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Wedding Gown Shopping 101

by Lisa Beth Miller

Guess what, engaged fashionistas? A year before your wedding is the best time to start shopping for your gown. It takes about six to nine months for a wedding gown to arrive once ordered, plus you need to allow ample time for alterations! Quality designer wedding gowns are not shipped from a warehouse, they are cut by the designer upon receiving the bride’s order.

With this in mind, a smart bride will plan her wedding gown shopping well in advance.

When you arrive to your first bridal gown shopping appointment, be open-minded and don’t be afraid to try on different styles! If you feel overwhelmed by your choices, ask for help in selecting a variety of styles. This will help you to limit your choices (for example, you may discover that a ball gown makes you feel like a princess or a sheath dress makes you feel glamorous). Once you decide upon a dress style that fits your personality, it will be easier to select other dresses to try on.
Here are some other great tips for communicating with your bridal consultant during your appointment!

1. Be specific when telling your sales consultant what you are looking for or how you want to look on your special day. If you are a bride just starting out, don’t be afraid to try on dresses your sales consultant recommends. Sales consultants are dedicated to helping you find the perfect look for your size, shape, personality, and style. They are highly trained to help brides bring out their best features.

2. Open up to your sales consultant and let her know how you feel about each dress. Consultants want to help you to find your dream dress. Perhaps you love the fullness of a ballgown, but dislike that it is strapless. The consultant can help you find choices that meet your preferences and express your style. They can also suggest custom alterations (adding straps, creating a sweetheart neckline, etc.) to make a dress truly unique.

3. Be sure you tell your consultant about the details of your wedding plans. Discussing time of year, wedding location, and what type of style statement you want to make as a bride will help the consultant to share your vision and select appropriate fabrics and styles.

4. Sales consultants are very good at resolving fashion conflicts between brides and other members of the family. While it is best to shop with only one or two people (who will give honest feedback), sometimes a bride brings her whole wedding party with her. If this happens, use your sales consultant to help you sway the crowd if there are differing opinions. Sales consultants are also good at limiting dress choices and helping the bride voice her opinions when many others may not agree with choices the bride makes. A sales consultant is a bride’s biggest advocate, so use the consultant to your advantage!

5. When you are ready to purchase the dress of your dreams, but still have concerns, tell the consultant. If there are questions about how a dress will look or fit, chances are the consultant knows from experience what can be done to alleviate any problems that may arise. Brides need to make sure they are making the right choice and consultants are there to help them!

6. Finally, when you find the right dress, it is definitely best to stop looking. Often times if a bride keeps looking, in an effort to “top” her favorite dress, she simply becomes frustrated and confused about what she wants. If the dress expresses your style and personality, relax. Close your eyes and envision yourself walking down the aisle in the dress. You know you have selected the right dress if you can happily daydream about yourself wearing it!

Make an appointment with a trained consultant near you to begin your quest for the perfect wedding gown. They will reserve the Bridal Room just for you and offer you as much personal assistance as possible!

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