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Tips for Shopping for Your Wedding Gown

He popped the question, and you said yes. Now what? The typical bride starts thinking about her wedding gown, but you might want to set a date first. That’s because there’s a fine line of when to start shopping for your gown. Starting too early could lead to all kinds of problems like indecision or buyer’s remorse, or what if you purchase your gown, have it altered, and experience a change in weight?

The same is true if you wait too close to your wedding date to start shopping. Many dresses are made-to-order, and that means they don’t start working on it until they receive your measurements and you pay a deposit. Many times, less than 6 months to make a dress is considered a rush order and could cost you extra.

Most experts say to begin shopping roughly ten months before your wedding date, with ordering your dress no later than six to seven months. If you’re ready to shop, here’s how A Cleaner World suggests you go about the process.

  1. Schedule appointments. Most bridal salons require appointments so that you’ll have a fitting room and a consultant available. It’s fine to visit multiple salons in one day but limit it to three locations and be sure to schedule enough time at each location.
  2. What to bring. Take photos of the gown styles you like so that your consultant will know what you’re looking for. Take a notebook and pen. 
  3. Take notes. Create a file for each location and make notes on both the salon and gowns, including the things you liked and didn’t like about each. Be sure to take photos.
  4. Don’t go alone. Bring a couple friends and/or your mom but be careful not to invite too many folks along; too many opinions could muddy the waters or be a distraction.
  5. Keep an open mind. Try on different styles and trust the suggestions of your consultant. Something that doesn’t catch your attention on the hanger might end up being ‘the one’. Be sure to try on different shades of white as well to determine which one works best with your complexion.
  6. Know your budget. If you have a strict or limited budget, consider a gown that flatters your frame but is a bit plain. A seamstress can add embellishments to both the bodice and skirt. If you’re a popular size, visit boutiques during a big sale or trunk show.
  7. Know your fabric. Keep the information that details the makeup of your gown so that you can give it to your gown specialist when you bring the dress for cleaning and preservation.
  8. Enjoy yourself. Planning your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience, so while it is stressful, allow yourself to have a bit of fun during the process.


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