Dorothy asks: “I’ve dreamed of the day when I’d buy my wedding gown. But now I’m getting nervous that I won’t know the gown when I find it. What are your ideas about how I can de-stress about the dress?”
Dear Dorothy: I’ve always felt that a wedding is too wonderful an occasion to not share with others. Every woman — your mom, your mom-in-law, your sister, and your friends — will be more than happy to help you with any part of planning your big day (trust me on this). Very few events in a lifetime are as special as shopping for your wedding gown. My first advice is not to go it alone — share the experience!
That being said, the trick in finding “the dress” is to narrow down the style and fabric of the gown you’re looking for. So, before you start shopping, do some research. HudsonValleyWeddings.com’s Wedding Guide has several articles that offer really good information — and prep you with the questions you should ask during your gown search.
Try a few of my favorites:
Next, flip through the bridal magazines in your local bookstore. Sounds obvious, right? Most designers now have Web sites with videos so you can actually see how different dresses “move.” Even better, you’ll find a list of the stores that carry their gowns (which might save you on shipping costs).
Talk to the people you know whose gowns you’ve seen and liked. Recommendations mean everything — see where they shopped, and how their experiences were. It’s physically impossible to visit every wedding gown store, so narrow it down to a few trusted by your married friends. The experience that a former bride had while shopping is super important. (I’ll never understand why a bride would choose to shop at a store that has a poor reputation for customer service. As far as I’m concerned, service is just as important as the gown itself.)
Once you’re prepped and ready to go shopping, bring along a friend or relative whose fashion sense you trust — and who won’t be afraid to give you an honest opinion. Also, make sure you take a shoe with the approximate heel size to the ones you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. (A side note: stilettos may be sexy, but comfort is a MUST! The last thing you need is to trip or hurt yourself.)
Finally, never be pressured into buying a gown you’re not sure of — but also don’t fall into the trap of having to look at or try on every single dress in the shop. If you see something you like, order it. What the next dress would have been is irrelevant. Good luck!
Brides, how did you know your dress was “the one?” Share your stories in the box below.