Shopping for your wedding dress can and should be an amazing experience, but it can also be a confusing and frustrating one if you’re not sure what to expect or how to prepare ahead of time.
The good news? A lot of your nerves can be calmed and questions answered at a knowledgeable and friendly wedding dress boutique, but it helps to know as much as you can before you walk through the door.
That’s why we sought the expert advice of the bridal consultants at one of our favorite wedding dress retailers, Panache Bridal. The luxury bridal and evening wear salon–with 5 locations showcasing over 50 designers across Southern California and New York City–shared their valuable insights, below, on the wedding dress shopping experience and what you can do to help make sure you say “I Do” in your dream wedding dress.
“Brides should know, first and foremost, how long it takes to buy a wedding dress. A special order with your preferred designer can take 4-6 months plus an additional 2 months for alterations. But if time is an issue for you, you can usually select a sample gown off the rack and take it home that day. You may also have the option to expedite your special order, but you may accrue an unexpected rush fee. While it’s not impossible to find your gown in less than 4 months, your options may be limited.” –Dee G., Bridal Stylist
“Before you begin shopping, it’s important to know how much you want to spend in total on your wedding dress, alterations, and accessories. Before booking an appointment, you should research the price ranges at bridal salons to make sure they can accommodate your budget.”
-Lauren V., Assistant Manager
“Every bride should spend time on the bridal blogs and Pinterest before even stepping foot in a salon. Save some pictures of gowns that you love and gowns that you like but aren’t sure if it will look good on you….[This will] give your stylist a baseline…and help your stylist make suggestions for gowns you will actually like. Although most stylists like to think of themselves as mind readers, it certainly helps them to have an idea of what style elements catch your eye.” –Kara, Project Manager
“Before shopping, it’s helps to learn your bridal style preferences. The initial shopping should really be on your own, with a friend, or with someone who truly knows who you are. Figure out what you want to look like as a bride instead of getting conflicting opinions from everywhere else….this way you will feel comfortable in what you wear down the aisle.” –Cecy B., Store Manager
Thanks to Panache Bridal for the tips!