(Closed) First dress appointment – what can I expect?

posted 4 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It does partly depend on where you go and which consultant you get. However standardly speaking, it is good to bring a strapless bra (preferably white or nude) and wear similarly light-colored underwear. If you don’t have a suitable strapless bra, the store can usually provide one for you but it may not fit perfectly.

Definitely bring along some pictures of the kind of dresses you like, as well as their names and brand if you have that information. It is totally fine that you don’t know exactly what is going to look best on you. Most people are in that situation and it is DEFINITELY a good idea to go in with a completely open mind in this respect. It’s incredibly common to go in thinking you want one thing and falling in love with something completely different. As your consultant for advice in what they think will best suit your body type, but be sure to also ask them for some wildcards and try on a selection of several different types of dresses (eg. strapless, straps, satin, lace, chiffon, ballgown, mermaid, etc.) to test your real life preferences.

Chances are, the consultant and your family will put you under a lot of pressure to buy a dress immediately. Do not, under any circumstances, do this. It leaves you vulnerable to dress regret and being bullied into something you are not quite sure of. I would recommend going to at least three appointments before making a final decision, preferably at at least two different stores. If you have pushy relatives, it may also be worth going to one or two appointments on your own to help make an unbiased decision. Dresses are incredibly expensive and virtually no wedding store is going to accept returns. So unless you want to lose a lot of money, be 110% sure of your dress before you buy it.

After you buy the dress, stop looking. There are always other beautiful options but you are only going to make yourself miserable with ‘what ifs’. Of course, if you take your time making your choice, you are much less likely to have this problem.

Otherwise, relax and have fun with it. Wedding dress shopping is amazing, and you will find something that makes you feel beautiful. Just remember that you are buying something that costs as much as a secondhand car – you need to take your time and do your research to get the best result.

Post # 3
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens

Take some water with you – it’s exhausting (and, hopefully, fun) – and water can definitely help!

Post # 4
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I am a consultant, and I know that from individual to individual, and shop to shop the experience is VERY different! The main questions I try to hit with my brides are as follows (and even if you aren’t asked these questions, I think it’s probably important for your consultant to know this about you in order to pull you your best options)

-Wedding Date

-Budget (ideal and “hard”; ie, what you are comfortable spending, and what is the splurgiest gown I could pull if I see something PERFECT but $200 over budget… It is a-ok if these are the same number, and there is no wrong answer. But be honest with yourself; if you say $2000 but you know you’ll feel sick to your stomach spending more than $1000, then just let your consultant know you want to spend $1000; we want you to feel good about your purchase, and frankly, I’d rather sell a less expensive dress than lose the sale because you fell in love with something you can’t afford.)

-Style (for wedding and the dress; give us some context!)

-If you have a favorite dress (either a picture or one you’ve tried on)

My advice is to go with an open mind, and be completely honest with your consultant. Unless she’s a newbie, you won’t hurt her feelings; feed back on the dresses, both positive and negative, is very useful. Let yourself be surprised. And finally, don’t be too nitpicky. That sounds awful, but I guess I just mean be realistic. I find in the two years that I’ve been doing this that the internet makes people think that EVERY SINGLE THING THEY IMAGINE exists. Two years ago, women said their “requirements” would be straps, lace, and not too tight. Now I hear very specific and sometimes contradictory things like “sparkle only above the waist, very soft drapey lace, a low back, and no straps [even though the low back structurally requires it].” You’ve instantly made both of our jobs harder, because now I’ll be afraid to pull you a dress that meets half of your requirements and would look AMAZING on you, because I know you’ll shoot it down for having soft all-over sparkle instead of the “above the waist only” requirement. You may not be able to find a dress that has more than 3 or 4 very specific qualities, and you’ll disappoint yourself if that’s what you’re looking for. That being said, don’t settle for something that doesn’t excite you. You may not cry when you find the one, but it needs to feel very special. 

Finally, remember that your consultant is on your side! Yes, it is our job to sell you a dress, but the vast majority of women I have worked with would much rather see a client leave happy and find her dress elsewhere than leave conflicted with a dress that may or may not be the one. If you feel like your consultant isn’t being respectful of your style, budget, or anything else, feel free to end the appointment and call back requesting to work with someone else next time. Not everyone’s personalities click, and you deserve to have a great experience. 

Have fun! 🙂

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