It's Time for Dress Shopping!

Congratulations! You're engaged, you've set your date & now it's time to secure the dress. These tips are meant to prepare & assist you as you search for your dream wedding dress. If you're nervous about dress shopping, not sure where to start or what to expect, these tips are for you!

1. Start EARLY!

Dress shopping is in line with some of the first things brides should do at least a year before their wedding. Why? Dresses can take up to 6 months to arrive once they're ordered! Keep in mind that you are likely going to need alterations, along with time to shop for the perfect shoes & accessories. Give yourself enough time so that you aren't stressed with such a large detail as your wedding date gets closer.

2. Research shops/boutiques in advance.

A great way to reduce some of the dress shopping stress is researching the bridal shops in advance! There's nothing like having your heart set out on a dress & the shop you picked doesn't even carry the designer. Additionally, these gas prices are way too high to arrive to a shop on a day they are closed or realize you needed to schedule an appointment. Visit their websites to see what you need to make an appointment, which designers they carry & their hours of operation.

Did you know? The bridal boutique featured is Kelly's Closet ! Based in Atlanta, GA, they carry a variety of dress designers like Sarah Seven, Viktor & Rolf & Lihi Hod. The boutique carries lingerie, accessories & more catering to eclectic, casual & truly unique brides. If this sounds like you, schedule an appointment through their website; you won't regret it!

3. Budget, Budget, Budget.

There's nothing like falling in love with a dress, only to realize that it's wayyyyy outside of your budget. Before you set foot in a bridal store, make sure to look up the cost of the dresses you're considering. Wedding dresses typically start at $800 and can go up to $6000, with the average dress costing $1800 as of 2021. Create a budget that you feel comfortable with & do your best to stick to it. When making your budget, don't forget to factor in your alterations & possible accessories.

4. Limit the number of guests you bring.

You do not need to bring an entourage to find your wedding dress. If you've ever watched Say Yes to the Dress, you know how hectic & dramatic a dress appointment can be when you have too many people with all their differing opinions. Choose 1-2 people you trust for your appointment. Many brides bring their mother & their maid of honor; others choose an aunt, grandparent or sibling. You are not obligated to bring anyone you don't want to.

PRO TIP: It's important to bring people that will not only encourage you, but be truthful & kind with their opinions on your appearance. Consider who would truly support you & help you feel comfortable at your appointment.

5. Consider hiring a bridal stylist!

A bridal stylist is someone with expert knowledge on wedding dresses & wedding styling. Their job is to assist in selecting the best dress for YOU. Dasha, Atlanta bridal stylist & consultant of The Bridal Bunny, understands the needs of brides & the role she plays in making sure they feel supported in their dress decision.

Her process is more than just showing you which dress she thinks you would like; she goes into depth about fabric, styles & more. I highly recommend utilizing her services to maximize your dress & overall style experience for your wedding.

6. Don't be afraid to accessorize.

When shopping for your dress, don't forget the accessories! When most people think of their accessories, they are normally thinking of the veil and shoes. Additional accessories to consider are a headband, hair piece, bracelets, watches, belts, rings and earrings.

While you don't need all of those things, having several items you love can definitely enhance your look. My advice: less is more. Choose a few statement pieces that match your dress & pull the entire look together.

7. Come with an open mind!

If you're anything like me, you have a Pinterest board & Instagram folder filled with wedding dresses you would love to try. You may be very determined to have a specific style of dress. This is pretty normal with many brides. You have a vision of how you want to look for your big day & there's nothing wrong with that. Still, don't let that vision stop you from trying something new. If you've always envisioned yourself in a ballgown, definitely try it on! However, if a whimsical dress with sleeves catches your eye, go ahead & try it on. If there's something funky & untraditional that you're interested in, try that on too!

PRO TIP: Bridal dress sizing is different from traditional size charts. Please don't allow the number on a dress to make you self conscious or less confident in your body. It is 100% about how you look and FEEL in your dress. Come to your appointment with an open mind: you never know what you may find!