MaeMe Bridal Podcast: What do I need to know about wedding dress shopping?
Hey there, and welcome to the MaeMe Bridal podcast. I’m your host Melissa Estess and I’m thrilled that you’ve tuned in today because we’ve got to talk about something important! Today, my goal is to eliminate your fears about shopping for your wedding dress so that you and your loved ones can soak in this beautiful season in your life without the worry! I’m going to go over some bridal basics so you feel really good about stepping out on to that pedestal and saying YES to your dream dress! So, here’s the deal, this episode is for newly engaged brides that are overwhelmed. If you are thinking, where do I even begin in this journey, trust me, you are not alone! Generally, when a bride gets engaged, she texts all her friends a picture of her ring, obviously and spends some time creating an AMAZING instagram post showing that rock on her finger… and then she usually thinks about: her wedding date, the venue, the photographer, and THE DRESS! Today’s episode, we are going to talk about 4 things you should know about shopping to ease your fears and get you really excited about saying YES to your dream dress!
- So first, we’ll talk about the importance of selecting a bridal boutique AND booking an appointment
- How to prepare before your appointment
- What should I expect during my appointment
- What do I need to know about wedding dresses…I know nothing!
- We dive into alterations and how critical finding an expert is!
The importance of selecting a bridal boutique and booking an appointment
Shopping for a wedding dress is not like shopping for regular clothing… that probably goes without saying, but I want to reinforce that your wedding dress will probably be THE MOST EXPENSIVE and memorable garment you will ever wear. In addition, it is a garment you will wear for one of the most important days of your life. Most boutiques you will want to work with require an appointment to try on dresses because you will have a stylist working directly with you to find you the perfect dress.
Research the boutiques in your area and read their reviews! Pay close attention to the things that are really important to you and check out the boutique online. You should be able to get a feel for their culture and personality through their website and social channels. Also, find out if the price point of the shop’s dresses is in line with your budget.
Before you shop for your dress
Get inspired! Look on instagram, facebook and Pinterest for inspiration. Start soaking in all the bridal terminology and lingo so you feel more comfortable and prepared once you are in boutique trying on dresses.
Take some time to determine your wedding dress budget. It is always better to have these tricky conversations before you are standing on the pedestal in front of a crowd of people and trying to decide if you can swing buying the dress….and don’t shop without money!
Your bridal Appointment
Have your hair and makeup fixed. This doesn’t mean you need to go to a professional salon, but it is really hard to get excited about a beautiful dress when your hair is dirty and full of dry shampoo and you have mascara smudged under your eyes from the night before.
Eat a light meal prior and come hydrated! We don’t want brides to pass out while trying on dresses. And yes, that has happened!
Your stylist will have a personalized consultation with you to get started. She will pull 3-4 gowns to get started. If it is your first time trying on, we usually recommend exploring a few different silhouettes and necklines to really get a good idea of what you like on your frame. Again, the inspiration photos are a great start, but there is just nothing like getting the dress on your body!
You will continue to try on gowns, comparing your favorites and highlighting design elements that you love until you ultimately fall in love with THE ONE! We’ll then celebrate with champagne and take your measurements to decide on the best size gown to order. Most gowns are ordered based on the designer’s size chart, and then any adjustments thereafter would be performed in alterations. And we’ll talk a little more about alterations in a minute.
*We have brides ask us often, do I need to make several appointments all over town to make sure I don’t miss something… the answer is, no! That can be so overwhelming! I would recommend focusing more on building a relationship with the boutique you plan to work with for a year or more than bouncing all around and confusing yourself!
Wedding Dress details
Bridal gowns take 4-6 months for production time, so unless you are buying a gown out of inventory, your boutique is going to place an order for your gown in the appropriate size. If you don’t have 4-6 months to wait, no worries. We do sell gowns out of our inventory. In addition, some designers offer rush options for an upcharge or may have some stock available for an earlier delivery.
Wedding dresses run smaller than regular clothing. Your stylist will measure you to determine the best size to order for you. Your dress will probably be available to come in a variety of off-white shades, and your stylist will talk you through all your options. Alterations will most probably be needed to achieve the best fit possible.
Wedding Dress Alterations
It is really important that you have realistic expectations about what the alteration process looks like for a wedding dress. Wedding gowns are extremely intricate and complex garments with multiple layers combining a variety of fabrics and heavy construction with boning and bra cups and then design elements like beading and dimensional lace on top of that. The art of sewing and tailoring a wedding dress is not equivalent to hemming a pair of jeans, so make sure you use a reputable, expert, bridal seamstress.
Bridal alterations usually take 2-3 fittings, with 2-3 weeks in-between fittings, and can cost anywhere from $300-$1000 depending on the fabric and detailing of the gown, how much work needs to be done, any custom changes you are requesting, the ornate nature of the bustle, etc.
I hope this helped get you really excited about your wedding dress journey! If you’d like to schedule an appointment, click here! Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].