1. Style: Brides almost never arrive to a dress shop with absolutely no clue as to what they want to wear on their wedding day. Most have looked online or in magazines to see what styles they would like. While this is a great way to get a head start, it can also be a source of extreme disappointment. The style you have in mind might look fabulous on you. However, there is a chance it might not. Keeping an open mind when going to look for a dress is an important part of the journey. You may be completely surprised, but none the less thrilled with the style that actually does look fabulous on you. I had my heart set on a particular dress from a magazine when I went dress shopping. It was the first one I tried on at the store and I immediately knew when I saw myself in it that it was not for me. However, it did not ruin my day and I found there were plenty more styles that I liked even better.
2. Who to take: Traditionally, only a few people or even just the mother of the bride see the wedding dress before its debut. Today, brides want to feel more inclusive with their bridesmaids, siblings and sometimes even their fiancé. This is completely up to the bride, however, this will be an emotional experience and it is always best to choose people who will be emotionally supportive. Yes, you want people who will honestly give you an opinion on dresses, but opinions and truth can be presented in various ways and taking people along who will present it in a loving, thoughtful way will make your experience that much richer. When I went to pick out my dress, I took my sister, who was my matron of honor and my mother. I narrowed it down to two dresses and even went back a second day to try them both on again before I finally chose one. Once I had narrowed it down to the two, my sister and mother never stated which one they preferred. They simply told me that I looked beautiful in both and that whichever one I went with would be wonderful. That was so reassuring to me. I did try and pressure them a bit to confess which one they preferred, but they never did. I got to make the final selection and only received accolades from both. It was an awesome experience and I felt nothing but love and support from them.
3. Budget! Budget! Budget!: Did I mention budget? Can you imagine anything worse than looking in the closet at your wedding dress a month after your wedding and then looking at the stack of bills you and your husband have to pay and regretting that you went way over budget on a dress that you only wore for one day? This can sometimes happen even if you stayed on budget just because of the short time the dress is actually worn. So, if you have a budget, stick to it. If you don’t have a budget, but really need one, set one prior to going to look at dresses. Don’t live with regret.
4. Don’t be afraid to be creative: There are many options for accenting wedding dresses, so don’t be afraid to think outside the wedding dress box. For example, a colored sash makes a great addition to a dress that might not have the right amount of bling or style for you. A veil can also drastically change the look of a gown or a rhinestone head piece, if a veil isn’t for you. The point is to not just look at the dress as is, but consider how to give it your own personal touch. This can be especially important if you have selected a dress that helps you stay on budget, but isn’t your ideal gown.
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