Inspiration,  Livingston Bridal

10 Unspoken Rules of Wedding Dress Shopping

So your person finally popped the question and you said YES. First thing’s first, you have to find the perfect dress! No pressure, right? Lucky for you, there are specialty shops that help you alleviate the stress of dress shopping. Sure you can shop online, but trust us when we say- DON’T DO IT! First, You lose out on the experience of trying on gowns with friends and family. Second, stylists are a great asset to make the process run smoothly- they can provide helpful suggestions and are here to make your experience enjoyable. And lastly, you never know what the internet is going to serve up, buyer beware!!

For someone that has never visited a bridal shop it can be a little intimidating. For everyone that has been in OUR bridal shop, you know that’s not the case, our staff is super friendly and understanding and want to provide you with the best possible experience. We are located right next to a distillery so guess where you can find us Friday after hours? Cheers to the weekend, am I right?!

Whether you’re shopping with us or shopping elsewhere (no hard feelings), we thought this would be a helpful guide to wedding dress shopping.

Arrive on time

Get to your appointment on time. Sure this seems like common sense, but most bridal shops operate by appointment only. So when you show up late OR no call no show, you’re taking time away from other soon-to-be brides shopping for their gowns. If you know you’re going to be late, give your bridal shop a heads up, at this point they’ll be prepared or they’ll reschedule you accordingly.

Choose your entourage wisely

If not the most, this is one of the most important components in preparation to begin dress shopping. Keep in mind that the ones you choose to join you on this special day are the ones that will set the mood for the whole experience. We encourage brides to keep their groups smaller. A group of 2-4 is ideal. Any more than that and you have too many cooks in one kitchen. We’ve seen it all. There are brides that come in with their whole family/bridal party (which means that many more opinions) and then there are the ones that come by themselves, try on gowns and pick their favorites. Then the next time we see them with their group, we just pretend it’s our first time meeting them and we just so happen to choose all gowns she loves Wink. Wink- We’re always on the bride side!

Budget honesty is the best policy

We promise, we don’t care what price range your budget is in. We just want to sway you the right way!! If you’re budget is strictly $600 and we bring out a dress that’s $2,000 and you fall in love with it, imagine the disappointment. We can find fabulous options without breaking the bank. It’s really no big deal, just be honest.

Don’t procrastinate

We cannot stress this one enough! We understand a quick wedding. Trust us, we’ve done a wedding dress turn around for the next day— INCLUDING ALTERATIONS. But please, we beg of you, don’t do this. If time allows, 9 months is the magic number. That gives us so much more room to play with. You might fall in love with a dress that needs to be reordered in a different size or color. Normally designer gowns take anywhere from 4-5 months to be produced. The more time, the merrier.

Don’t shop around too much

In line with procrastinators are the over-shoppers. TheSe are the brides that think they’ve found “the one” but want to keep looking around. We encourage you to make sure you’ve chosen the right dress, but if you’ve already tried on over 30 to 40 gowns, you’re overthinking it. Keep shopping simple and remember, you cannot recreate a moment. If you’ve experienced the feeling of finding “the one” trust your gut because that might not happen again as much as your force it at the next place.

Do not underestimate your stylist

Your stylist is a trained professional. They’ve been doing this for a long time. They are here to help you for your sake and the sake of the gowns. Do not shut them out. Dress shopping may require a bit of stepping out of your comfort zone, we’ve seen it all and the last thing we are here to do is criticize.

Be kind to the gowns

Please be nice to our gals. Each of our dresses get named as soon as they get to our store. So yes, we take any and all mistreatment of our gowns personally. Let your stylist help you in and out of the gowns- avoid bold lipsticks, and be gentle.

Do not take over the appointment

This is mostly for your entourage. We get it, you’re excited and want to be hands on but that is what your stylist is there for. Remember, pulling dresses from the rack is a no no. Let your stylist do her thing. After all, you’re here for the experience, you shouldn’t have to work as hard as your stylist. Sit back, relax, observe, and give your bride constructive feedback.

Speak up

You are not going to hurt our feelings if you don’t like a dress we choose. When we ask you questions, we do it to find the best possible options. So do not be afraid to voice your opinion (politely of course).

Know when to reach a stopping point

We recommend you start off with 5 gowns. This gives us an opportunity to find the right groove and gives you an opportunity to discover what you like and don’t like. Your stylist can always pull more options that meet your criteria. But pease keep in mind though, dress shopping is very tiring both physically and emotionally. If you start to lose enthusiasm, it’s time to take a break- scheduling a follow up appointment is totally fine. You don’t say YES to a dress that you’re not totally in love with just because you’re tired of shopping!!

Bonus Round- Alterations. 

You’ve found the one- Yay! We like to remind our brides to keep alterations in mind. As with all bridal shops, alterations will be a separate cost. Be sure you account for those additional costs when choosing your dress. Secondly, not all bridal shops will have an in-house seamstress. We just happen to be one of the lucky ones! Every seamstress is different, and so are their prices so don’t hesitate to ask pricing before getting started with your fittings.

In summary, all bridal shops are unique! Be sure to check with each store you plan on visiting so you can plan accordingly. Happy Shopping!!!

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