Your wedding is the biggest day of your life. So what does this say about your wardrobe? This isn't an event you can just pull something out of the closet for. This is your Cinderella moment where time stops and the crowd turns to watch your grand entrance! Now this doesn't mean you have to go spend half of your salary on some custom white gown, but it does mean that you want to be wearing something that is going to make you look and feel good! I don't know about you, but sometimes I find shopping a bit stressful. Especially when I'm looking for something special. In a sea of gorgeous white and ivory, it may be hard to know how to pick the dress for you. They say you know when you know--just like finding your fiancé. I've never been super fond of that saying, because I can be a bit indecisive. You want to make a good decision and we want you to, too! So if you can be a bit indecisive like me, here are a few of our tips for knowing whether the dress is or isn't the right one for you:
How to Be 100% Sure You've Found Your Wedding Dress:
Hannah Schmitt Photography
It's not for you if... 1. It's out of your budget—or at the very top.
There are many things to consider when paying for your dress. Even if it is within the budget, there are likely to be other fees that you will have to take on as well. Do you need alterations? Does your budget include accessories such as shoes, a veil, jewelry, etc.? Sometimes it’s okay to try on something outside of your budget, but ONLY if you are willing to make budget cuts in other areas. 2. It requires a lot of work.
Alterations aren't a bad thing, but if you're changing a lot about the gown, it probably isn't the one for you. A better fit for your vision is out there, I promise. There are always small adjustments that may come with bridal attire, but if you envision drastic changes, you're better off envisioning a different dress altogether. 3. Everyone else likes it, but you're not sure.
Remember: this isn't everyone else's big day. It's yours! Do you
love how you look? Mom, Grandma, sister, friend, or whoever else can love it all they want, but if it's not something you feel fully comfortable, stunningly beautiful, and super excited about, then it's not right for you. Even if you’re a people-pleaser, remember that you are the one who will see these pictures regularly for the rest of your life. Let me repeat: The rest of your life
Amanda Marie Studio 4. You’re getting it just because you can’t pass up a deal.
Believe me, I'm the queen of bargain shopping, but this is a situation where you might want to ignore your frugal feelings. If you wouldn't buy the gown at full price, you shouldn't buy it on sale—that can go towards all shopping. We all want to save a dollar when we can, but this is the time to treat yo'self and spend that extra dollar on something you love. 5. It's the wrong size.
It's good to be ambitious, but losing weight doesn't happen with the snap of a finger. Don't buy three sizes smaller than what you are now because you plan to lose weight. Our personal shoppers can’t say it enough: It is not realistic and could make for some expensive alterations.
Alex Anne Photography
Taking a dress in is a lot easier than letting it out, so don't overdo it. Also, your fiancé loves you as you are! We all want to look great for big events, but don't put too much pressure on yourself. Fact: Wedding gowns generally run smaller. So if your normal size is an 8, your wedding dress may be more like a 10 or 12. It all depends on the designer. Don't let this get to you! 6. It isn't right for the season or location.
If it's an outdoor wedding or at the beach, a large ball gown most likely isn't the style for you. If you firmly believe that it is the one, reconsider your location if it's not too late! The last thing you want to do is spend the day uncomfortable, even if you think the gown is gorgeous. 7. You can't stop thinking about it—for all the wrong reasons.
Story time! Once upon a time, I bought a special occasion ensemble spur of the moment. I just couldn't stop thinking about it after—but not for good reasons. When it came time to wear it, I searched my closet for any other option I could find. To this day, I hate pictures from that night and will post them nowhere. That was just a party. This is your wedding. Think about it. 8. You can't stop thinking about another look—for all the right reasons!
It's like the saying goes, "While you're searching for Mr. Right, don't settle for Mr. Right Now." The same applies to wedding attire (dramatic, I know.) If you keep wandering back to a different style that you loved, that's most likely the winner.
Tandem Tree Photography Extra Tips:
If the dress doesn't seem amazing in the store, don't wishfully think bringing it home will be better. The sample size might seem awkward, but ignore all the details. Does the silhouette flatter your figure? Does the neckline fit your bust? Is the color flattering on your skin? If you can’t get over the fit issues, try on a similar style in your size to make sure that this is something you can truly see yourself in. Just because it's your 'dream,' doesn't mean it's your reality. You may have a Pinterest board full of mermaid style gowns, but that design might not necessarily be right for you! Don't get stuck on one image. Have an open mind and trust your personal shoppers when you begin shopping, because you never know what’ll end up being ‘the one.’
Maison Meredith Photography
It could be for you if... 9. You didn't cry.
That's okay! Not everyone does. Just because you didn't shed a tear doesn't mean that it's not the dress for you. We all respond in different ways—laughter, a sigh, or even just a smile. Just because you don't have tears streaming, don't rule it out. 10. You didn't find it in the first day.
That's fine too! I've said it before, and I'll say it again—don’t settle! There are a lot of designers and a lot of styles to choose from. Deciding on the perfect choice for you doesn't have to happen on the first day. Give yourself some time to mull over the options if you didn't have the moment you were hoping for. Tip: We suggest taking a few pictures of your favorites so that you can check back and compare as you continue shopping. Go get some coffee, chat with your squad, and come back with a clear decision. 11. If you're constantly comparing all other styles back to ‘that one.’
As I said earlier, this is a really great indicator. If your mind consistently wanders back to a certain gown, you've found your gown.
Jody Savage Photography
You definitely found your wedding dress if...
It fits your style, budget, theme, and is the timeless look you've always wanted. You don't want to take it off. Your body has never looked better. You've never felt more beautiful. You feel like you're falling in love all over again!
Anita Martin Photography
You got this. Trust us!
As experts in the industry, believe us when we say that no bridal shopping experience is the same. You might not experience the same emotions that you see in movies or on "Say Yes to the Dress." While these signs aren't perfect, we like to think that they are pretty good indicators. Take the time to listen to your intuition and see what it tells you. If you have strong feelings in either direction, you know. If you have doubts or questions, take the time to weigh your options. The best advice we can give you as you begin your shopping journey? Have an open mind, trust your personal shopper, and have fun! This isn't a regular trip to the mall. Embrace it and enjoy!