Shopping for a wedding gown is generally one of the most exciting events in an entire lifetime, which is the very same reason it can be completely overwhelming! There are many suggestions as to where to begin and the possibilities are endless.
“Straps or strapless?”
“What shape is going to make my waist stand out?”
“I don’t want to look like a cake topper, how do I manage that and still look like a bride!”
The easiest way to find a starting point, in our opinion, is by identifying how you want to FEEL. Do you want to feel glamorous, sleek and sophisticated? Do you want to feel fun, dramatic and unique? Do you want to feel like a bohemian Colorado flower child, a fairy, a princess, a fairy princess? Think about how you want to feel, and let your stylist know! Once you have identified that, it’s much easier to narrow down silhouettes, and straps, and lace, and beading, and all the other variables without really having to think about each individual decision. You will realize which details you like gradually, while always having the feel you were going for.
If you already have chosen your venue and are in the process of choosing your gown, let your venue complement your gown, do not let your venue choose your gown! If you are getting married in the mountains outside of Denver, it may be nice to have a very simple lace dress with a shorter train if that is the feel you are going for. In contrast, a bright blue sky is also an amazing backdrop for a fun and fabulous gown with asymmetrical pleating and crystal details, which will make the gown pop even more! It’s your day, there are no rules, and you can never be overdressed because you are the bride!
Another great point to keep in mind is that it’s never too early to start looking! Most designers can take anywhere from four to eight months to actually make your gown from the time you place your order. Add to that, your time frame for trying on enough gowns to make a comfortable decision, several weeks for alterations, and you can see, the earlier you can start looking, the better!
Many bridal boutiques offer trunk shows at the beginning of each season, which is a great opportunity to preview a huge selection of wedding dresses from a specific designer before they are actually available in stores, and many will offer a discount if an order is placed during a trunk show! This is a wonderful opportunity for any bride, no matter how far along she is in the gown selection process. Sample sales are another great time to snag beautiful gowns at ridiculously low prices as the bridal store is making room for the new season. As a general rule, sample sales generally happen towards the end of the calendar year, in either November or December.
The good news is, once your wedding dress is ordered, you have plenty of time to wrap up the other details such as your wedding accessories. Shoes, veils and jewelry usually only take a couple of months in production, so you will have the most time to make those choices. Bridesmaids tend to take a little longer, so it’s good to get started on those as soon as you know what you will be wearing. Keep in mind, depending on how many girls you have in your bridal party, and how many procrastinators you are friends with, it may take some extra time. Most bridal stores will wait to place a maids order until the entire bridal party has placed their order so all the gowns will be cut from the same dye lot.
In our experience girls tend to procrastinate far less than boys do with their tuxedos. Boys tend to be much more last minute if left to their own devices (can you say two days before the wedding anyone?) Most boutiques will get your bridal parties info and do the reminder phone calls for you (preventing any two day before the wedding orders,) so make sure to let them take care of it for you if this is a service they offer. It’s easier for everyone involved, and its one less thing for you to worry about! The easier you can make things on yourself, the better.
Remember ladies, there are no rules on your wedding day other than for you to make amazing memories and HAVE FUN! Although it can be overwhelming, try to enjoy the processes because it is the one, if not the only time in your life where you get to decide everything and nobody can argue with you! Well, they can argue with you, but you don’t have to listen!