There is so much to do when planning a Colorado wedding. However, choosing your wedding dress is usually pretty high up on the to-do list. I recently photographed a Justin Alexander Trunk Show at The Bridal Collection and learned a few tips for how to pick your perfect wedding dress! We highlighted one of the brides, Emma Walker, at the trunk show and she found her dress at the event! She worked with Justin Alexander to create a custom dress just for her wedding. Emma made a vlog of the whole thing with video footage from Olena Films. The event was also featured by Rocky Mountain Bride!
8 Tips for How to Pick Your Perfect Wedding Dress
1. Plan Ahead (Way Ahead)
Ideally, you should allocate at least six months to get your dress and have it altered, especially if you think you might get a custom dress like Emma did! The dress can be one of the first things on your wedding planning to do list since you don’t need to have a date or venue set. Factors that you didn’t even think about can affect delays in your wedding dress like Chinese New Year or government shutdowns! A ripple effect can cause headaches and stress so the earlier the better. Most brides start looking as soon as they are engaged and around a year out to keep themselves sane 🙂
2. Make a consultation appointment
Most bridal shops don’t take walk-ins so make sure you call at least a few days in advance to book an appointment. Research a few boutiques in your area and look at reviews or referrals. On the other hand, if you are destination, you can get your dress in the area you are having your venue to avoid traveling or shipping your dress. However, just remember that you will have to travel back there for fittings and alterations so be sure to budget for that time and expense. Emma actually already knew The Bridal Collection as being the perfect place and people to help her find her wedding dress. She found her debutante dress there a few years back and it was such an amazing experience, there really wasn’t anywhere else she’d rather go!
3. Bring Your Squad
Bring a small, trusted group of friends and family. The Bridal Collection recommends bringing no more than four people aside from yourself. Some places will charge extra for more guests as well. Too many opinions can be overwhelming and can spoil the experience if it doesn’t go as you envisioned. If you are bringing food or champagne, make sure to ask the boutique if that is allowed, and bring a small cooler for your drinks and fruit, cheese, sweets, etc. Emma brought her 2 sisters and mom for her consultation which was the perfect group for her to get input, help and support. Although one of her other sisters couldn’t make it out, she was ready by Facetime to help chime in for each dress.
4. Know Your Budget
You don’t want to waste time trying on dresses you can’t afford. And You’ll be heartbroken if you fall in love with one outside your budget. Go into your appointments with a clear budget in mind so you know you can say yes to any dress you try on. Don’t forget the cost of alterations and accessories when setting your budget either. Most bridal shops list their price ranges on their websites, so be sure to do your homework beforehand and limit your visits to the shops that carry gowns in your price range. Make sure to have 50% of your budget available for the down payment, in case you find your dress that day.
5. Know What You Like
Know the styles you like and want to try on, but be sure to keep an open mind as well. Your bridal stylist is an expert! This post is a great source of inspiration for this year’s wedding dress trends. If you have a specific designer you’d like to try on (like a Berta or Justin Alexander), make sure to check and confirm that the boutique carries that designer. Most bridal salons are designer-specific which means not every wedding boutique carries all or even the largest wedding dress designers.
Emma knew that she liked certain dresses because of the way they looked but she didn’t know what kind of dress she wanted to wear. In this case, Jordan, her Bridal Collection stylist, had a sense of Emma’s style from her instagram profile and already had a few options pulled along with a few that were striking to Emma. By the way, super cool when you are able to meet the designer who was inspired and created your wedding dress! Emma was so grateful to Justin Alexander and his team for helping her and telling her all the special details into the styling and creation of her perfect dress. Emma knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like and what is most important to her. She knows she’s going to love every single detail.
6. Remember the details
Remember the context your dress will be in. By this, I mean consider the rest of your wedding day and make sure your dress will make fit the scene and style. Consider your venue, the landscape and any hazards of the area: the season your wedding will be in, any theme or overall feel you might have going on, your significant other’s attire and the wedding parties attire. Not every dress is for the beach (with hot sand, humidity, and sea salt) just as not every dress is for a Catholic church. Also, don’t forget your accessories, the same applies to them! A cathedral length veil has a very different look than flowers in your hair or a tiara. A dress might not be a complete look until you add accessories like hair pieces, a veil, belt, and shoes.
7. Prepare for the Appointment
Do your hair and makeup the way you would for a nice date. Try to wear seamless, nude underwear and a nude, strapless bra. Make sure you eat before your appointments and bring snacks if your bridal salon doesn’t provide them. Also, make sure not to drink until after you found your dress (then you get to celebrate!). You won’t know how to pick your perfect wedding dress if you’re drunk or hungry.
8. Plan the Day Around Your Appointment
Plan to spend at least an hour and a half at each appointment and don’t plan more than two appointments in a day. Get brunch or lunch before your appointments with your friends and family and then go out after to talk about your favorites or celebrate finding your dress.
Emma has so much gratitude to The Bridal Collection for how awesome an experience she had. This is the most special thing she’ll ever wear in her life. It was everything having an unbias opinion with her stylist, focusing on her and making sure she was happy as can be without trying to sell her on anything. This is the experience that every bride desires for choosing their dress and what makes The Bridal Collection unique.
I hope this all helps you learn how to pick your perfect wedding dress! Happy shopping!