Your engagement was likely one of the best days of your life (up until this point). It’s the official kick off for celebrating you and your partner until the big event… your wedding day! But once the dust settles, where do you start? There are so many things to plan! Finding the perfect wedding dress is often one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process for the bride, but it can feel nerve-wracking, intimidating and overwhelming.
Charlotte’s Weddings is here to break down what’s next after you get engaged and how to prepare for finding “the one”, your perfect wedding dress!
1. FIND A VENUE AND SET YOUR WEDDING DATE
Before jumping into your wedding dress search, it’s helpful to know when and where you’re getting married first. Your venue can help set the tone for the style/vibe you’re going for, and your wedding date will help determine what kind of time frame you’ll be working with. Will your wedding be indoor or outdoor? What season will it be in? These are all things to consider as you start to think about your dress.
Our wedding gowns are typically special ordered and the standard production/delivery time for most of our designers is approximately 6-8 months. You should factor in 2-3 months for the alterations process, which is why we recommend having your gown ordered about a year before your wedding - if your time frame allows!
Getting married sooner? Check out our blog post on when to start shopping for your wedding dress and the different options we have available for our brides!
2. RESEARCH DESIGNERS, DRESS STYLES, AND GOWN SHOPS IN YOUR AREA
Once you have your wedding date set and your venue booked, it’s time to start dreaming about wedding dresses!
Create your Pinterest Wedding Board (or review the board you created when you started dating your partner!) and start gathering inspiration! Save pins of dresses that you’re inspired by and silhouettes you could picture yourself in. Start paying attention to designers and dress features you gravitate towards.
Looking for a place to start? Check out this blog post all about wedding dress silhouettes and how to find the right one for you.
When you start researching bridal shops in your area, read through their website to learn what designers they carry, the price point of their gowns, and read reviews from past brides to get an idea for the experience they offer. Our mission at Charlotte’s is to help all brides feel comfortable, confident, and at ease while creating a personalized and memorable gown shopping experience. We can’t wait to help you say yes to the dress that makes you feel your most confident and beautiful self!
Charlotte’s Tip: Follow us on Instagram! We love sharing the latest in bridal trends, designer spotlights, new gowns arriving in the store, upcoming events, and tips from our stylists to help you while planning your wedding!
3. CHOOSE YOUR “I DO CREW”
Before you start booking appointments, decide who you want to bring along for the journey! You want to make sure that you include all of the important people in your life who you look to for advice with big decisions. Whose opinions do you value the most? Who will advocate for you and your style, even if it’s not what they had in mind for you? The average party size when shopping for a wedding dress is typically 3-5 guests. Check with the bridal shop if your entourage is larger than that. We want you to be able to include everyone while keeping the environment as stress-free as possible!
4. BOOK YOUR BRIDAL APPOINTMENT
It’s time to book appointment! We recommend requesting your appointment at least two weeks in advance, to help ensure you get as close to the date and time of your request as possible. Weekends tend to book up the fastest, so if you’re looking for a weekend appointment it’s best to plan ahead!
How many appointments should you book? That’s really up to you! When it comes to different wedding gown designers and styles, the options are almost limitless! We recommend booking 2-3 appointments and choosing the bridal shops that best suit your preferences and desires for experience. When should you stop looking? When you have that moment in a gown and it feels like the one! Many brides are afraid to “fall in love” with a gown at their first shop… but we’re here to tell you it CAN happen and when it does, it’s magic!
5. SAY YES TO THE DRESS!
One of the best pieces of advice we can give when shopping for your wedding dress is to trust your stylist! She will be with you every step of the way, guiding you to find the wedding dress that is perfect for you! At Charlotte’s Weddings, we start with a Zoom or phone call prior to your appointment to get to know you better. We love hearing all about you and your partner, your plans for your wedding day, and what you’re most excited and nervous about when it comes to shopping for your dress! When you arrive, we’ll take you and your party to your private bridal suite where we’ll talk about all things dresses! We’ll pull gowns for you specific to your preferences and inspiration photos, and we love to surprise you with styles you might not have thought of but we think will look amazing on you!
Charlotte’s Tip: In addition to looking for gown inspiration on Pinterest, you can view our designer galleries on our website and save a favorites list that you can share with your stylist! While we don’t have all of the dresses on our website in store at all times, we have A LOT of them, as well as similar variations by the same designers that we can show you during your appointment!
When you find “the one,” soak it all in. It’s ok to feel nervous in this moment, a lot of brides do! But this is what you’ve been waiting for! Trust yourself. If this is the dress you feel the best in, you can picture it on the day, and you’ve had the best experience with your loved ones by your side… Say Yes to the Dress!
We’re so excited to be part of your wedding planning journey and can’t wait to help you say yes to the wedding dress of your dreams at Charlotte’s Weddings!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503.297.9622
I'M READY! LET'S BOOK MY APPOINTMENT!