I have great news to share. Last week, I bought my wedding dress, and it is gorgeous! The best part of all, though? I was able to get it for half of what we had budgeted for a dress! It was really such a blessing. Three of my bridesmaids and I went to Alfred Angelo Bridal Salon in Cherry Hill, New Jersey last week. I won 5 bridesmaids dresses from Alfred Angelo in a wedding contest, but I wasn’t really expecting to leave with a dress for myself. I honestly had no plans of even trying a dress on! I received an email from them a few days before our appointment letting me know of a sale on dresses that weekend, though, so I figured why not. Anyway, after my lovely bridesmaids chose the style of dresses that they wanted, I asked our attendant to pull a few dresses for me. I LOVED the very first dress that I tried on there!
A few weeks ago, I went to another large bridal retailer, as well as a bridal boutique to try on dresses. Overall, I tried on about 10 dresses. I knew exactly the style that I thought would look good on me, but I did try on a few that were outside of my normal comfort zone just to say that I did it! At this point, I guess I’m a bit of a wedding dress try on expert (I mean, aren’t we all!), so I thought I’d share some things that I learned throughout the process of trying to find THE perfect wedding dress. Some of these things might seem obvious, but they weren’t to me. Hopefully these tips will save you a little time!
Browse online before you go to try on dresses in person.
Walking into a bridal salon, and sifting through all of those white dresses can be extraordinarily overwhelming. Go online or look through wedding magazines before you try on dresses so that you at least have some idea of what you want to try on. It also helps your bridal attendant at the salon help you if you are able to use identify a mermaid dress rather than saying, “Um, it kind of squeezes here, and then goes kind of down and kind of flares, but not really flares…”.
You have to make an appointment to try on dresses.
I mistakenly thought that appointments were just if you had a large entourage that you wanted to bring, but it’s standard practice at any bridal salon, even the large chains. You’ll typically receive an hour appointment with a dedicated attendant. The small bridal salon I went to gave 1/2 appointments, but I was the only bride there, and that was plenty of time.
Have a budget in mind before you go.
When you start trying on beautiful dresses, and you’re looking all gorgeous in all of that white, it’s easy to lose track of reality. Decide on how much you are willing to spend before you go, and firmly and confidently let the bridal salon attendant know what that budget is.
Don’t worry about packing a ton of stuff with you to try on dresses.
You will be nude a lot, so it helps to have a nice bra and panties, but you don’t have to worry about bringing shoes, Spanx, and all of the other accoutrement that you’ll need on your wedding day. Every one of the salons that I went to had shoes that you could wear to model the dresses, and they even had wedding dress specific undergarments if you needed to try those on as well.
Choose the dress that YOU like, regardless of what other people think.
Remember that it’s YOUR decision. You have to walk down the aisle, dance, and look at pictures for the rest of your life in that dress. Your friends and family might have an idea of how they picture you on your big day, and you can certainly take their opinions into consideration. Make sure that your final choice is YOUR final choice, though.
Buy your dress as soon as you can when you know that you’re getting married.
It may take 3 – 4 months for your dress to be delivered, and then you may still need to get it altered. I walked in a bridal salon just by chance, and was surprised to find out that it would take so long. That was nothing but God that made me walk in that store that day! I am getting married in September, and had planned to wait until the summer to find a dress!
Take time to enjoy yourself.
This is a recurring theme that you’ll hear with everything that you do when planning your wedding. I mean, you’re trying on dresses for your WEDDING, girl!!! Your man is going to be waiting at the end of that aisle to see your gorgeousness walk down and into his arms for the rest of your lives, and THIS IS THE DRESS THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE WEARING. Keep that in mind as you’re trying on dresses.
Do you have any tips to share about wedding dress shopping? What was your dress shopping experience like?