For every bride – the dress is the single most important decision they will make
Is it the right fit, the right style etc etc
Here at With This Ring Wedding Photography we are here to help – because we want you to look your best on the big day – if you look amazing…….which you will…then your images will look amazing to
Follow our step by step guide below to choosing your dress and making sure it’s the right one for you
Make Each Fitting Count
You don’t need to schedule 300 dress fittings to get your gown just right. In fact, if you plan correctly, just three effective fittings—one each month before your big day—should do the trick. Follow these guidelines to make sure you get the most out of each appointment.
Broach Heel Height
The average gown is about five feet from collarbone to floor. If you want to wear very tall heels, they may need to order your dress in a longer length. Make sure you tell the consultant in the shop.
Bring Shoes and Undergarments
Ask your consultant what to wear with your gown; take these along to your appointments.
This is no time to be shy. If you aren’t completely comfortable or happy at any point, your seamstress should know. These experts can work wonders, but only if you communicate
Dance Like No One’s Watching
Seriously. Bust a move at the fitting to make sure everything feels good and secure, so you can be comfortable all night long at your wedding.
Location, Location, Location
Knowing the place and time of your wedding will help focus your search. Will you be having a daytime ceremony on the beach? You can rule out ball gowns with long trains. Exchanging vows in a candlelit cathedral? Avoid short slip dresses or anything that looks like it could be worn to a cocktail party. Most fabrics are suitable year-round, but some, like linen and organdy, are more appropriate for warm weather.
Set a Budget
Figure out how much you want to spend, and tell the salesperson before she starts bringing out gowns. That way you won’t lose your heart to a dress you can’t afford. Typically, a wedding ensemble, including veil, undergarments, and any other accessories, accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of the total wedding cost. Factor in extras, such as alterations—which can add a few hundred or a few thousand pounds depending on how involved they are. Once the dress arrives, it may require professional pressing or steaming, which can add on more.
Begin shopping nine to twelve months before your wedding. It takes about four months for a manufacturer to make a dress and another two months to complete the alterations. Very elaborate gowns will take longer. Short on time? Many shops do rush orders for an additional fee, but your choices will likely be limited. They also may have a sale section with samples you can buy off the rack. If you’re lucky, you can get one that needs just minor alterations.
Do Your Research
It’s not every day you see terms such as basque waist or Watteau train or try to differentiate between three shades of white. Pore over bridal magazines, books, and websites to learn about fabrics, silhouettes, and the lexicon so you can better convey what you’re looking for. Start a folder with pictures of dresses or details that appeal to you, and take it with you when you shop.
Make a Game Plan
Decide where you want to go and call stores in advance to find out which designers they carry, the price range of their dresses, and if they sell accessories and provide alterations. Most salons require that you schedule an appointment. If possible, shop on a weekday but not during your lunch hour when you’ll be rushed. Don’t shop till you drop—limit yourself to two stores a day, so you don’t get exhausted or forget what you’ve seen. Carry a notebook and jot down dress descriptions (photos are usually prohibited until you buy a gown – especially ones with camera’s).
Take anything you know you want to wear, such as a special necklace or your grandmother’s veil. Boutiques will often provide bustiers, strapless bras, and shoes, but you may want to bring your own. You’ll also need the advice of a few trusted confidantes, but not too many: An opinionated entourage can be confusing and frustrating. Invite one or two people who know your taste, will be honest with you, and whose judgment you trust.
Find a Dress for Less
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get the perfect gown. Besides having sale racks, many salons hold big sales once or twice a year to clear out “gently worn” or discontinued samples (usually in sizes 6, 8, or 10). To find out when these are, call stores, go to designers’ websites, and sign up for mailing lists. Also register for trunk shows, where designers debut new lines. Sometimes boutiques offer discounts if you buy on the show day.
Step out of your comfort zone – keep an open mind
A simple truth: Some dresses look like paper bags on the hanger and drop-dead gorgeous on your body. With that in mind, don’t turn your nose up at anything until you try it on. “Many women come in and say, ‘I don’t want strapless,'” says Ingram, “and then it looks great.” It’s the consultant’s job to match you with styles you’ll like, so give her the benefit of the doubt and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. That said, don’t let a pushy salesperson (or your mom) sweet-talk you into a gown you don’t love.
Focus on Fit, Not Size
Bridalwear often runs smaller than ready-to-wear; if you normally buy an 8, you may need a 12. So forget the numbers and don’t insist on a smaller size because you intend to lose weight before the wedding—order the one that fits now. A gown is easy to take in, but
The great thing about most bridal salons is that the lighting is flattering, and the mirrors don’t distort your frame. But do put some effort into getting ready for your appointment. You want to feel confident in the dresses you try on, and it helps the consultant get a sense of your style. If you arrive with wet hair and no makeup, it’s a lot harder for the staff to pull dresses you might like. Bring any items you want to wear down the aisle and wear a strapless nude bra and a seamless thong or brief Keep in mind that you’ll be changing in front of people!
Get It in Writing
Before putting down a deposit (usually 50 percent), go over the contract with your bridal consultant. Find out when the gown will be ready, the estimated fee for alterations, if it can be shipped out of state (or country), what the cancellation policy is, and what recourse you have if the dress is damaged or comes without the requested modifications. Finally, double-check that the manufacturer’s name, style number, size, and color are correct.
Make the Most of Each Fitting
It usually takes two or three fittings to adjust a gown, but don’t be shy about asking for more if you think tweaks are needed. The first appointment occurs about two to four months before the wedding, at which time you need to have your undergarments, shoes, and accessories. You may also want to get your hair done in the style you will wear. Can you lift your arms easily? Do the straps stay up? Do any seams pucker? The last fitting takes place a week or two before the event. Bring your mother, an attendant, or whomever will be helping you into your gown.