Choosing a dress can be fun and stressful because you want to look PERFECT for your big day.
Here are a few tips to help you shop.
1. CHUCK THE NEED FOR PERFECTION OUT THE WINDOW
Yup. The idea of finding the perfect dress you have envisioned, will cause stress. Go with the flow! Try on a billion! The dress you thought would be perfect for you may not suit your body type, this happens all the time and there are people there who can help you find dress that is perfect for you!
Look up dresses for your body type and see what comes up in searches. What can it hurt? You are not losing anything by doing so, but may be gaining a few more headache free days.
2. DRESSES ON TV
These are designed to make you fall in love with them but they may not be perfect for you either. Look for a comfortable fabric, the right colour for your skin tone and the right style for your body type. Keep in mind most of these dresses on TV are thousands and thousands of dollars. Which is fine if that what your budget is. However don't stress if it is not, as there are a zillion options out there for all price ranges.
3. ORDERING ONLINE
So this can be hit or miss....everything is online now - if you were going to do this I would recommend going to a dress shop and trying on a few styles. This way you will know what style will suit you best. When ordering online make sure it is returnable or make sure you are okay with losing the cost. Knowing a seamstress helps too!
Now I did order mine online and this was 14 years ago! It was the most beautiful dress with miles of beaded lace on the train and a hand beaded bodice. It was stunning. Heavy satin with a matte sheen, the perfect colour and it was $200. Yes, you read that right. $200 and this dress would have been close to $2000 at the time I purchased if it were in a dress shop. It did need a bit of altering but luckily my super talented Mother is a seamstress and of course made it work :). Just keep that in mind - The one you order may be the dress of your dreams or one you may want to toss. Have a backup plan and be prepared to lose the cost. In my case I was alright with losing the $200 if the dress was fit for a doll but it ended up working out well for me :)
Ahhh the magic word....have one! Keep it loose. Dresses are EXPENSIVE. Go into the dress shop with a budget in mind that you don't want to go over. Hit the clearance first! Girl save some coin! You'd be surprised how pretty some of those dresses are on that rack! If you found nothing then head to the rack below your budget. Move on to within your budget, then a little above your budget and so on. Your dream dress may be on the clearance or the most expensive gown in the store. You'll never know till you start looking.
Now this being said, say you find that dream dress at a higher price point. That is when I would get on the web and start searching to see if another site or store has this dress for less! Chances are you'll find it if it's within a season or two. You may find something better or very similar also. Dress shopping takes time so don't rush it. When you know, you know! Don't let that beauty sit on that hanger too long! Someone else may be poking around as well for that perfect dress.
Watch for trunk sales, boot sales, end of season or start of season sales also - this is where you will save a few bucks!
5. DON'T LEAVE IT TO LATE
Talk about stress! Don't leave your shopping too late or panic sets in. If you do leave it to the last minute you may just pick a dress out of haste and you may end up regretting it. You do not want to be uncomfortable in a dress on your wedding day because you left it too long....
6. STYLE & SIZE
Focus on the top of the dress. As you are walking down the aisle people will be looking at you from the waste up. Find a shoulder style that complements you and you're comfortable with - could be off the shoulder, sleeveless, a sweetheart bodice, lace sleeves etc. You get the idea.
Keep the weather in mind. Are you getting married in the summer or the fall? Spring or Winter? The seasons will effect what fabric you should choose. Keep it lighter or more breathable for summer and move towards warmer and heavier dresses for the winter months.
Can you move? There will be sitting, dancing, hugging and maybe crying in this dress so make sure you choose one you will be comfortable in all day.
REMEMBER THE BATHROOM. You will likely need help in this department but its always easier if you can control the dress yourself while in the Loo.
Size - Okay, here's a tip. Who the hell cares?? You'll go crazy if you look at the sizes of these dresses. Honestly they don't mean a thing. Don't base your decision on the size of the dress. Don't even look at it. You'll be happier.
Move around in it. Can you breathe? Perfect, breathing is important. Go with that size. Most dresses will be above your normal size anyway, there is additional lace, satin etc. Keep that in mind and remember no one is climbing down your dress to see what size it is. I promise.
Choose a dress that makes you feel amazing and you can't wait to show off. One that complements you and your shape. Represents you! It won't hurt to have your partner burst into uncontrollable tears when they see how stunning you are in this dress. After all isn't that the goal?
Last but not least have fun!