Bridal season 2018 is upon us and in full swing. Now most people think of bridal season as being around June/July because those are popular wedding months, but it’s the months gearing up to the altar finish line that are the busiest for the bridal industry. It is crucial, especially during this busy season to maximize the productivity of every visit to the bridal salon, as stores are booking up and getting a follow up appointment can be tricky.

With the 2017 holiday season now behind us there are plenty of newly engaged couples out in the world eager to start their planning. There are also many couples that have been engaged for some time, however, a lot of engaged couples don’t start really checking off the to-do list until it hits the first of the calendar year in which they plan to get married – and I’m here to explain why that would be a mistake. Now that’s not to say it can’t be done, and you can’t have a fantastic wedding.

To have the most stress free planning with the largest amount of options open for you to make decisions about your wedding, a full years’ engagement and planning time at least is realistically the best scenario. Things like your budget can limit your options, but they are much easier to work with when you give yourself ample time to research other options available to you. More than anything else though you really need this year long timeline for one of the most important pieces of the day – the dress; as it can take sometimes up to six months to receive, and three months to alter and shopping during busy season means you’ll most likely be waiting these full time lines for each.

To make your wedding dress shopping as smooth as possible here’s some things you should prepare before the day of your appointment.

 

The Venue

Your venue should be one of the very first things you decide on. Not only do a lot of places fill up quickly with bookings starting the beginning of the year, your venue also determines the overall feel of the day and the environment. For instance, you wouldn’t want to purchase a ballgown dress first and then decide on a beach wedding, probably wouldn’t make for the most comfortable day and you would look more than a little out of place.

The Theme

Themes have always been around in weddings but as more and more millennials say “I do” themes are becoming more and more prominent. Themes are a great way of adding a personal touch to describe the connection between you and your fiance. If you plan on having a theme you need to have a strong definition of what it is and the image you have in mind for it before you ever step into a bridal salon. It’s much easier for your stylist to help realize your dream look for you when you’ve got the look you’re going for defined.

The Budget

Weddings have a lot of elements to manage and plan so it’s no surprise almost every bride has a budget and needs to stick to it. Anyone you think may be contributing to your dress you need to discuss how much they would be willing to help, waiting till the day of and hoping loved ones will just go ahead and give the extra if the right dress is found normally ends in disappointment so it’s best to plan ahead in this department. Another reason having a firm budget set is helpful is because it really can help your stylist know what to show you. If the look you’re interested in goes above your budget a great stylist will show you what something like you’re looking for runs and then show you the next closest thing you can get in your budget range. They don’t do this to put down your budget, they are trying to proactively set expectations so you don’t end up disappointed.

Budget Pro Tips:

  • Don’t try on a dress you know is outside of your budget
  • Let your stylist know if you intend for your budget to include alterations and accessories such as veils or if the number you’re giving them is just for the purchase of the dress alone

 

The Fit

Just the same way you know what fit and style of jeans compliments your body the best, you need to familiarize yourself with dress silhouettes to begin to determine what looks best on your body type. Research styles in each fit to see what you like best. More than any other category in this list don’t be alarmed if this changes during your appointment. It’s common to have a style in mind then decide it doesn’t look the way you thought it would on, don’t let this deter or discourage you, this is when you should let your stylist shine and have them recommend what they think would suit your body best, remember they do this for a living and see every body type there is and know how to dress them.

Bridal gowns typically fall within these types of fits:

  • Sheath
  • Fit and Flare
  • Mermaid
  • A-Line
  • Ballgown

Any Extra Details

It’s a good idea to know if you want your dress to have certain details or characteristics. A lot of brides this season are looking for sleeves, some for modesty, and some because it’s currently on trend; personal style choices like this help narrow down your selection to get you in the perfect dress. Along these lines things to consider would be if you want lace, beading, prefer a certain fabric, like illusion backs, or if you want a zipper or corset closure.

The Size

A lot of brides get to the part of the appointment after they’ve decided to purchase where it’s time for measurements and determine size and get flustered. You’ve gotten through the most difficult part with picking the dress, don’t let the size number on the tag derail your appointment. Even if you plan on losing weight it’s always safest to go with the size your current measurements call for, you can always alter the dress down but you can’t always let it out. You will always look better in a dress made to fit you rather than a dress you bought smaller because you or someone else thought that size number wasn’t appealing. You and your stylist are the only ones who know what size you’re in so don’t let it worry you.

Some other things to keep in mind while you’re there is if you happen to love a dress at the first store you go to, or even the first one you try on don’t overthink or over complicate. Some brides think it couldn’t be that easy and end up trying on so many more they confuse themselves when they knew the right dress all along. Also try not to bring anyone you know won’t support your vision or make you feel good about yourself. This is your day and you should feel confident, if someone in your shopping group is pushing their favorite style and putting down the dress you feel best in, they don’t have your best interest in mind and it’s ok for you to put yourself first in this. Having a game plan constructed of these topics before you head into the bridal salon will help it go smoothly and will help you and your stylist determine the best dress for you.

Happy bridal gown hunting!