Guest Blogger: Aimee Lyons (DIYDarlin.com)
Although finding the perfect dress is a huge part of a successful wedding for any bride-to-be, it’s only one of many stresses you’ll have to deal with during the planning period. You can’t focus all of your energy on dress hunting - even if it’s important. If you want to have an easier time finding the right gown, heed these tips.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Don’t roll too deep while shopping
Sure, you may be excited about the dress purchase and you may have a lot of friends and family who want to accompany you on the shopping trip. But you should be wary of bringing along too many people with too many opinions. As the decision-maker, it’s tougher to assert yourself and express your true desires if you have a dozen people pulling you in different directions. RealSimple.com suggests only bringing a handful of people - at the most - with you while you shop/try on dresses. They also suggest making your future mother-in-law one of those people - it’ll help start the bonding process.
Be realistic about your budget and stick to it
When setting a budget for your dress, it’s important to factor in all the “hidden costs” associated with it. As TheKnot points out, these include the costs of alterations, possible shipping, your veil, shoes, jewelry, etc. Once you have that budget, it’s counterproductive to look at dresses that are clearly out of your price range. Stick to what you have allotted for yourself and find the best option within those constraints. The faster you start looking within your price range, the more likely you are to find something you love there.
Be open to differing styles
Sure, you can go into your hunt with an idea in mind. You may know what style of dress you think your prefer. But don’t limit yourself to whatever’s in your head. “Some dresses look like paper bags on the hanger and drop-dead gorgeous on your body. With that in mind, don't turn your nose up at anything until you try it on,” says Martha Stewart Weddings.
Bottom line: You never know what you may like until you try it on. Don’t reduce your pool of possible dresses by limiting yourself to a specific style from the get-go.
Start early (but not too early)
Alterations take time. Shipping a gown from a dressmaker takes time. Making a final decision takes time. Wedding dress shopping is not something you can do last minute. Try to get ahead of the curve and begin your search at least six months before the big date.
But on the flip side of that, don’t start too early. This can also be detrimental. It helps to know what the rest of your wedding will look like before settling on a dress. For instance, you don’t want to buy a super formal dress early on and then look out of place at your more casual ceremony.
Easier said than done, right? Prepping for a wedding is one of the most stressful periods a person will ever go through. The desire to make it perfect in every way possible often makes us unable to make decisions, for fear they will be the wrong ones. While hunting for your dress it’s vital that you take time to relax. Overwhelming stress can cause us to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like overeating or too much drinking (check here for some tips on overcoming that particular temptation). Take some time to meditate, do yoga, or simply practice some focused breathing while you shop.
In the end, just have fun. It is certainly stressful, but it’s also an experience you don’t get to have many times in life. Take a small crew with you, stick to a budget, don’t limit your style options, and take time to relax. You’re well on your way to finding the perfect dress.