This is a day many have dreamt of since being a little girl. Throwing on the fanciest sundress in your closet and a pair of your mom’s high heels, walking down the hallway as if it were an aisle. Some of us may have planned this day to the t, having had a specific dress in mind for years. But if you haven’t, don’t stress it – it may take some time, but know that your dream dress is out there. It’s just a matter of finding what you’re looking for and staying true to the bride you were always meant to be.
When I first started the wedding dress shopping process, I was a bit overwhelmed, to be honest. I remember flipping through wedding magazines, browsing Pinterest and saving so many images to a wedding dress folder on Instagram. It was tough – everything looked incredibly stunning! It can be stressful when you think about everything that goes into finding your dream dress. The best thing you can do to get your process on started on the right track is to write out the vision/vibe you have for your wedding. Next, write out some words that describe who you are or what type of bride you represent. The key to finding the right dress is essentially you. Who are you and what do you represent? How do you want to feel on your wedding day? It is so important to stay true to yourself and feel the most you on your wedding day! You will look back on photos 30 years from now and be happy that you chose a dress that represented you fully.
I started jotting some adjectives down to describe what my day looked like on the Amalfi Coast and what type of dress was well suited for my personality. The words that popped up for me were: classic, elegant, modern, sophisticated and timeless. In a nutshell, I am this woman. I have some edge here and there, but my core values are those above. I wanted my wedding dress to represent these attributes and to bring these words to life. Once I knew how I wanted to feel, I started narrowing down styles and fabrics that lent themselves to this vision. I found the most beautiful Anne Barge dress that made me feel all those things I mentioned above: classic, elegant, modern, sophisticated and timeless. It was perfect!
Here are some of my tips and tricks when it comes to choosing the dress of your dreams.
- Start your research early and collect ALL THE INSPO – flip through wedding magazines and tear stuff out, use Pinterest (create boards), use Instagram as a source and save everything you love to a collections folder.
- Ask yourself what words describe you best and how you want to feel on your wedding if you were to some those words up in regards to style and vision. What’s your vibe? What vision have you planned?
- Keep a close eye on styles and silhouettes – are you more of a ballgown bride, mermaid fit bride or sleek and simple? Fabric is so key as well and you’ll start learning this as soon as you try on dresses.
- Have a budget and be open-minded and flexible
- Start popping into wedding shops to browse selections – I went to a ton of shops just to browse and try stuff on. It gave me a better idea of what cuts/styles worked best for my body.
- Make appointments at bridal shops to work one on one with their bridal consultants. I was lucky enough to work with the team at Kinsley James Bridal. I tried on this Anne Barge dress and knew instantly that it was the one! As soon as I put it on, everything came to life and I just lit up. That’s how you know.
- Remember that bridal sizing isn’t what we are used to. They go higher in sizing so don’t feel bad if you regularly wear a 4 and you’re an 8 in wedding gowns. It’s just how the industry works.
- Remember to bring your shoes, spanx, strapless bra, whatever you need to your appointments.
- Will you be wearing two dresses? I wore this elegant and modern Anne Barge dress for my ceremony and this Angel Rivera number for my reception dress. I wanted to play on contrasting themes. Modern and clean for the day and Italian romance for the night.
- You can go to sample sales that have dresses for up to 50% off or trunk shows that offer 10% off. Call around to bridal boutiques and stores and see when and where these sales are in your area.
- When budgeting it’s good to take into account alteration and cleaning costs. It’s not cheap I will tell you. I think my costs were around $650 to have the bust taken in, the dress shortened and cleaned for one dress. They can vary but usually start around $300.
- It’s so important to find a seamstress you trust. Fittings are very important and you need to get an early start. It usually takes 2-3 fittings to get your dress to where you want it to be exactly!
- Remember, pick something that’s 100% you – that you love and is just you in a nutshell. Don’t ever feel pressured to go with something someone else picked for you!
- Lastly, don’t stress too much! Enjoy the process and remember how amazing and special this time is. Everything will come together, I promise!