Now that you have the ring safely on your finger, it’s time for you to hunt down that one gown you’ve always imagined getting married in. For many brides, finding the perfect wedding gown is often the most important, fussed-over detail of a wedding. And only rightly so – with all eyes on you and your gown, this is one fashion faux pas you are determined to avoid at all costs. The pressure will be on to find one that is stunning to both you and your guests, and when pressure mounts, drama unfolds.
But shopping for your wedding gown should be nothing short of a happy affair, even if that means trying to find the one perfect gown amongst the sea of wedding gowns available. However, actually finding the one gown could be more difficult than searching for a needle in a haystack. To avoid the drama and unhappiness that unfolds following that experience, there are certain things you must do prior to your visit to a bridal boutique. SingaporeBrides has come up with six cardinal rules we think brides-to-be everywhere should follow before they embark to find that gown of their dreams.
Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd
If you think bringing your whole family and best friend along with you when gown shopping for moral support and additional opinions is a good idea, you’d soon realise that it’s actually a terrible idea. Ideally, brides should limit the number of people they bring along to no more than three; four might just be pushing it a little. These individuals should be people who know you well enough to be able to offer suggestions and honest opinions about how the gown looks on you. The purpose of your wedding gown shopping entourage is to provide you with support and honest opinions; they should not be imposing their preferences onto you or confusing you with their opinions.
But what if your entire extended family or all your friends insist on tagging along? Politely refuse their requests by telling them that you’d like your gown to be a surprise for all of them at the wedding. Don’t agree because you feel obliged to invite them all along.
Take Your Time But Not Too Much
The best time for brides to hunt for a wedding gown is at least six to eight months before their big day, or even more if they want to play it safe or are having a destination wedding. Any earlier than that is not advisable because you’d not have a clear idea of where the wedding will be and what theme you’ll be having.
Brides also shouldn’t be pressured by timed sales or discounts into making a decision before they’re ready for one. Coming across a gown you think you could walk down the aisle in because of a discount isn’t reason enough for you to get it. Firstly, just liking a gown is not reason enough to purchase the gown. You’ve got to love it and cannot imagine yourself getting married in anything else. Secondly, timed sales and discounts come and go. Commit to a gown on discount only if you’re ready to make that decision and not a second before.
While we don’t suggest brides to start their gown shopping too early, we don’t mean for you to shop at the last minute either. Not every bride will fit into a sample gown and if you need alterations for the gown to fit you like a glove, you’ll have to factor in the time needed for the alterations to be done. But if you’re genuinely on a tight schedule, do set aside some extra cash in your budget because most boutiques will require you to pay more if you need your gown to be rushed out in time.
Know What You Want But Keep Your Options Open
Ever since you were five, you’ve dreamed of walking down that aisle in a sweetheart neck line princess ball gown with plenty of tulle and crystals so many times that by now, you’ve convinced that that’s the silhouette for you. However, what you love and imagine yourself looking good in might not be the best choice for you and your body type.
It’s always good for brides to have an idea of what they want to wear on their big day, whether they want gowns with sleeves, a long train, or reveal more skin than usual. Having these details worked out before your visit to the boutique and using buzzwords like “romantic”, “fun” or “classic” to describe the type of look you’re going for will save you and your consultant some hassle in finding the right gown. However, you shouldn’t shun other styles your consultant suggests for you either. Keep your options open to maximise your chances of finding the one gown that actually looks good rather than one that you think looks good on you. Give every gown outside your preference a try; after all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially if you find yourself looking good in a silhouette you previously hated.
Know Your Budget
Before you even begin shopping for a gown, you should have the amount you’re willing to spend on a gown in your mind already. Having that figure is important because it narrows your search down to the gowns that fall under your budget and prevents you from exceeding your allocated budget for the whole wedding. You should also decide beforehand if your budget is non-negotiable or if you’re willing to stretch that figure by a little. Falling in love with a gown outside your budget will be easy, but I can assure you, not being able to walk away with them will be quite painful. Also, do take into consideration additional costs such as alterations and leave some of the budget aside to cover those costs.
Book an appointment
Don’t head straight down to a bridal boutique in all your excitement without making an appointment beforehand. Most boutiques can only see you if you’ve made an appointment with them, and having one ensures that you’ll receive undivided attention from your consultant. If you want your trip to the bridal boutique to be a productive one, remember to secure an appointment before you head down.
That Moment Almost Every Bride Goes Through
Now, if you’re an avid fan of “Say Yes to the Dress”, you’d already be familiar with that moment where the bride has found the gown and everyone, including her, starts tearing up. While you don’t think finding the perfect gown is powerful enough to induce any crying, for many brides, that moment of finding the one is a culmination of all the anxiety, joy, relief and many other emotions all being released simultaneously, and that can be very overwhelming. For other brides, the reality of getting married only hits them when they find themselves in a gown they want to get married in.
So you’re counting on an emotional outburst from yourself and your entourage to point out the gown but nearly 10 gowns later, you’re still not experiencing that moment and you begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with you? Don’t worry; you’re perfectly normal. Not every bride goes through that tearjerker moment when they’re wearing their dream gown. Some brides just know when the right gown is on them, even if the waterworks don’t happen. Don’t rely on your tears to tell you that’s the one for you; you’ve got to feel it in your bones.
Does that gown look fabulous on you? Can you see yourself walking down the aisle and getting married in that gown? If it’s a “yes”, then that’s the one. If you have any doubts about the gown or need reassurance that it looks good on you, then that’s probably not the gown you want to buy. Whatever you do, just trust your instincts.
At the end of the day, wedding gown shopping is not just about finding the perfect gown; it’s about the shopping experience. Keep yourself a happy bride by having these tips in mind before you go marching off to find the perfect wedding gown. And if things do turn sour during your shopping, don’t let the bad shopping experience put a damper on your good mood. Keep your spirits up and look forward to the bigger picture: getting married to the man of your dreams and spending the rest of your life with him.