Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can sometimes be more overwhelming and stressful than many first-time brides anticipate.  In this case, knowledge is power. Here are a few tips that will minimize stress and maximize fun.

Set Your Budget.  There’s nothing more heartbreaking than finding the dress of your dreams and then realizing you can’t afford it. When dress shopping, be upfront about your price point and be weary of trying on anything outside of your budget. You may want to try it on “just for fun” or someone from your entourage pushes you to just try it, but if you fall in love with it– nothing else will compare.  So unless they are willing to open their wallets, be mindful.  A few other things to keep in mind about budget: alterations are not included in the price of the dress nor is the cost of bridal accessories such as veils, jewelry, and headpieces.

* Bottom Line:  Avoid potential heartache; don’t shop outside of your budget.

Shop Early.  If possible, begin shopping at least 10 to12 months before the wedding.  Finding the dress can take some brides-to-be several trips or many places and do NOT try to do more than 1 a day.

 Locating it (finding a vendor that carries your particular designer) may require research and travel. Once the dress is ordered, it can take up to six months to arrive at the boutique. After it arrives, it will need to be fitted and altered—a process that can take up to 2 months or more depending on precisely what needs to be done.

* Bottom Line:  The closer you get to your wedding date, the fewer choices you have.

Choose Your Entourage Carefully.  Part of the fun of dress shopping is the ‘fashion show’ aspect of sharing the experience with friends and family. However, it’s not uncommon for the entourage to become more of a burden than a help. Consider shopping with no more than two or three of your closest friends and family.  More people equal more opinions and more opportunities for doubt and second-guessing. It’s also important to bring people who understand you, your likes and that you’ll be wearing the dress and who accept your vision of the gown, regardless of their expectations and desires. If there’s no way to avoid the potential for negativity, consider making a solo trip where you establish a top three and present only those options to your entourage on a later trip.

* Bottom Line:  Leave Negative Nancy, Debbie Downer, and Opinionated Opal home.

Book An Appointment. Downtown Bridal is an appointment only boutique. We want to do everything we can to make your appointment special and the only way to ensure our undivided attention is to book an appointment.  If you book an appointment and then find a dress elsewhere, just give a call and let us know as you cancel your appointment so we can mark your file; we’d love to congratulate you!

* Bottom Line:  Make an appointment to ensure the best time with your Stylist.

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