First you fell in love with your partner; now it’s time to fall in love with your dress! These days, bridal salons offer everything you need to say “I do” with ease, but you still need to prepare for your visit.
From who to bring with you to researching styles you love, there are some considerations and questions to ask when it comes to shopping for your dream gown. We’ve created a guide with key tips on everything you can expect during your first wedding dress appointment.
What to Consider Before your First Bridal Appointment
Ready to start shopping? Here are a few factors you need to consider before booking your first bridal appointment so you can make the most out of your bridal shopping experience.
Create a Budget
One of the most important conversations you can have prior to buying a dress is deciding how much you are willing to spend. Have a conversation with whoever is involved in the purchase of your dress and set a number or range prior to arriving. Your bridal stylist will ask you in advance about your budget and will only pull beautiful dresses that fall around that number!
Research Wedding Dress Styles
Bridal salons typically offer a wide range of bridal fashion styles, from sleek and modern to whimsical and romantic. Spend some time researching different designers and styles in advance to determine what features, fabrics and silhouettes you are looking for in a dream gown.
Whether it’s a specific silhouette like an A-line or fit-and-flare, or details like lace, sleeves or a dramatic train, having a few style “buzzwords” in mind when you arrive for your appointment will help your bridal stylist pull styles that you will love! However, don’t feel like you need to commit to any style or designer prior to your bridal appointment─ this can evolve as you try on different dresses, so keep an open mind!
Consider your Wedding Venue & Date
When deciding what dress you love, you want to consider your wedding venue and the weather. For example, many brides who are getting married on the beach don’t want a heavy or bulky dress but a fabric that is breathable and can easily move on the sand. Other brides who are getting married in a church or at a French chateau may want a ballgown or a romantic A-line with some sparkle. Your venue doesn’t have to dictate the dress you buy but be sure to consider it when choosing your dream dress.
You will also want to keep your wedding date in mind. Buying a dress is a process that may take several months. The bridal boutique often has to order the dress from the designer in your size and once it arrives, you might have a few alteration appointments to make sure that it fits like a glove before taking it home. If your wedding date is right around the corner, you may consider purchasing a bridal gown off-the-rack or from a sample sale, so you can take it home the same day.
A Few Dresses You May See at your Bridal Appointment
Who Do I Bring Wedding Dress Shopping?
Who you bring with you to your bridal appointment can really make or break your entire shopping experience. While it is all personal preference, we recommend you surround yourself with 3-5 loved ones who will support and uplift you when trying on wedding dresses — whether it be parents, bridesmaids, in-laws or friends.
Some bridal boutiques limit your guest count because having too many people and opinions can sometimes complicate brides’ decision-making. At the end of the day, bring whoever knows you best and makes you feel loved and beautiful!
What Do I Bring to my Bridal Appointment?
You’ll want to bring some shoes, shapewear and/ or accessory options for your bridal appointment. Even if you don’t have your wedding shoes yet, bring a pair with a heel height similar to what you want to wear on the day of the wedding to get the most accurate representation.
It is also recommended to wear your hair either up or down based on your wedding day vision, so pack a few hair ties and pins as needed. In addition, you’ll want to bring skin-colored undergarments and any shapewear you plan on wearing with your dress. Packing these items will help create the most accurate depiction of what you are envisioning for your wedding day.
Questions to Ask When Trying on Wedding Dresses
Once you have booked your bridal shop appointment, you may want to have a list of questions on-hand to ask your bridal stylist ahead of time. Wedding dress shopping is an emotional time, and some questions you have may slip your mind in the momentum. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of 10 questions you might ask when trying on wedding dresses:
- What styles do you think would fit my vision?
- Can I make any customizations to this dress?
- How would you style this gown?
- Does this dress come with a bustle?
- Will this dress be functional for my wedding venue?
- What are your payment options? Do you offer a payment plan?
- Do you offer in-house alterations or have recommendations?
- Are there any other fees in addition to the dress price?
- After the dress is ordered, when will it arrive at the store?
- Do you offer any preservation services?
What Can I Expect During My Bridal Shop Appointment
It’s finally time for your appointment! When you arrive at the bridal boutique with your nearest and dearest, you will be paired with an expert bridal stylist. They will ask you a few questions to get to know you and your vision for your wedding day. Your stylist will then help guide you based on your timeline, budget and style.
Once you have gotten a chance to get to know each other, your bridal stylist will help pull dresses for you to try on, compare, and eliminate. As you get closer to finding your dream dress, your stylist may dress you up in accessories like veils, belts and jewelry to get a better idea of the complete look.
Once you find THE dress, it’s time to celebrate! You can take pictures, hug your crew and maybe even pop some champagne! Your bridal stylist will then take you back to the fitting room to get all of your measurements and the details needed to order your gown. Once you discuss and handle payment terms, you’ll lock in your dream gown and be on your way!
We hope these tips make you feel more confident and prepared for your first bridal appointment! Ready to go shopping? Find a bridal salon near you to get started!