Finding your dream gown can seem like a daunting task, so we compiled a list of 8 things to do before shopping to help maximize your experience (and get you that much closer to finding your dream dress).
1. Set a Budget
Have an idea of what you are willing to spend (it is never fun to fall in love with a gown over what you want to spend). Here at Cloud Nine Bridal the majority of our gowns range from $800 - $1,500 (with some falling above and below that).
Make sure to keep in mind alteration costs, since the majority of gowns will need them. Depending on how much needs to be done, and the design of the gown, typical alterations at our boutique can vary from $80 - $400.
2. Limit Your Group
Keep you shopping entourage small. While you most likely want to invite all your bridesmaids, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, mother in-laws, friends, etc. too many opinions can be overwhelming.
Chose 2 to 3 close friends or family members to help you with your search. This allows you really find what YOU like/dislike.
We have been finding 'reveal parties' to more and more common because of this. Now you can get all your ladies together to reveal (and celebrate) the gown you chose after it arrives in store.
3. Schedule an Appointment
While most bridal shops are walk in friendly, making an appointment in advance ensures a full bridal appointment with your stylists undivided attention.
Here at Cloud Nine Bridal our appointments typically last for 90 minutes and include a private seating area as well as your own personal stylist
4. Do Some Research
Spend some time before your appointment looking up styles to get an idea of what you are liking (or disliking) in a gown.
Some good things to research are necklines, silhouettes, and materials. Having an idea of your style before you shop will help narrow down your potential gowns when trying on.
5. Have an Open Mind
While having an idea of what you like/dislike is good remember to keep and open mind.
You might find that the gowns you liked when they were on someone else aren't always what you feel most confident in. This is were our trained stylists come in handy with their knowledge of our gowns and how they fit different body types. We want you to feel AMAZING on your wedding day.
6. Plan Ahead
Make sure to wear the proper undergarments to your appointment to help maximize the look of the gown. Light color underwear is always recommended, while shape wear and a strapless bra are totally up to you.
Planning ahead also means shopping early. Most bridal shops recommend to start the search at least 8 months in advance. This ensures being able to order your dream dress in your size and preferred color, and really helps to keep stress low through the rest of the process.
7. Be Ready to Buy
A common misconception when shopping for your gown is that you need to go to as many places as possible to be 100% sure you have found your dress. While in theory this seems like a good idea, it can make things very overwhelming for you.
When you find your gown you will know. Whether its the tears when you see yourself in it for the first time, or just the fact that the dress checks everyone of your boxes there inevitably will be the moment (just like when you realized your fiance was THE ONE).
8. Have Fun
We saved the most important piece of advice for last. With items 1 through 7 in mind your
main priority should be to HAVE FUN!
Searching for your dream gown is such a rare and special thing in life so make sure you enjoy every moment of it (the good and bad). Finding your dress means you're that much closer to marrying the love of your life, and how much more special does it get?!?!?!