridal shops will assist with sizing and guide you through the fittings and alterations.

 6. Sample Gowns. Most bridal shops have a “Sample Rack” These gowns are the actual samples they use for showing the gowns. Eventually they end up on the Sample Rack either because the gown is discontinues or the shop is no longer carrying that gown. You can get a great buy on a designer gown by shopping samples. But keep in mind, these dress are sold “as is”, generally with a ‘no return’ policy. When purchasing a sample, make sure if alterations are needed, those alterations are realistic. Buying a size12 and trying to have it altered to a size 2 may not work. The professionals at the bridal shop can assist you with this.

 7. Relax and Have Fun. Like we said, this is the most important advice we can give you.

Gown: Augusta Jones
Bridal Shop: Avant Bridal
Consultant/Stylist: Katalin Green
Photographer: Orange Photographie
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