Hello you, and welcome to inside the mind of an Obsessive Compulsive Designer.
This was a highly requested topic by many of you and for good reason! Selecting your wedding dress isn’t the easy beautiful process that you see on TV or in movies. It’s a tough process but the process can be made much simpler with some planning. It’s one of the most important details of wedding planning and deserves to be as stress free as possible. For many people, it’s one of the most stressful due to lack of availability in your area, body image issues, not knowing what style you like, budget, etc… Needless to say, there are way too many factors that come to play in this decision. Let’s make it easier!
Deciding What You Want
I think one of the best things I did during this stage of selecting my dress was to look at models with similar body types to mine. I knew, with my body shape, a dress I saw on a deathly thin model was not going to look the same on my body. The worst thing you can do is create unrealistic standards of dresses in your mind. Once you know how dresses look like on girls with similar body types to your own, you’ll be able to see the styles and fabrics that will best fit your frame.
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. Pinterest is great to search around for the styles you’re wanting once you’ve seen how they work on your body type. My one problem with Pinterest is that it’s overflowing with thin models in fabulous custom unattainable dresses. Before you flock to Pinterest, it’s essential to know your styles that you have to work with. Pull a few images that best represent what you want to look at and save them BEFORE going to a dress boutique. Knowing a smaller scope to look at when you get to the shop is great and gives you direction.
Dress Boutique Do’s & Do Not’s
Do search for certain designers to see what they actually carry and what dresses are actually available in your area.
Don’t rely on your Pinterest finds to actually exist and be stocked at every shop you visit.
Do your research on the shops you’re going to visit to find out how they work. I visited a shop that refused to let me look at their inventory and only allowed the assistant to bring me dresses (DISASTER).
Don’t visit shops that don’t allow you to browse their inventory. Call ahead and be sure you know exactly how they work.
Do call ahead and confirm they carry the designer you’re looking for and any particular dresses you want to try on.
Don’t let pushy sales people pressure you into buying anything. Stand up for yourself and what YOU want.
The Perfect Duo
What really helped my dress search process was the perfect duo, the perfect sales associate and bringing the perfect guest(s). Finding a sales associate at the shops you go to that has a clear vision of what you want or has a similar style can help immensely. Through the duration of my shopping, I NEVER clicked with anyone besides my final sales associate. I sat down and showed him the exact designer and a few styles I liked and we gushed about how gorgeous her designs were. He pulled the exact dresses we were talking about and really pulled my vision together. He now owns his own boutique and has his own line of dresses. Finding someone who has a knack for wedding fashion versus someone who just needed a job makes ALL the difference.
If you aren’t as lucky to find the perfect sales associate, your trip is not wasted. Bringing the perfect guests along with you can help more than you realize. Of course your mother is going to tear up and your friends are going to tell you how amazing you look in everything; but, if they also aren’t afraid to tell it how it is, you’ve found the perfect guests. Bringing someone who knows your style, your facial expressions, and understands your vision can help you find the perfect dress. Your guests can do as much pulling of dresses and coaxing of the sales associate as you!
My Advice For Others
Overall, my advice would be as informed as you possibly can. Research your body type, your designers, your local boutiques, your local sales associates. Going in knowing as much as you possibly can will never be a bad thing. Sometimes you’ll need to go in and try a style of dress to confirm whether or not you like it and that’s ok! Pictures show so much differently than real life; however, going in with options and a plan can never steer you wrong.
Good luck to all searching for their dress. Have fun and enjoy the process! Leave me a comment below and tell me how you found your dress!