Wedding Wednesday: Dress Shopping 101

It’s Wednesday guys!! Half way through the work week!!

I figured I would share some tips on how to help you with shopping for your wedding dress and my story on how I found my gown.

When searching for your perfect dress, you want to first make a budget!!! That way, you do not get your hopes up when you go shopping and find something out of your price range that you love, but absolutely cannot afford. So, as always, when it comes to wedding stuff, make a budget first!

Next, narrow down your search. If you are anything like me, then you are super picky when it comes to this sort of thing. Like girl, no, you cannot see every single dress there is on planet Earth. That is just impossible and ridiculous (me speaking to myself because I am that ridiculous girl haha). So, narrow down your search before you actually start scheduling dress appointments.

You can narrow your search by:

1. Making a budget (already mentioned this, but it is important).

2. Figuring out what silhouette/dress style you would like to wear on your big day. Fitted? Mermaid? Sheath? Ballgown? A-line? Etc.

3. Once you’ve got that down, Pinterest will be your best friend. Start using Pinterest and researching different dress styles of your choice and designers. Then, write down all of the designers you found that you liked.

4. Once you’ve got all of your designers down, look for bridal boutiques in your area, or however far you are willing to travel, to see which shops carry the designers you like. You want to have a pretty good idea of exactly what you are wanting before scheduling an appointment. This will make the search easier and less stressful, and it will allow you to get the most out of your appointments.

Side note: I know how picky I am, so this was an absolute must for me. I wanted to narrow down what I wanted to the T. I knew I wanted something fitted and straight, but very classy, classic, elegant, and timeless with an open back. And, I wanted something different and unique. Oh, and, I knew I wanted lace, but not entirely lace.

5. Make sure to book multiple appointments in one day, especially if you are going out of town because you may not find anything at your first stop…or second…or at all. And, that is okay, but it is good to keep your options open and to see what is out there. You can always make another appointment if you leave empty handed and you just cant stop thinking about that one dress you tried on at the second stop.

Side note: I made three appointments at locations near me (within a 2-3 hour drive from where I live). There was one designer I found where I liked multiple dresses, so I knew I had to find a location that carried this designer (Pronovias). So, I researched the surrounding areas to see what bridal shops carried this designer, and found that a few shops in Houston did. I booked three appointments just in case I didn’t find anything at the first stop, etc. And, I am so glad I did because I found my gown at the second stop!!

Now, let me tell you about my own personal dress shopping experience on how I found my gown.

First, I narrowed down my search by using the steps above. I used Pinterest a lot, searched locations near me for my most loved designers, and; then, scheduled three appointments in Houston which is about 2 hours away from where I live.

There was one dress I fell in love with from Pinterest, and I was hoping that it would be at one of the three appointments because I knew they carried the designer of that dress, Pronovias.

Loved this dress so much! But, it was just too much lace for me.

This dress makes me lol. But, I had to try one on with sleeves! Hahahaha!

I arrived to my first appointment, and met my bridal consultant. She asked me what I was looking for (which is also why it is good to know exactly what you are wanting). And, I explained my likes and dislikes. I tried on a lot of dresses. I tried on dresses I picked out, dresses my bridal consultant picked out, and dresses my bridal party picked out. Oh and the dress that I fell in love with from Pinterest was at this appointment, and I even tried it on! But, once I tried it on, I just didn’t really like the way it looked on me. It was a pretty dress, but I just could not commit to it.

It was exciting and so much fun. But, at the same time, I was worried that I wouldn’t find the dress. I was worried that I wouldn’t have that bridal moment that every bride on Say Yes to the Dress has.

Well, no luck at the first appointment, so we were on to the next one. The second bridal shop was a lot different than the first. It was in the middle of nowhere it seemed (in Old Town Spring, Texas). And, instead of the consultant walking around trying to find dresses based on my likes and dislikes like the first appointment, the consultant of the second appointment gave me about 7-8 clothes pins and had me walk around the shop and look at dresses. If I saw a dress I liked and wanted to try it on, I was to pin it with one of the clothes pins.

Well, while on my hunt, I found the same dress I had tried on at the first appointment (also the same dress I fell in love with online/Pinterest), but for some reason it looked different. It was weird because it was the same exact dress, yet some how, some way, it looked better. I almost didn’t try it on, but I was like “Wait, no! This looks so much better than the other one on just the hanger, so I gotta try it on again.” I tried several dresses on, but none were really standing out to me. There were a few dresses left to try on, two specifically that I remember, the one identical to the one I had tried on at the first appointment and another one by the same designer that I hadn’t tried on yet. I tried the new one on first and I liked it a lot, but I still wanted to try that other one on again. So, I tried it on and I loved it!! But, how? How could I love this dress after not loving it at the first place, and it’s the same dress?! It made no sense.

Well, the more I starred at it the more I realized what was different. It was the underlining on the bust. It was a nude underlay under the lace, instead of a white underlay (which is what the first dress had). Thus, with the second dress, the lace stood out more on the bust making it more of a tattoo affect with the lace. Whereas, with the first dress, you couldn’t really see the lace detailing, and it was just kind of blah. It really made a world of a difference!!

Anyways, I went back and forth between two dresses, asking my bridal party what they thought and what not. Well I tried the dress back on again, and I was just standing there staring at myself in the mirror while everyone around me was chatting with each other. And, the more I stared at myself in the dress, the more I fell in love with it.

And, literally, out of absolutely nowhere, I started crying tears of pure joy. I felt beautiful. And, then everyone started crying and laughing because it was so random that I started crying. Then, I said to everyone, “I really love this dress.” And, they were like “that’s it, that’s the one.” And, even though I knew it was the one I still struggled with committing to it hahaha! Because I am so picky and I have to see every dress there is before deciding, but that is impossible. I knew it was the one, but I didn’t want to believe it was that easy. I went back into the dressing room to get out of the dress, but I couldn’t get myself to take it off because I literally didn’t want to take it off hahaha. I was in love with this dress.

Then, I went back out after like 5-10 minutes in the dressing room and everyone was so confused because I still had the dress on. We all laughed and my bridal consultant finally asked me the big question “Are you saying yes to the dress?” And, I said “YES!!!” It was awesome!!!

It’s funny because I kept telling everyone, including myself, that I just knew I wouldn’t have that special aw-ha moment that brides have when they find their gown. The moment where they are so overwhelmed with joy that they burst into happy heartfelt tears. But, I was wrong. I HAD THAT MOMENT!!! hahaha!! And, that’s when I knew it was the dress.

It was such a special moment that goes by entirely too fast!! Cherish the time of engagement and everything that comes along with it. Do not stress, just enjoy the whole experience. It will all go according to God’s plan which is far better than what you have planned.

P.S. Here is a side by side so that you can see the difference between the two. The top of the dress is different due to the underlay. In my opinion, the dress on the bottom looks way better and has more of a tattoo affect than the dress above it. You are able to see the lace detailing so much better on the bottom dress than the top dress.

Anyways, hope y’all have a great Wednesday! And, I want to give a birthday shout out to my awesome husband!! Happy Birthday Clancy!!

Author: courtneytailored

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