Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Mistakes

There are many common mistakes brides make when they come wedding dress shopping – often because they are underprepared or unwilling to think beyond the ideal vision that they have in their head. But wedding dress shopping needn’t be stressful, or fruitless, or time-consuming. Here are our top 10 mistakes that brides make when shopping for a wedding dress – try to avoid these and you should be fine!

1. Not knowing their budget

Unless you really do have an unlimited amount to spend, you should have an idea of what you can afford. Obviously your budget will go a lot further if you choose to shop for discount wedding dresses, from a factory outlet or discount designer store, but you still need to know what your limit is.

2. Not considering extra costs

When you budget for your outfit, you need to remember that you will be wearing more than just a dress! You need to consider your shoes, underwear, a veil if you will be wearing one, any jewellery you don’t already own (I’m guessing most of us didn’t have a tiara before we got married!), and even your hair and make up should be included.

3. Bringing too many people

You should definitely bring someone. Many people bring their mum and a sister or a close friend. Whoever you choose, they should be people you trust to give an honest opinion but also not try to influence you to choose a dress they like rather than the one you like! Any more than two people and you’re going to end up with too many different viewpoints, which can get confusing for you. Besides, you want your wedding dress to be a surprise for as many people as possible on the big day!

4. Getting all made up to come wedding dress shopping

Okay, so wedding dress shopping feels more special than normal shopping, but there really is no need to get all dressed up for us! You should make sure that you are wearing a well-fitting bra if you are likely to need extra support under your wedding dress, but apart from that, casual is fine. In fact, we would prefer you didn’t wear any make up that could get smudged off on to the dresses.

5. Shopping too early (or too late!)

Shopping too late is less of a concern for shopping at wedding dress factory outlets, for example, as these dresses don’t need to be made from scratch for you, but you should still aim to leave enough time for any alterations. As for shopping too early, you really need to at least have the wedding date booked, and preferably the venue, as both of these decisions will influence what style of dress you choose. Also, if you aren’t ready to make the purchase, you could fall in love with a dress that isn’t available when you have the money ready.

6. Not having done a bit of research before

It’s all very well having an open mind as to what style of dress you want, but you should have some idea about what you like. Knowing your venue will help (beach weddings have a very different dress code to church weddings!), but take the time to look at some pictures and see what appeals to you. Perhaps you prefer plainer dresses to the more detailed ones, or a detachable train to a built in one. If you have no idea where to start, it can be a bit bewildering to look at all the wedding dresses on the rails!

7. Only trying one style on

Conversely, being adamant you will only try on white strapless ballgowns, may mean you miss out on a dress that would suit you more, as well as restricting your choice somewhat.

8. Trying to buy a smaller size saying “I’ll lose weight before the wedding”

It’s so easy to say, but not as easy to achieve, and while we’re not saying that you won’t lose weight before your big day, it is worth remembering that most dresses can be taken in by as many as four sizes without affecting the style. Letting a dress out is much more difficult, and if it is possible, you will only be able to let it out by one size. So choose a dress that fits now, and have it taken in when you lose that weight!

9. Forgetting they have to spend a whole day in the dress

This sounds obvious, but many people will try a dress on and decide to buy it without even trying to sit down in it. The wedding dress is for more than just the ceremony, so think about how comfortable it will be to wear while sitting down, eating and even dancing in. This is particularly important with corset style bodices that can be restricting, and fishtail dresses, which if too closely fitted can stop you being able to sit down at all!

10. Buying a dress you don’t love

This is YOUR dress. It should be the dress that you keep comparing all other dresses to (I still do this 4 years after my wedding, and so far, I still love my wedding dress more than any other!). Choosing a dress because it made your mother well up, or just because it has a coloured trim that will match the bridesmaid’s dresses is really not advisable. You aren’t planning to do this more than once, so make sure to buy the wedding dress of your dreams.

9 How-To Tips for Saving Money On Your Wedding Dress

When it comes to buying a wedding dress, the first thing that comes to mind is the staggering price! Wedding dresses can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars. When you begin looking for your perfect wedding dress that no one will ever forget, remember these 9 tips for finding the gorgeous, yet affordable, wedding dress of your dreams.

1) Consignment Shops
Some people call it thrifting, others call it hand-me-downs, I call it smart! Many women realize that they will only wear their wedding dress once in their lives. So, they sell it to a consignment shop who then resells it at a lower price. It could be used, but it will most likely be in pristine condition. I know many brides who not only have found a bargain at a consignment shop, but the dress of their dreams as well!

2) Bridal Section of the Department Store
Most department stores have a bridal section that offer gowns, veils, gloves, shoes, and many other things essential to your wedding. They also offer these things at much lower prices. Department stores can carry some of the top bridal gown brands at a lower and much more reasonable price point. Try stores such as Dillards, JCPenney, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

3) Craigslist
It may sound a bit out of the norm, but search Craigslist for wedding dresses! I have done this in the past for clients and you would be surprised at the quality you may find. The seller is also near the area you live in, so it is much easier to stop by and check out the dress in person before making the purchase.

4) eBay
Along the lines of Craigslist, sellers post their bridal gowns, some used and some new, for anyone to buy. On eBay, they range from the most affordable brands to designer brands, so there is a great variety to choose from. With eBay, you can search for exactly what you want, usually at a much lower price.

5) Sample Sales
Wedding designers and bridal shops often have sample sales a few times a year of their wedding dresses. At these sample sales, the choices and sizes may be a bit limited, but most brides have to have their wedding dress altered regardless. It is smart to attend a designer wedding dress sample sale to find a designer gown at a much lower cost but with the highest quality.

6) Retail Shops
Most people don’t realize that many retail stores you see every day in the mall sell wedding dresses and gowns. Stores such as Ann Taylor, J. Crew, and soon Anthropologie all showcase their own line of affordable wedding and bridesmaids dresses. These dresses are sometimes more toned down and simple, tailored to the bride who wants something affordable, high quality, and from a brand she trusts.

7) Make Your Own Dress
For the women out there who are handy with their hands and sewing equipment, consider making your own wedding dress! This way, you can either design exactly want you want or follow a pattern, make the changes you need, and alter the dress to fit your body exactly. Buying your own materials directly from fabric shops and adding in your own self-bought accessories will shove your cost way down!

8) Off-Season Shopping
During peak wedding season, searching for a dress can mean hitting the highest price point there is while gown shopping. Designers and stores know that during the peak season time, the most brides are shopping for their dresses a year out, so the markup on the garments can be extreme. Try searching for a dress during the late fall/winter months when weddings are fewer. This way, the dresses will be priced lower and a previous season’s gowns may be marked down as well.

9) Bridal Chain Store
Last but not least, you can’t forget the tried and true bridal chain stores. These include your David’s Bridal, Alfred Angelo, Maggie Sottero, among other stores that may be local to you. Find a bridal boutique and take your time looking through the store. Find something that may be similar to a designer dress that you are in love with. Don’t hesitate to ask the boutique for similar options if they don’t have your size. Another store may actually have the dress you are looking for!

The number one thing I hear from brides is that they want to save, save, save. It is a smart thing to keep in mind a bridal budget when planning for your wedding. Rather than splurge on the most expensive designer dress you can find, search for some alternatives or look at some avenues that may be off the map of normal places to look for a wedding dress. In the long run, you may find the affordable wedding dress of your dreams at the cost you were dreaming of as well!

Best Wedding Dress Silhouettes and Shopping Tips

Before a Bride even steps foot in a store, she should sit down with a pen and a pad of paper for a brainstorming session. She should consider what cut of dress she usually wears; whether or not she wants her Wedding Dress to concur with her usual style or make a different statement.For this she should take some time to close her eyes and envision herself in her future dress.

Nine months before the Wedding, or even before that, the Bride should start her shopping. Important things to bring include that pen and paper, a strapless bra and shoes that have heels about the same height as she wants for her Wedding. Mothers, Bridesmaids, close relatives and good friends can make valuable shopping companions, but remember the old adage: too many cooks spoil the broth. A few extra sets of eyes can be helpful, but too many opinions can confuse and overwhelm.

During the entire Wedding Dress process-from shopping through fitting to picking it up-a Bride should never be afraid to ask questions. Everything she is unsure about, or anything she wants confirmed, she should ask. It is particularly important to discuss comfort, especially during fittings; a Bride may only wear her Wedding Dress for one day, but it can be a long day, and her happy memories should not be tainted by any garment slipping off or digging in where it shouldn’t. Let’s discuss a little about some famous Wedding Dress Silhouettes:

1. The Ball Gown Silhouette features a fitted bodice and a full skirt that puffs out from the waistline. It can flatter any figure, accentuating the bust, slimming the waist and augmenting the hips. Examples of ball gown dresses in popular media include Disney’s Cinderella in her blue dress and Belle in her yellow gown.

2. The Princess Silhouette is the most popular for Wedding Dresses today. It hugs the natural curves of the upper body, and the skirt flares out, resembling the letter A (with the peak at the waistline). This flattering and versatile silhouette can have a skirt as slim or as full as a Bride would like.

3. The Empire Silhouette begins its waistline just below the bust. This cut can drape gently down, or flow beautifully around the Bride as she walks and dances.

4. The form-fitting Sheath Silhouette can balance elegance and allure like no other kind of dress. It hugs all the natural curves to the hips. A good example of a Sheath Silhouette can be found on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

5. Finally, the sophisticated Mermaid Silhouette clings to a Bride’s natural curves all the way down to her thighs or knees, and then flares out into a full skirt. It gives the Bride the benefit of both a dazzling shape and a flowing skirt. Get more information about wedding dresses from Lord Thompson Manor.