May 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm #28252
My advice is to do a lot of picture shopping as far as what the stores you are planning on going to carry. Choose several favorites, then ask the consultant to recommend a few you might like. For me, tried on less than a dozen dresses. My mom and I had both been aimlessly looking online separately and printed out the same picture of the same dress to show each other. We found a store in the area that carried that and a few other things I liked. I went to a store that didn’t carry the dress I really loved first, liked a few things, but then went to the second store and bought the dress I went in loving. So, I’m with honeybeecki. I think it’s better to know what you want, within reason.
I’m between a size 0 and 2, and my consultant did an AMAZING job of getting the dress to look like it would look on. I was totally pleased when I went in to try my real dress on for the first time last month – exactly like what she did with the clips. Most bridal stores will have an assortment of veils and jewelry for you to try, so just bring a pair of shoes about the height you’ll be wearing. As far as embarrassment goes, I wore boy shorts and a nice practical strapless bra and it wasn’t as bad as I thought at all.
There is no point in trying on a thousand dresses, IMO. Shop around online first to get an idea of designers you like, but go in with an open mind. I had loved the picture, but was really afraid the dress (which is an A-line but has a bit of poof so it’s almost ball gown-y) would swallow me since I’m tiny, and the consultant was really up front saying that it was actually a style that works really well on smaller women, and knew right away that a couple of the sexier dresses I wanted to try would probably not flatter me – and they didn’t!May 31, 2012 at 8:27 am #28293
@honeybeenicki If that’s you in your picture, your dress is super cute!
@sarolabelle I’ve thought about the bridesmaid route- but I’m worried about how sales people will react. I’ve found a few bridesmaid dresses that I love and come in white…and are substantially cheaper than bridal gowns.
@Krista I’m actually going to a JCrew to try on their dresses! I really love the simplicity of them, and the clean lines! I’m a little worried that I am getting set on finding a dress with straps. Strapless dresses make me feel so naked and although I am thin, I hate my little arm fat poof thing.
@mandalee My fiance’s sister suggested Brides for Breast Cancer too! I live close enough that I can do a day trip to their new boutique in St. Petersburg. I’m pretty excited about it. Helping people and getting a great price on a dress- what could be better?
I guess I need to hurry up and figure out shoes and jewelry based on a lot of your comments. I’ve already decided no veil and I’m pretty relaxed about my hair (it can go up or down whatever). I really want this to be a positive event, but going with my mom and aunt who both have very strong opinions might make it difficult.May 31, 2012 at 8:51 am #28306
I just went wedding dress shopping in February I actually fell in love with a dress but their sample (a “european couture 8″ is really like an American 4-6) so I couldn’t even get it over my hips (And I am usually an 8/10). I tried to find a larger sample but never could and couldn’t commit to a dress I couldn’t try on! Keep in mind, I went on a Saturday to a salon that had about 5 or 6 brides there at the same time. I went again on a Tuesday and was the only bride there and there were so many more dresses I hadn’t seen the first time since they were with other brides. On this trip I found my perfect dress I had my mom, mother in law and sister in law with me the first time but just my mom the second time. I later tried it on for a few of my bridesmaids, but this was pretty much after I had selected it (Essence of Australia D1319). I went in with a few ideas in my head from what I had looked at but my biggest thing was material. I think that is better because, duh, all of the dresses look great on the models wearing them haha! I am NOT a shiny, bright white dress kind of girl, nor did I want a lot of “bling”. My wedding is a little bit more vintage so I wanted lace/ivory. Thats all I knew and kind of knew of a designer that catered to that so I went in and just picked out and started trying on! I think I tried on less than 10? Also, I STILL don’t have a veil, jewelry, or shoe picked out (I did have to pick a shoe height for my measurements – which they had plenty of shoes at the store). I think those things should come second to the dress. I also just brought a clip to pin my hair up for an “up-do” affect. Don’t stress about it! As for being uncomfortable around the consultant, I just wore full bottomed underwear and they put ya in a corset so you’re really mostly covered. I just thought to myself A. She does this for a living, I’m sure she isn’t uncomfortable and B. I’m more covered than most bathing suits! Enjoy shopping!!! It really is so much fun. Oh and I didn’t cry when I found the dress, but my Mom did of course! Also sorry this turned into a post for weddingwire/theknot… I’m just excited!May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am #28308
That is me in my wedding dress in my picture. I changed it to that so you could see how awesome wedding dresses can be without paying a lot. I also went to David’s Bridal like a few other people said they did. They have affordable dresses and affordable alterations. I was extremely happy with my dress and even have a sister who has asked me if she can buy it from me for her wedding.May 31, 2012 at 9:04 am #28311
I got mine from David’s Bridal, also, and they do have a HUGE selection of truly beautiful gowns that are less than $1000, so you’ll be fine from a financial stand point if you go there. It’s a pretty overwhelming experience, though. I had NO idea what I wanted, and looking at the racks really did nothing for me. So, I pretty much just let my consultant help me pick. In fact, the gown I ended up getting, she suggested I try, and I was iffy on. She made me try it on as it looks different on than on a hanger, and I fell in love as soon as I put it on. Then I started bawling when my mom found a veil and put it on my head. I didn’t tryon anymore after that because it truly was THE dress. I always thought I’d have a white gown, and it was ivory. I also HATE lace, and my dress has champagne lace. So perfect for me. There are so many options, and even if you think you have an idea of what you want, sometimes it doesn’t jive with your body type. Sometimes what you think you might hate, you end up loving. Try on as many styles as you can until one of them clicks with you. It might take several trips to several places, or it could be the first one. You’ll know when you find the right one. It’s totally a fun day, though. I would definitely advise bringing a friend, or someone you know who ahs similar tastes in style. My mom and my aunt were there and were picking out some truly hideous ones. my girlfriends were up front and honest with me about every gown whereas my mom thought I looked beautiful in all of them (and I know I didn’t). Also, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many people. Too many opinions and it starts to get confusing.May 31, 2012 at 9:46 am #28333
David’s Bridal really does have great gowns! I think my biggest issue with them is that most of the times I’ve been there (for bridesmaid dresses or shopping with a bride – she ended up with one of the vera wang white dresses!) it was during very popular appointment times and was very overwhelming and the staff was less than helpful. Booking in the evenings (which is what I did for my bridesmaids) seemed to help A LOT. Maybe this is just the trend for the David’s Bridals around this area (Norfolk/Hampton VA).
@evanscr05 – I also let my MIL, SIL and Mom pick out a few and some of them were AWFUL. One was seriously so poofy and wide that people have to get out of the way for me to walk around.May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am #28334
@Mar1985: That’s what my mom and aunt did, too! Also, you bring up a good point about appointment times. Saturdays, especially, and Sundays are VERY busy. If you can go during the week, you’ll get much more attention and have less crazies to deal with. If you HAVE to go on a weekend, another timeframe that has always worked for me is to get the first appointment slot of the day. The consultants are required to help two brides at once, but I found that by going as soon as they open, I had her for a full hour all to myself before her next appointment showed up.
Also, another financial benefit to DB is that you get discounts on shoes, undergarments, bridesmaid dresses, other dresses you need for related events (like Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, etc.), jewelry, etc. I looked at a few boutiques and the selections were crazy low and the prices were crazy high. For a one time affair, I loved having DB to keep my costs down but still give me a big selection. It was also nice because all of my bridesmaids live all over the country (from various parts of Virginia, as far west as Hawaii, and inbetween) so it was nice that they didn’t HAVE to be with me to try on dresses. Oh, and also, they tend to give discounts to Men’s Wearhouse since I think they are owned by the same company, and the color schemes match easily between the two. I know some people have had bad experiences with DB, but I loved it, and I’d go there again if I had to do it all over.May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am #28338
@GatorGirl – the clerk doesn’t care at all! She cares about as much as the guy that works at the grocery store who rings up your tampons cares about you purchasing tampons! Trust me, the next day the sales clerk forgot all about you.May 31, 2012 at 10:38 am #28347
I ordered my dress online from J. Crew. I already knew what size I was because I had some clothing from there, and I found a dress I liked on sale. I did have to get it shortened, because I think all their dresses are made for people who are almost 6′ tall, but that was it in terms of alterations; it ran true to size. And mine had straps! I agree with you; I really like how simple their dresses are. As a bonus, mine was under $300May 31, 2012 at 11:01 am #28356
@gillocirptor I’m really excited to try their dresses on. Luckily my family lives close to one of their stores that carries the bridal line. I am very worried about the length (I’m on 5’2″) but a good tailor can fix that. I’ve had some problems with their dresses not fitting my chest correctly and I end up spilling out- so I’m hoping that’s not true for the bridal line!!May 31, 2012 at 11:31 am #28367
I had the opposite problem, which was not enough boobs to fill the dress. I got one of those miraculous bras (or whatever) that Victoria’s Secret makes to make up the difference. But I have small boobs.May 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm #28447
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself… I was really worried that I was going to hate everything and never find a dress, because I’m very specific in what I like, and it made the whole thing stressful for me. Relax and try to have fun.
Also, there’s no harm in just trying something on, even if you hate it on the rack. At first I *hated* the dress I ended up buying. It was lace, and I hated lace. I thought it was ugly. It was the last dress that I tried on, and I only tried it on so that I could tell my fiance I tried on a lace dress and hated it. Well, she zipped it up and I looked in the mirror and instantly knew it was the dress for me. My friend with a heart of stone started crying when she saw me in it, and that sealed the deal!
Oh, lastly, get a dress that is appropriate for your venue/season. One dress I loved looked really wintery- not appropriate for a fall/beachy wedding. If it’s a fancy wedding, go with something a little more flashy, if it’s a beach wedding do something a little more flowy… You get the idea.May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm #28448
If anyone wants to see my dress, here’s a link to our photographer’s blog post about the wedding:
http://www.pairedimages.com/blog/?p=3940May 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm #28461
@bethany Your dress was awesome! The whole event looked awesome!
I’m having a really hard time figuring out what is appropriate. We’re having a tented wedding in the evening and I sort of want to have a “garden party” theme going on. It’s also going to be massive event (200+ guests) due to my HUGE family. I’m leaning towards getting a simple dress and then adding a fancy belt or head band. I’m generally speaking a pretty simple dresser, but I’m loving lace dresses.June 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm #28624
I just saw this:
Some of them are gorgeous, and the prices don´t seem too bad.
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