(Closed) Please give me the scoop on wedding dress shopping!

posted 10 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
160 posts
Blushing bee

If you are going to a retailer that has the dresses online (like Davids Bridal), I would HIGHLY recommend looking through there website & writing down all the dresses you like. This way, once you get into the store, they can pull those dresses for you to try on right away without having to hassle looking through the store.

As far as dress sizes, many stores only carry a few sizes in each dress. Otherwise, the stores would be PACKED with dresses! They have therse clamps they use if the dress is too big so that you can see what it would look like tighter. I would also wear appropriate undergarments (strapless bra, sheer underwear, etc.)

Happy Searching 🙂

 

Post # 4
Member
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I don’t know about you, but I am kind of a modest person, so I was nervous about stripping down to my skivvies in front of a virtual stranger.  I addressed this issue by wearing Spanx to my appointment.  For me, it made everything a lot less awkward knowing I was at least semi-covered up! 

Post # 6
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

when i went, i wore nude colored boy shorts and a strapless nude colored bra. i went on a saturday and my sales consultant had another client there at the time, so she was going back and forth. about half the time I would be able to pull the dress on myself and then she would fasten everything. some of them are just so cumbersome and difficult that you don’t care. i am a size 8 dress/pant size, and i was able to try on all the dreses i wanted, except for one that was a mermaid style and just would not fit over my hips! they will be able to clip them for you if they don’t close all the way, or are too large. just have fun, try on everything, even if you know you don’t like it! The dress i ended up choosing was the first one i took off the rack, the first one i tried on, and then after trying on 15 more, i went back to the first one. 🙂 have fun!!!!

Post # 7
Member
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would not worry about the size issue at all!  These dress shops help girls in all shapes and sizes!  It sounds like you are exactly the same size as my sister, and she did not have any trouble at all trying on dresses.  If the dress does not exactly fit, the person helping you can rig the dress so that you can still get a good idea of what it will look like!

I went to a few local dress shops, and each one assigned me a "consultant" who helped me pick out dresses and try them on.  I asked one of the consultants if she ever felt awkward helping people change all day, and she just laughed and said she had seen everything.  Her words of wisdom were, "so long as you keep up with your hygiene, I don’t care if you have on granny panties or a thong!" 

Post # 7
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

oh and eat a good meal before you go. it is hard work! take a bottle of water and a little snack in your purse. they will tell yoo no food or drink, but if you take your purse into the fitting room with you, then you can sneak it in! where are you going dress shopping? don’t be afraid to go to smaller stores (instead of chain stores like DB or Alfred Angelo -0 they are great, but really the boutiques can carry affordable gowns too. my Maggie Sottero was only $589! and it’s beautiful!)

Post # 9
Member
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I bought my dress at a Vera Wang trunk show in Houston.  They only kept the VW out during the trunk show but will keep other designers in the back so if you want to see something in particular by someone else they carry, they should be able to bring it out to you.  I am a standard dress size 10/12 and I fit most of the samples (a tight squeeze in a few but mostly the samples were a couture size 8 or 10 and if they have been tried on a few times before then they have streched some and will fit just fine).  I brought a bustier and heeled shoes with me (upscale salons should have this available on site for you but I am a difficult size to fit so I brought my own).  Don’t be afraid to wear granny panties or like other have suggested, wear spanx, I would recommend the strapless full slip (covers everything from above the bustier to just above your knees).  You can also ask the consultant to get the dress ready for you and then step out of the room until you are ready to be zipped in.  Or bring a robe if they don’t already have them available.  Most places carrying VW and Melissa Sweet should have water available and usually will have cake or something from a (wedding industry) local bakery if it’s a trunk show.  And sometimes they will have representatives from the designer there to let you know of options to change, alter, etc on the dresses.  Don’t be afraid if you find the dress of your dreams to ask them to thow in the veil or some other accent piece with the price.  I bought my dress with the trunk show discount and my veil and two sashes were thrown in pro bono.  Enjoy the experience, it’s actually a lot of fun.  Be sure and try on every style, you’ll be amazed what you love on yourself.

Post # 10
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

Just wanted to add that a trunk shows usually offer a discount since the designer is showcasing their new season. The discount ranges from 10-15% usually.

Vera Wang’s trunk shows are 10% at boutiques and 15% at her own store. They are throwing in free veils right now so if your consultant doesn’t bring it up make sure you ask if its a possibility. My sales person wanted to close the sale with me at VW’s flagship store so on top of the 15% discount she threw in a $400 veil for free if I placed my order that day.(I was also offered a free veil at the Saks Vera trunk show but I wasnt ready to place my order then)

One peice of advice – b/c of the discount you  might feel pressued to buy at a trunk show so my suggestion would be to make an appointment to try on dresses a week or two before that way you can at least start narrowing down style/fabric etc. 

Good luck and Have Fun!

Post # 11
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Don’t worry too much about the sample size dresses.  I was really worried about this too, but it turned out not to be a big deal.  I was about a street size 12 in pants when I tried on dresses, but a 14 in most dresses and tops in order fit "the girls."  While the samples didn’t always zip up all the way, my consultant just used clips to secure the dress to my bra or to the slip they provided.  I was able to get a good sense of how the dresses would look when in my size and fitted to me.  They also provided a little robe, so in between rounds of dresses, I was able to cover up without getting redressed.  The consultant did help me into and out of every dress–apparently this was store policy to help keep the dresses in good condition. However, if you’re like me, you’ll soon be so caught up in the fun of trying on dresses that you’ll forget you’re standing around in your bra and panties! 

 

Post # 12
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Ah, you’re a Seattle bride.  I went to Marcella’s and found a Vera Wang that I loved!  Of course for me, Vera was out of the question with respect to my budget.  I also went to La Belle Elaine’s, I Do Bridal, Princess Bride (which I can tell you more about if you pm me–suffice it to say, it is not on my recommend list), Luly Yang, Belltown Bride, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few.

Eventually, I took the trek down to Charlotte’s Bridal in Portland and bought my dress there tax free and with a coupon recommended to me by another Bee.  I saved about $300, and my dress came in in three weeks!

If you have any other Seattle salon questions, please feel free to PM.  And most of all, have a blast!  Hopefully, there will be lots of stuff that you love!

Post # 13
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Lots of good suggestions here.  Like you, I had no idea what to expect when I went dress shopping, and due to some timing issues I showed up at my first appointment alone (my sister was able to come just as I was wrapping up).  In my experience, the consultants varied a lot, but generally they are very knowledgable (this will be esp. true at a higher end store that carries VW I’m guessing).  They also tend to have good eyes for different body types, so even if you have a dress in mind it’s a good idea to also try on their suggestions.  It might surprise you.

Before I went, I was a little surprised by how few questions they asked about my wedding (though they did ask budge up front, it doesn’t help them to put you in a dress you can’t afford).  They gradually narrowed it down by my preferences…but for the good consultants, this worked out pretty well.

Most of all, have fun!  It can be pretty exhausting.  Also, since you’re in Seattle, if you’re not completely set on VW, you might check out Luly Yang (downtown) and La Belle Reve (Bellevue).  Luly Yang is a couture designer, and she carries her own stuff as well as other designers.  I didn’t find my dress there, but there were some that I didn’t see elsewhere.

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