Fifteen. The general number of how many necklines you can choose from on a wedding dress. That’s not even counting how many different styles, colors (off white and white are two totally different things), or lengths you can choose from. I mean, you probably had a hard time picking out what color to get those heels in last week, how are you supposed to pick out your wedding dress? How does the wedding dress buying process even work? Well, that’s why I’m here! I stopped by at two of Tampa’s finest bridal boutiques with the nicest gals and did a little research so you don’t have to worry about finding that perfect dress any longer.
- Know your body type and work with it. There are certain dresses that flatter your body no matter what odd or irregular shape you may have. Find a boutique that carries said dresses. If you do a quick google search, you can find tons of websites that list all the dresses that will make you look as lovely as you’re supposed to for your big day.
- Schedule appointments ahead of time at the boutiques you’re interested in shopping at. Many boutiques will only take appointments so they don’t have six different brides shopping around Saturday morning. Shops like Malindy Elene and The White Magnolia takes appointments only so that you’re the only one in the shop. How great is that?
- Try on as many dresses as you feel you need to. Don’t let time, pressure, or anything else affect your decision when purchasing your dress. You should feel comfortable, beautiful, and that it’s the right dress for your day. If you just aren’t feeling it, maybe schedule an appointment at a different bridal store or try some dresses on that maybe you didn’t think of trying on before.
- Ask a lot of questions. Not only to who you bring with you, but to yourself. Do you feel beautiful? Will it photograph well for pictures? Can you dance in it? Is there no parts to it that make you feel self conscious? If you said “no” or feel uneasy about any of these, it may be time to try on a different dress.
- Buy the dress you answer these questions with “yes” to. So many brides regret finding the dress and walking away from it. You never know who can come in and purchase it before you come running back to buy it. You don’t need to cry when seeing yourself in it, but if you feel that it’s the one, don’t walk away from it!
- Don’t try and pick a dress based on what’s trendy now. This is your wedding dress on your wedding day. My mother shows me pictures of her and although it’s very 80’s, I wouldn’t call it “trendy.” Go with something that when you look back on pictures in 30 years, you won’t cringe because it had whatever accessory to show you definitely got married in 2014.
- Don’t shop around too much- advice from Malindy Elene. If you find something you like, buy it! Don’t go to three other appointments when you keep checking that picture of yourself in that one dress on your phone every chance you get.
- Don’t bring too many people to your appointment- advice from The White Magnolia. If you really don’t care about what your mother has to say about your dress, do not bring her. Don’t feel obligated to bring your entire bridal party or your groom’s cousin’s aunt either. Just bring the people that when they give their opinion, you’ll listen to it. Which is probably one or two people, if we’re being honest.
- Don’t try to lose that “extra 5 pounds” before your big day. You’ll regret it and just be miserable the whole time. The planning process is stressful enough and you don’t need to be hungry on top of it. You’ll look beautiful 5 pounds heavier or not.
- Don’t show pictures beforehand. God forbid someone tells you something you didn’t want to hear and you now regret making that purchase. No one will say anything about your dress on your wedding day but you’re taking a big chance when showing it off ahead of time.
Now go off, have fun, and find that perfect dress!