wedding dress shopping tips | something blue bridal boutique, holly michigan

This one is for the Brides that have yet to make their appointments! I loved this list that AisleDash gives Brides before making the big decision! [Something Blue notes in blue]

1. Keep your wedding location (and date) in mind. Your wedding venue will help determine both the style and the formality of your wedding dress, so it's important to know where and when you are getting married before you make an appointment. For example, if you're getting married in a garden, you may want a shorter train to avoid grass stains, or if your wedding will be on the beach, choose a fabric that will keep you cool, such as cotton.
We have a couple Brides that have two very different gowns in mind - but will make their final decision once they have picked their wedding location to see which gown better fits the feel of the day!

2. Stick to your budget. Determine how much you want (and can afford) to spend on your wedding dress and be realistic. You don't want to fall head over heels for a dress that is not an option. Remember that in addition to the cost of your wedding dress, you will need to pay for alterations, headpieces, shoes and jewelry.

We always sit down with Brides before getting into the gowns to make sure we have a clear budget & let them know of alteration costs. Typically they run around $150 with our in-house seamstress. She also attends each appointment to help assess each gown so you'll know for sure! And most of our accessories are reasonably priced between $20-$50, with our most popular veil only costing $32!!

3. Do your homework. Before heading to a bridal salon, browse designer collections online to get an idea of the styles you like. Once you've bookmarked your favorites, print them out and bring them with you to the salon. Even if you don't end up with any of the dresses that you originally chose, these pictures will give the sales consultant an idea of what designs you're interested in.
This gives me a great starting point! Most likely we will find something completely different from your original intentions, but it saves us from both staring at the dresses in wonderment! 

4. Always make an appointment. Most bridal salons are by appointment only, so call ahead. An appointment will guarantee that you will have at least an hour to work with a dedicated salesperson.

Obviously, this is very important to our boutique! We currently only have one fitting room - but we certainly don't apologize for it! We love being able to lock the door during appointments & making each Bride feel like they are the only Bride in the world! I get more compliments on it than complaints - so we're sticking with it! 

5. Keep an open mind. Wedding dresses look very different on a hanger than they do on a body, so don't be afraid to try on something that at first glance you don't think will work for you.
I love when I can squeeze a gown in the fitting room that the Bride wouldn't have normally tried on - and it's even better when it becomes 'the one!' I've had girls drive over two hours before for a certain gown that she thought would be hers, only to find out that it didn't quite look the same on! [She ended up with a completely different style!] And all too often I hear . . . 'I don't want the princess gown' or 'I want the bustles & white' only to find out once they do put on the poofy dress that it's not so bad after all - or that Ivory is just as beautiful on - especially when it's in something that looks very couture! 

6. Book an appointment. Many salons are appointment only, so don't assume that you can walk in and try on wedding gowns. And if shopping for the dress is stressing you out, schedule an appointment on a weekday, when salons are not as busy.

Love that they stressed this point twice! 

7. Remember to wear nude undergarments. Seamless and nude-colored undergarments will lie flat and undetectable under your dress, and will prevent visible panty lines under figure-hugging gowns.

I have seen more hot pink polka dot bras & well . . . bare chests, than I ever imagined! We try to be accommodating by having two different sized undergarments on hand - but we just can't cover them all!

8. Dress for your body type. Try on wedding dresses in silhouettes and fabrics that will flatter your figure.

There are so many gowns that I wish I could have worn - but they just did not compliment my figure in a flattering way. Sometimes I'll need to see a couple gowns on you & then I might be able to pull some gowns that better suite you!

9. Consider the rear view. You'll be spending a lot of time with your back to your guests, so make sure the dress you choose flatters you from every angle.

We always make you take a spin on the pedestal with a hand held mirror so you can see the train laid out nice & how you'll look to the majority of guests during your ceremony & special dances!

10. Start shopping nine months in advance. Begin wedding dress shopping at least six to nine months before your wedding day. Designers may need several months to make your gown, and if they don't have enough lead time, you will incur rush charges. Once your dress is delivered to the salon, you will need enough time for several fittings (over the course of six to eight weeks) with a seamstress who will make sure you get the perfect fit.
For our new order Alfred Angelo gowns we definitely need your order six to nine months ahead of time to allow for shipping & ample fittings. However, with our large selection of off-the-rack gowns you can get away with a little less time! We still suggest at least four to five months - again, to allow for alterations. 

11. Wedding dress sizes run small. Don't be alarmed when, after your measurements are taken, the actual gown ordered is two sizes bigger than your normal clothing size. Wedding dresses are designed on a different measurement chart.

Why they make 'dress sizes' is still beyond me! We're supposed to be worrying about how to accessorize & what to say for our vows, not what size the label says! That's why I always tell Brides to not worry about what the tag says! As long as it fits you - or maybe we go up a size or two to find the right style - as long as we can alter it back down to you - why worry what the number is!? I've had a girl cry before because she was in a size 10 gown when they wear about a 6 in jeans . . . I had to have the seamstress help me convince her that it was okay! 

12. Buy or order a dress that fits you now. Whether you are planning on losing 5, 10 or 15+ pounds before your wedding day, it's important that you purchase or order a wedding dress that fits your current size. It's much easier for a seamstress to take in a dress than to let one out.

Couldn't have said it better myself! 

13. Bring accessories with you. If you know that you are wearing a family heirloom, such as a veil, headpiece or item of jewelry, bring it with you to the salon. When you're trying on wedding dresses, make sure that the heirloom complements the dresses you are considering.

It's always best to envision the complete look right from the get go. This will save you from wondering later - 'does this match my dress!?' . . . if you think you'll wear it - bring it! Shoes the same height as you would most likely wear never hurt either!

14. Shop around. Enjoy shopping for your wedding dress and don't feel that you need to buy one at your first appointment. Visit multiple retailers and try on a variety of styles and silhouettes so you can make an informed decision.

We have a curse at Something Blue! Most often the first dress Brides have tried on here or ever - ends up being 'the one!' But we don't frown upon Brides wanting to get the full experience of shopping around and eliminating any other possible contenders! In fact, we had two Brides this past weekend who fell in love with gowns, put them on hold, one went to another appointment that she had right after her appointment at Something Blue & the other went to a bridal show to check out other styles and fashion shows . . . they both called back Monday morning to make their purchases! And I feel more comfortable selling you a gown when I know that you know without a doubt that that is the gown for you! 

15. Bring a buddy. Ask your mom, sister and/or best friend to go shopping with you. You may want their opinions, but remember that their personal styles may be different from yours, and if so, take their advice with a grain of salt.

We've previously seen too many times where the Bride would bring five or six people in & they either give overwhelming responses or surprisingly - no opinions at all, leaving the Bride a little confused. I find that if you have a good relationship with your mom [and especially if she is helping you pay for the gown] that you bring her with you - if you come on your own at first, most always they want to come back with their mom, so just bring her! [However - I've also had the opposite, when Brides know that their moms can be over bearing - they come in first alone & get their style & choices narrowed down to two gowns or 'the one' & simply invite the mother in to show off her choice.] Your best friend can also be your best option or your worst enemy . . . sometimes they are too honest,  or if they've had their wedding, sometimes like to live vicariously & reminisce throughout your whole appointment. BE CHOOSY! Pick the one or two most supportive people you know!

16. Buy the dress you love. Not the one your mom, best friend and sales consultant love. You'll feel when it's right. Just like the guy, you'll know.

If I had a penny for every time I heard 'This is the one I love, but get whatever gown you want' from moms - I'd be a rich woman! Trust me, you will know the gown for you! Your face will start to glow, a little smile will begin to creep up on you & you'll almost start twirling in the gown . . .  we've had twirlers!

17. Stay true to your personal style. This is your wedding and you should feel comfortable and look like yourself. If your style is simple, this is not the time to wear an overly beaded dress. You want to look back at your pictures and love what you wore.

I always stress that you'll always have the memories of your wedding day - but it's the pictures that last! You won't want to look back and barely recognize yourself! For your dress, your hair, your colors - pull from your everyday personal style!

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