Between the proposal and the wedding day, one of the most exciting moments for many brides is finding their perfect wedding dresses. So much gets built around this moment that it often becomes not a time of joy, but one of extreme anxiety and stress. Every bride wants to find “the one,” and to have it be as beautiful and perfect as she has always dreamed. But with so much riding on this decision, how can she relax enough to enjoy the experience?
We know it’s a big decision, and relaxing is easier said than done. So to help you out, we’ve put together five tips to help your bridal appointment run smoothly so that you can have the wonderful time you always imagined.
1. Don’t worry about other people’s expectations.
Many brides walk into their bridal appointment with a list of rules in their heads about what kind of dress they should wear, what kind of experience they should expect, or how they should behave to avoid breaching bridal etiquette. And while some of those rules exist for a reason, it’s easy for them to get between the bride and her vision.
The dress you wear at your wedding is, first and foremost, your dress, so you want to focus on what will make you happy, and not someone else. Your bridal consultant is there to make you feel comfortable, so you should be able to ask questions and try on as many dresses as you please, for as long as your appointment lasts.
2. Come prepared with ideas and an open mind.
Trying on your first wedding dress can upend a lot of your expectations. At the same time, not having any idea what you want can make it hard to know where to start.
We recommend looking at our lookbook and finding some gowns that speak to you. You should also think about your venue and the time/location of your wedding. What time of year are you getting married? Will it be an indoor or outdoor ceremony? Have you chosen any themes or aesthetics? One fun option is to create a mood board that includes your favorite looks and styles, as this will give your bridal consultants more ideas to draw from.
That said, in our experience, brides have the most success when they come into our shop with an idea of what they want, but are willing to try on dresses our bridal consultants suggest. It’s our job to listen to you, but we also know the selection of gowns in our store really well—including how they look when they’re off the hanger and on the bride. As you describe a dress, it may remind us of a gown that fits the bill, even if it’s not what you initially had in mind.
3. Keep your group small and supportive.
Many brides want to involve their friends and family in their wedding planning, but picking out the dress is not the time to bring a huge group. Instead, it’s more likely that everyone’s conflicting opinions will make it harder for you to trust your own judgment.
Focus on the one or two people you need to have with you to make your selection. Talk to them beforehand about what you have in mind, and make sure you’re on the same page. If someone doesn’t seem on board with your plan, it may be a better idea to come alone the first time, and bring them on a second trip once you’ve had a chance to know your own opinions more.
4. Be honest with your bridal consultant.
Finally, it’s important that you trust your bridal consultant, and believe that she has your best interests at heart. For that matter, if you don’t trust your bridal consultant, it’s time to walk out of the boutique and try somewhere new!
Your bridal consultant is there to listen and help you realize your vision, and she can’t do that if she doesn’t know what you have in mind. Be honest with your budget, and speak up about what you do or don’t like about a dress. While it’s not considered good manners to trash a dress (someone else may be in love with it!), it’s absolutely appropriate to be vocal about whether or not a style, cut, color, or pattern isn’t for you.
The more you’re able to tell your consultant during your bridal appointment about what you do or don’t like, the more readily they can guide you toward the dress that meets your vision.
We believe in putting our brides first—and that means creating a pressure-free environment.
We know that for many a bride, the biggest obstacle to finding her perfect dress is letting her butterflies settle enough to trust her gut. In fact, we believe that one of the most important things we can do for our a line wedding dresses is to provide a space for her where she feels confident, happy, and in control.
That’s why we work hard to make sure that we never push a bride in any direction she doesn’t want to go. If you aren’t 100% confident that you have found your dress, there’s no obligation to buy it with us today. Go home and think about it. Come back with your sister, grandma, or best friend before you make the final choice. We’ll still be here for you.