It’s bridal season, which means that thousands of you newly engaged brides (congrats!) are starting your wedding planning! It can be a daunting process, for sure, but we find that the timelines and checklists provided in the national bridal magazines are really helpful. They’ll give you great guidelines for chosing vendors and budget tips as well. But as for dress shopping, where do you start? After all of our years in the business, we’ve come up with some helpful guidelines on how to shop for a wedding dress.
First, it’s fun to look around online at wedding dresses, just to get ideas. We’re obsessed with Pinterest, too, so you could start a wedding dress board, and then share it with your Strut stylist when you come shopping! Keep in mind that dresses you find online might not be available in the States, in your budget or size, or you might not even like them once you try it on, but we are always happy to look at inspiration images when you come shopping.
Before you go wedding dress shopping we generally have three recommendations:
1. Have a venue chosen. Yes, you could pick the dress first, but what happens if you chose an amazing blinged out satin ballgown and then decide to get married on the beach? Sure, you could wear it there, but we’ve heard of too many brideswho have had to buy a second dress to fit their venue!
2. Have a firm date. You’ve probably heard that you should buy your wedding dress a year in advance, and that’s totally true. So when you come wedding dress shopping at Strut, we want to know if we have time to order a wedding gown, if we need to do a rush or find an in stock, ready to wear option.
3. Have a dress budget, and know who is paying for it. With the average wedding dress running about $1200, it’s important to know what your wedding dress budget is. While we have great payment plans, we never want to have you fall in love with a dress that’s just beyond what you can afford to pay. If you think mom (or someone else) is buying or helping with the cost, it’s a good idea to ask before you come shopping.
We know that there are always exceptions to these guidelines with our brides, so we do try to be flexible. But we don’t want to waste your time finding the perfect wedding dress only to have you get confused at the end because you haven’t chosen a venue yet!
Stay tuned for Part Two of wedding dress shopping.