Selecting Your Dress

Helpful Hints for Bridal Gown Shopping

Guest Post from Jenn Glosemeyer, Boulevard Bride

Tips when looking for your wedding gown
Helpful Tips for Bridal Gown Shopping

One of the most exciting parts about getting married is finding “The Dress”.  It’s probably the first thing on your list.     When it is time to go shopping keep these tips in mind.

Undergarments can drastically change the look of a dress. 

You already know that wearing a strapless bra or a regular one with clear straps is non-negotiable. Even so, I’d recommend getting your measurements taken before you start this process; being in an incorrectly-sized bra can make the entire gown look awkward on your body. Undergarments one cup size too small or a few inches too big around can make a huge difference in the fit.

Wear just enough makeup to feel pretty—don’t go overboard.
Being surrounded by a billowing sea of white fabric makes you hyper-aware of your appearance. Under-eye circles that were barely noticeable before look stark. Pale pink lipstick is drowned out by fluorescent lighting. You don’t have to get dolled up for your consultant; apply just enough so that you feel presentable. But whatever you do, DON’T apply self-tanner in the days leading up to your appointment, in order to avoid damaging any of the dresses. Also, wear your hair the way you’ve planned it for the wedding.

Tell the truth about the gowns. 

We can’t assist you properly if you don’t tell us how you really feel about the gown. “It’s beautiful,” after stepping into each dress does not help us when we are trying to feel out what you have in mind for your ideal wedding gown.  We are not the designers; you won’t hurt our feelings. Ten “no’s” will help you get to your final “yes.”

Do “the aisle test” to make sure the gown looks good from every angle. 

Go ahead, sit, shimmy, and even twirl in the gowns while trying them on—if it’s the right one, you should feel as if you never want to take it off.

Trying on wedding gowns is physically (and emotionally) draining. 

Wedding gowns are so heavy that getting in and out of them is a workout in itself!   Sometimes too many opinions and helpers can make the experience overwhelming and exhausting. Save yourself a lot of confusion by only bringing 3 or less people with you.  This should be a fun event and remember, this is YOUR wedding so consider the opinions of others, but go with your gut.

 Make Mom love you forever by trying on a dress she recommends, even if you hate it.

If Mom has been looking forward to this moment ever since you played dress-up as a little girl, oblige her just this one time and try on one of her recommendations. It’s a win-win: Either she’ll see that you were right about lace looking all kinds of wrong on you, or you may shock yourself by purchasing one of her picks.

You’ll have to sign on the dotted line for even the smallest details.

In order to buy a dress, you’ll have to commit to a certain size ahead of time, and they’re a lot smaller compared to regular clothing sizes (a bridal size 6 is equivalent to a size 2 in “normal” clothes). If you’re planning on customizing your gown by adding sleeves,or embellishments, be prepared to answer very specific questions about that as well.

Repeat after me: You are not a failure if you have to try on more than 10 gowns before finding The Gown. 

Shopping can be a scene out of a romantic comedy: The excitement in the bridal salon is palpable, you’re swilling champagne, everyone coos over how stunning you are, and you wish you could bottle how giddy you feel. What movies don’t show you are how despondent it can make you feel if it takes four, or five, or six visits before you find anything that even remotely feels like you.

Do it once, do it fabulous. 

You’re (hopefully) only going to shop for a wedding gown once in your life, so reserve the right to make the final decision yourself, and you’ll hear a silent little voice tell you which one you should choose.