I don’t have time today to setup a CocaCola Tablescape or re-decorate my mantle….. but I DO have time to talk about DRESSES! The “Dress” is such a HUGE part of the wedding day. Some girls grow up DREAMING about the perfect dress they want… for me, I didn’t have a CLUE! When I went into the bridal boutique, this lady asked me if I wanted a “mermaid fit” or more of a “fit n’ flare” or an “A line” style dress…. umm… I had NO IDEA what I was looking for! There were so many options!! I knew I didn’t want a BALL GOWN but I was a little overwhelmed with my other options. Thankfully, I tried my dress FIRST!! That’s right, the first dress I tried on, I bought…. it was a quick process. However, I WISH I had kept dress shopping a little bit more just for FUN! I could have tried on some glamourous dresses but I didn’t, I found what I liked and I just wanted to pay for it and mark that off the list. I wish I had enjoyed that process a little longer.
There is so much that goes into not only picking a dress, but SHOPPING for one also. Here are some OVERALL dress tips for all of you engaged gals out there! :
1. Make a day of it. Decide to devote one Saturday to “dress shopping” and invite the mommas! If you’re close to your future mother-in-law… she would probably love to be there too! It’s a fun day for the girls and it’s a great time to help parents feel included and a part of the planning process! If it gets overwhelming, just stop and find a Starbucks:)
2. Call ahead and make an appointment. A lot of newly engaged brides don’t realize that you can’t just want into a dress shop and try on whatever you see… you have to make an appointment to stand in front of that mirror and be oohhed and ahhhhed at:)
3. Try styles that you didn’t originally think you would necessarily like!! You may be surprised and it never hurts to TRY!
4. Go with your GUT!…. But don’t totally disregard others opinions. Say you LOVE a dress but your mom can already tell that you’re going to be pulling it up on it CONSTANTLY… you can talk about getting it altered to fit more snuggly around the bust and waist… or maybe that style isn’t the best for you. I’ve deleted a TON of reception images of Brides tugging on their dress, trying to keep it up while they’re getting their groove on! You don’t want to worry about that on your wedding day.
5. Don’t give up! If you’re on round 3 or 4 of dress shopping… it’s OK. You will find one!!! Just keep going! I’ve heard of brides finding their DREAM dress on their 6th trip to the boutique!!
6. Know the difference between White and Ivory dresses. It used to be weird for a bride to have an off-white dress. I am kind of glad that tradition is fading away because pure white dresses do not photograph as well as off-white dresses. My wedding dress was off-white but you can HARDLY tell. Sometimes pure white dresses photograph with a “blue” tint to them because they are SO white. Thankfully I can adjust my “blues” in my post processing to correct this for the most part.:) Having just a slightly off white dress can really make a HUGE difference in your images AND it’s so flattering for the skin! A white dress symbolizes the “purity” of the bride and since Michael and I waited until marriage… I totally understand how powerful that symbol is! However, I also know that I’m a REDHEAD with the fairest complexion known to MAN… so my “candlelight white” dress helped me not look like a GHOST! ha!
7. Pick a dress that you’re COMFORTABLE in. If you feel like you’re poured into it an can’t really get a “full” breath…. you can’t buy that dress. Imagine getting nervous on the wedding day and trying to get some deep breaths to calm down…. but you can’t, because your wedding dress doesn’t fit correctly! ah! Not good! In June, before my wedding, I tried on my gown and it was tight… like REALLY tight! I could breath but I knew that I wouldn’t be COMFORTABLE if had to wear this thing all day. So I hit the GYM…. HARD. By 10.10.10 it was perfect. I could breathe easily, sit down, hug people and dance without showing anything inappropriate and without suffocating!:)
8. Don’t be afraid to ALTER a dress. I’ve seen SO many cool things be added to dresses! It can look so natural and unique! You can also take away pieces of the dress. Say you LOVE a dress with a sweetheart neckline but it has one over-the-shoulder strap… welp, just have a seamstress take that strap off! Make your dress your own! Add fun ACCESSORIES if you want! Veils, broaches, beaded vintage sashes… I love it all!! I’m such a girl.
9. Make sure your MOH or momma is with you for your final dress fitting…. someone NEEDS to know how to bustle that thing! I’ve had bustles take over 30 minutes sometimes either because of operator error or something BREAKING. So make sure your planner has some safety pins just in case! (Also, having some emergency “white chalk” can cover up any minor stains on the dress…. I learned that from my friend Anna... she’s on top of things!)
10. Enjoy this process….this is supposed to be FUN!!! Stop worrying about impressing others and enjoy shopping for the gown of YOUR dreams!!