Wedding Wednesdays: Finding Your Perfect Dress

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Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today is one of the installments of Wedding Wednesdays for which I’ve been the most excited because today I’m discussing…wait for it…the dress!

The dress has always been one of the wedding elements that I’ve looked forward to most…it’s second only to food/desserts #honesty I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”, New York and Atlanta, at least twice, and yes, I’ve dedicated untold hours to searching for various styles on Pinterest.

So, it was no surprise to me, or those that know me best, that I ended up with a dress within 2 months of being engaged! What was my process? Read on to find out!


Steps to Finding the Perfect Dress

  • Research: You want to start getting an idea of the style you may want pretty early on. This helps your appointments to be much more streamlined, and assures you spend more time looking at gowns you may actually buy. If you have no idea of the style you want, don’t panic! Just let your consultant know, and he or she can begin by pulling a couple dresses in drastically different styles so you can decide which suits you best. From there, you can hone in on what exactly you want in your dress!
  • Consider Venue: Piggybacking off of research and style, you may want to consider the location and vibe of your wedding  when looking for your perfect dress. A princess ball gown may not be the best choice for a beach wedding, but it would work perfectly in a church and reception hall.
  • Set a Budget: If you’ve watched “Say Yes to the Dress” as much as I have, you know this is the golden rule of dress shopping, and most likely one of the very first things your consultant will want to know. I would highly suggest only looking at dresses within your budget. Keep in mind that there are plenty of options in every price range, and your consultant is trained to find what you’re looking for at a price that is right for you. **Also, don’t forget to budget for alterations and accessories!**
  • Group Size: It is SO important to consider how many people you’re going to bring with you to your bridal appointments. I know it doesn’t seem like it would impact the process all that much, but it really does. I went to the same bridal salon several times, each time with a different amount, and group of people. The very first appointment, when it was just my mom and I, had a very different vibe from the time I brought my mom, sister, and some other family and friends as well. I’m a people pleaser, so I quickly realized that when I had the larger group with me, I paid attention to their thoughts and opinions a lot more than my own personal feelings. Perhaps start with a smaller group when choosing the style, and bring a larger group to make the final decision between a narrowed down selection.
  • Large Shop v. Small Boutique: You want to take into consideration where you want to look and shop for for dresses. Do you want a large store with thousands of gowns, or a smaller boutique with perhaps a smaller selection, but a more personalized experience? I opted for the smaller shop, and I had such an amazing experience. Wherever you decide to go, consider what designers they carry, the amount of people they allow you to bring along, and the length of time they allot for your initial and returning appointments. If you live in the Cincinnati area, I’d highly recommend Amanda’s Hyde Park Bridal. They close the store down for 1 or 2 brides at time, so you get individual attention, and their selection of gowns and accessories is diverse, without being overwhelming.
  • Take Lots of Pictures: First, make sure the shop allows pictures, and then take TONS. Have the people you brought with you get some shots from all different angles. I was so surprised at how different some dresses looked in the mirror versus how they looked in a photograph. After all, your wedding is one of the most photographed days of your life, so it would be ideal to have it look great both in real life, and in pictures!
  • Accessorize: Consider a belt, or some show-stopping earrings! Accessories can totally change the bridal look, elevate it to the next level, and put your own personal touch on it. So, add a colored belt, or some patterned shoes! You do you, girl!
  • Don’t rush Your Decision: Unless you have to due to some sort of time constraint, don’t feel pressured to pick your dress at the first appointment. I went back to Hyde Park Bridal 3 times before I finally decided on my dress, and they were more than gracious throughout the entire process. Everyone is on Team Bride, and wants you to be happy with your decision, so think on it, and only say “Yes” when you’re completely confident!

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