Before entering into the blissful world of wedding dress shopping there are some things you will want to take into consideration. There are several “mistakes” that brides make when shopping for their wedding dress that I see all of the time. They mainly happen because brides aren’t aware of the situations to avoid. So before you go shopping, learn from other people’s mistakes so it doesn’t happen to you!
Mistake 1: Bringing Too Many People
Since this is the most important dress you’ll wear, of course you want to make sure that everything about it perfectly describes you. But a lot of times brides bring too many people to their appointment and all the different opinions make it harder to make a decision. When you have 10 different opinions about what dress you should pick, your opinion (which is the most important!) could get lost. When deciding who to invite to your appointment, Say Yes to the Dress expert Randy Fenoli’s number one rule is: “Don’t bring an entourage, bring the people who will be honest when you need them to, and still help you get the dress that you want.”
Mistake 2: Shopping Too Early
When it comes to shopping for your wedding dress, “the sooner the better” rule typically applies. It takes 4-6 months to order your dress in and your seamstress will want approximately 2-3 months for alterations. But sometimes we get brides coming in more than a year before their wedding. If you’re going to shop for your dress that far in advance you want to make sure that you are ready to purchase, because chances are it won’t take you very long to find “the one.” That’s my job, after all!
Mistake 3: Shopping Too Late
We see this all the time! A bride comes in with a wedding date that is incredibly close. Again, it takes anywhere from 4-6 months to get a dress – this is because they are designer gowns made to order – so it becomes a race against time when you have a shorter engagement. This is not to say you’re out of luck. We’re still going to do everything we can to find you the perfect dress – sometimes you can rush order a dress or pull something from the designer’s stock… Just know that the options are going to be more limited. So to make things less stressful, give yourself a few extra months to plan your wedding. :)
Mistake 4: Trying on Too Many Dresses
It actually happens quite often, when brides have tried on dozens of dresses and still haven’t found “the one.” Trying on too many dresses is dangerous because they will start to blend together and nothing stands out. One reason I hear a lot for over-shopping is, “I haven’t cried yet”. Not every bride cries when she finds her dress so it is perfectly normal to really love a dress but not cry. Trying on too many dresses leads to confusion, so when you find the dress you love and can picture yourself in on the big day, stop shopping!
Mistake 5: Trying On Dresses You Can’t Afford
You walk into the salon, you see an expensive dress on a mannequin that is way over your budget and you want to try it on just for fun. What’s the harm, right? Wrong! Unless you’re willing to stretch your budget to get the dress, don’t try on dresses over your budget! This is another one of Randy Fenoli’s rules of wedding dress shopping. Your consultant is there to find you the perfect dress that is within your budget. At Charlotte’s, we have an interview process at the beginning of the appointment where we ask about the wedding venue, what kinds of dresses you’re liking, and what price point you’re comfortable with. 9 times out of 10, once you try on the more expensive dress, nothing will be able to compare to it. It’s a good idea to work out your dress budget before shopping so you know how much you can spend.
Mistake 6: Not Accounting For Extra Costs
Every wedding gown needs to be altered. The gowns are made in standard sizes so to make your wedding gown fit perfectly adjustments will need to be made. Sometimes you can get away with just a hem and a bustle or a tuck in the bust, but maybe you want to add sleeves to your strapless dress or have the seamstress add or remove beading. Take into consideration alterations costs when planning the budget for your wedding gown. The average cost of alterations ranges from $200-$400. And don’t forget the accessories! Whether you include accessories in your dress budget or set aside extra money, remember to save for the finishing touches that will really bring your bridal look together!