Expert Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Hello, my name is Harriet, and I am one of the employees at Sinders Bridal House. I have loved weddings since my mom took me to my first wedding, as a little girl; the big white dress, the flowers, people in a celebratory mood; I was hooked. From then on I’ve loved looking at anyone’s wedding pictures; celebrities, strangers, or family members.

When the reality tv craze started a few years ago, and the wedding dress shopping shows appeared, I was in bliss. The family PVR was set to tape them all: Say Yes to the Dress (Kleinfeld’sAtlantaBridesmaids, and Canada), I Found the GownMy Fair Wedding with David TuteraRich Bride/Groom Poor Bride/Groom, and Four Weddings to name just a few. I could watch multiple episodes in a row, unlike my mother and sister who got tired after an hour.

This summer I was unemployed and did not have much luck finding a job. People close to me had mentioned that I should get myself a job in the wedding industry. On a whim I sent Sinders my resume to see if there were any positions open. A few weeks later I was in luck, Sinders was hiring. After an interview and tour of the beautiful Victorian home I found myself with a job I never thought I would have.

I’ve been at Sinders for about 6 weeks now, and have been learning lots. The large quantity of wedding tv shows had provided me with some knowledge of wedding shops, but there was and still is much for me to learn. I took it upon myself to update the store’s Facebook page, Pinterest page, and create a Twitter account. My work there landed me with another task, and that was to start a regular blog.

I’ve never blogged before. I have a close friend with her own DIY blog that has become quite popular and she loves running, so I’ve heard about the blogging process. I guess I never felt I had something interesting to share. Now I’ll have the opportunity to share things related to weddings and working in a bridal shop. So please bear with me as I find my way through the world of blogging.

For my first blog I thought I will start with the basics, Wedding Dress Shopping 101: Advice from Our Experts 

I spoke with many of our expert stylists, some who have been assisting brides for many years, to get the scoop on what brides should know/do to have the best wedding dress shopping experience possible.

  1. Bring a small entourage
    Brides tend to want to bring a large number of people with them; parent(s), siblings, cousins, aunts, grandmas, friends etc. However, the more people you bring the more opinions there are going to be, good and bad. Trying to find a dress to please that many people is a near impossible task, especially if you are a people pleaser like me. You will likely end up getting stressed out and confused on which direction to go with so many different thoughts and opinions being shared.
    Appointments with small parties tend to be more successful. You are able to receive a couple other opinions, but won’t become overwhelmed trying to find a dress that you and 8 other people will love. With fewer people shopping for the dress, it means more people to surprise with your beautiful choice. If you really want to show those special people your dress you can bring a few of them to your fittings.
  2. Wear proper undergarments
    Remember to wear proper undergarments to your appointment. Most dresses are strapless (with the option of adding straps or sleeves if desired) so a strapless bra is recommended. Undergarments are mandatory when trying on dresses for hygienic reasons (experience has shown stylists that some brides need reminding of this). Stylist are not able to allow you to try on any dresses without underwear. And remember, the stylist will need to assist you in doing-up the dress, so if you’re not comfortable sharing your “rear assets” with her to skip the thong that day.
  3. Have an idea of what you’re looking for, but also be open-minded to suggestions
    It helps to come to your appointment with some ideas of what you’re interested in; the cut, fabric, lace/no lace, bling/no bling, etc. You may bring pictures along to show your stylist what you’re interested in (just remember that the pictures in the magazine are photo-shopped and not 100% realistic); do some research before you come to your appointment. We have links to all the designers we carry on our website. You are welcomed to call or email Sinder’s to inquire about a specific style you are interested in.
    While having an idea of what you’re interested in is helpful, you should still come with an open mind to try other styles. Your stylist spends her days putting women into dresses; she knows how to read you, find out what you like, and what will work with your body type. Listening to the stylist’s suggestions can really surprise you. All the stylists said they had countless brides come in with one idea of what she was interested in, yet she left purchasing something completely different.
  4. Shop early enough, but not too early
    Shopping for a wedding dress is not the same as shopping for any other dress. Unless you’re purchasing your gown off the rack, you will just be trying on samples at the store and then the store will order your choice, in your size, from the designer.  Depending on the designer and time of year dresses can take up to 9 months to be shipped to the bridal shop. If you want to have the widest selection you should keep this in mind, plus enough time to get alterations done.
    Shopping too early for your dress can also be a problem. Purchasing your dress with over a year before your wedding day may result in buyer’s regret. Designers usually release two collections per year. Between your purchase date and your big day current wedding dress styles may change, and you may discover a dress you love more than the one you purchased.
  5. Stay within budget
    Wedding dresses come in a large range of prices from the higher hundreds to tens of thousands. It’s so easy to walk into a store and see many dresses you like without considering the price.  Before coming to your appointment you should know what you (or whoever is paying for the dress) is able and willing to spend. Tell your stylist what your budget is at the beginning of the appointment. It is a big mistake to try on a dress that is above your budget and you’re not willing to spend the extra money. If you end up falling in love with the dress but can’t afford it you will end up comparing all the other dresses to it, and it’s very unlikely any of them will be able to match those feelings.
    There are beautiful dresses for any budget, our stylists can show you.
  6. Don’t try on too many dresses
    Wanting to see all your options, and continuing to play “dress up” can make you want to try on the hundreds of options available. However, this will likely result in you becoming confused on what you like, not knowing which dress is your dress, and having to settle on one you may regret. Most brides try on an average of 4-7 dresses. To prevent you from becoming confused as a result of trying on too many dresses, you should plan to try no more than approximately 10 gowns.
  7. Don’t worry about the size of the dress
    Bridal sizing runs smaller than street sizing, so you will likely end up with a dress size larger than your regularly wear. Don’t worry about this, it’s just a number and it doesn’t define you. You will look better and enjoy your day much more if you’re in a dress that fits properly and you’re comfortable in, than trying to squeeze into a dress you will be pulling at all day just because it’s a smaller size (no one need to know the size of your dress anyway).
  8. You don’t have to cry
    Lots of brides have the idea that they will cry when they find “the dress.” While this can happen, it doesn’t always, and it’s not a requirement. Not all brides have an outward display of emotion, and that is perfectly acceptable. When you have found “the dress” you”ll know, no matter what your reaction is.

So there they are; the top tips from Sinder’s expert bridal stylist so you can have the best wedding dress shopping experience possible.

If you have any other questions regarding wedding dress shopping please let us know and we’ll find the answer for you.

Don’t forget to book your appointment to find your perfect dress with us. Here at Sinder’s, we focus on providing the best customer service, so you can have the best experience finding your dress.

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