Post # 1
My parents live overseas, but since they are visiting the states this summer, Mr. informaed me that we could start dress shopping and all the good stuff, even though we aren’t yet officially engaged yet.
My mom and I are going to make a day of it on Saturday and I can’t wait! But now that the time is finally here, I am a little nervous. I’m hoping my fellow bees can hook me up with some good advice:
What should I take with me?
If we go to more than one place in a day, how long should we allow at each one?
If you went in with a budget, how up-front were you with the salespeople about it?
Post # 3
My advice? Each shop will take longer than you ever expect! I couldn’t believe how long we were at each store! Absolutely be upfront about your budget. BIG TIME. My advice there is to NOT try on anything out of your budget. You will be so mad at yourself if you fall in love with it! (Or I would have been!) And definitely take a camera with you. Even if they dont’ "let you" take pictures, i would slip one into the dressing room with me. Dont’ tell. 🙂
Post # 4
Thanks, august15bride! How long is long though? I haven’t a clue how long these things are supposed to take… an hour? 3 hours? all day (oh, please not ALL day!)?
Post # 5
Congratulations on your dress shopping excursion! I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
I think you’re smart to bring your mom with you shopping. IME, it’s easier to make decisions with a small group, because then you don’t have a lot of conflicting opinions. With just your mom, you can stay focused on what you really want and not get confused. Also, I’d say to bring your camera (just in case) and a bottle of water (maybe even some snacks! We were starving). If you go to multiple places, make sure to take a small break in between so you can "process". I found that I needed to reflect on the dresses before I decided what I liked/didn’t like. I’d say budget a couple of hours at each store and don’t try to do more than 3-4 on a day.
Also, most of the time the consultants will ask you what you’re looking for in a dress. When you’re explaining traits that you like, just say "and I would like to spend no more than $x".
Finally, try on LOTS of dresses–even ones you don’t like on the hanger or that you think don’t look like what you expected you wanted. I ended up getting a dress (that I LOVED) that I never would have considered in a magazine on on the rack. I tried it on because the consultant suggested it and it was perfect.
Good luck, have fun and let us know how it goes!
Post # 6
Jessie had some great advice! I agree – no more than 3-4 stores. They will each take you probably 1-3 hours, unless you hit a total dud. 🙂 And try on everything – my dress is nothing I originally thought I wanted, but it is perfect for me!
Post # 7
It took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to try on 7 dresses (2 dresses twice), and this was during an "off peak" appointment (during the day, in the middle of the week). The store I went to didn’t allow me to take pictures, but I’m sure others do. I see postings on this site all the time! I tried on all sorts of dresses just to see what type of style suited me best, and I didn’t mind the pricing as much because this was my very first dress trip and it served as an exploratory mission! I can see how being clear about your budget is key once you’ve settled on what you’re looking for. I think both posters make excellent points. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful woman helping me. She was gracious, and honest, and helped me get a sense of what would look good on me. You’re so lucky to have your mum go with! I went alone, which was good but also left me wistful. Getting opinions is helpful, but too many can be confounding. I brought with me a pair of shoes with the heel height I anticipated wearing, and a strapless bra/corset. It’s good to see how the dresses look with heels, and it will give you a good sense of how easy/difficult it is to move in it. The strapless bra is sometimes provided by the store. My shop provided one, but I had brought my own. If you’re going to corset up, bring that, too, as it will affect your sizing and hence fit. Congratulations and good luck with your excursion! It’s actually an enjoyable experience, and the moment you look at yourself in a dress for the first time will take your breath away a little!
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2009 - Bernardo Winery
OMG So exciting! Have fun 🙂
I definitely recommend taking heels, and wearing butt covering underwear and a strapless bra 🙂
Post # 9
Definitly bring a camera. If they allow it, it is always nice to see how the dress looks in pictures. Try on everything, but I defninitly agree you shouldn’t try on anything out of your price range.
Be very upfront about your budget. I was looking at the sale rack, so it wasn’t an issue, but I had to tell the consultant several times I wouldn’t be wearing a slip or buying a veil.
Don’t let them pressure you, and have FUN! = )
Post # 10
Oh, hooray, have fun! A camera for sure. And a strapless bra just in case. Know what you want to spend beforehand and don’t let them sucker you into more!
I took secretive photos, too. What are they going to do, kick you out? =]. Just put the camera in silent mode with no flash. Take a pic of the dress AND the tags and labels. I found this to be the most helpful in finding the dress afterwards and refreshing my mind. And the price tag was on it, too.
Some shops I was in for only an hour, but the bigger ones I was in for 3 hours. I like when I get to pick the dresses off the rack. At one fancy place (boooo fancy!), the attendants were the ones picking out dresses for me to try on. I hated that. I felt like I was at their style mercy. I’d much rather go "i want to try this, and this, and this" and don’t shy away from discount stores or sales. I found mine at an off the rack sale.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
Before you go, make sure that the bridal stores you want to go to allow walk-ins on weekends. You may want to browse online, if you haven’t already, to get an idea of a general style or specific brand you like. The only two bridal stores that I went to were Alfred Angelo and Belle Siason. Belle Saison has a huge selection, which may take a long time to browse through. Good Luck!