Have you ever watched the show, Say Yes to the Dress??? Probably! because it's super popular and entertaining. Plus, if you are like me, you've watched more than one because that show is addicting!!
The show was definitely one of my favorites growing up. and while I never fantasized about my wedding day too much (you probably don't believe me... but it's true), I thought my experience of buying a white dress for the BIG day would be similar.
This is what I imagined would happen.
I'd walk in with a list of my favorite wedding dress designers that I've loved for years...
try on tons of dresses,
stand on the pedestal in front a mirror,
then turn around and get feedback from friends and family.
Oh annnnnnnnnnd... face the criticisms from that 1 person who always found the ONE issue with each... and every... dress... that I tried.
Okay, so why am I talking about this?
Because I had a dear friend ask me for advice before she starts her dress shopping.
As I reflected on my past experience, there were a few things that came to mind that I felt were poignant to have success with her dress picking that will likely apply to someone you know is in the same situation. Tips to feel great, find the PERFECT dress without wasting time, and also snag it withOUT overpaying.
We can get a lot of ideas from the show Say Yes to that Dress, but how do you ACTUALLY find the dress?
It's one thing to WATCH someone find their perfect wedding dress... it's another to find your own... or even help a friend find theirs.
I found mine in the middle of nowhere... in a small town in Arizona. I was SHOCKED because the shop was run by a spunky, London fashionista who had married a cowboy... and happened to move to small town Arizona...
Are you kidding me? ------> that was my reaction.
In the middle of my appointment with the shop owner, she got in her pickup truck, left me and my mom to manage the shop, and went home to grab the dress she KNEW was perfect.... ummmmmm okay.... show's that you just never know how things turn out!!!
So let's set the record straight on how I found my dress and how anyone can REALLY find their dream wedding dress.
Here are my 7 tips to tell your friend or relative before she finds a dress.
Tip #1 - Describe your wardrobe... not the dress
When the sales stylist asked "what you're looking for"... I didn't really know because I don't wear a ton of wedding dresses… obviously. But what I found it SUPER helpful for me to was to describe my typical wardrobe to them, how I like to dress on the day-to-day. From there, they can pull a dress of a similar aesthetic. I'd even mention your fave brands and EXactly how you dress in day clothes.
Tip #2 - Express how you want to FEEL, not look
It was easy "to really like" a lot of dresses, but I think it's just important to remember that it's your wedding. And you can take that in regards to modesty, but also how you want to feeeeeeeeeel.
For instance, I tried on a tulle, princess dress. And while it was fun and I felt pretty... I remembered that I still get carded and have a youthful disposition. So I didn’t need to embellish that marrying a stud a few years older than I.
Or there was another one that made me feel TOTALLY myself and I went nuts over it... Absolutely, CRAZY about. Almost walked out of the store with it on. You put me in feathers and I’m on cloud 9. But then after consideration, it was something I'd wear to a gala (not that I go to any of those either, LOL) and not my one and only wedding.
And then I tried one that was a super cute style... but SOOOOO heavy it weighed me down. I couldn't imagine moving from table to table in something I'd lift at the gym.
Tip #3 - Be clear about wanting to be modest
Be SUPER clear & stubborn about modesty in the beginning to your wedding stylist. 95% of the time they'll keep pushing stuff that isn't- mainly because it's hard to find stuff with proper neckline/backline and well, they need to make sales and might not don’t understand modesty from your Catholic angle.
Tip #4 - Have you heard of a bolero? You should!
Boleros are life savers! You don't have to wear them over the dress. If you like the shape of a strapless dress (which is what’s flooded in wedding boutiques) just wear the bolero under the dress and boom you have sleeves and didn't pay a bajillion dollars. It sounds crazy, but Etsy and Amazon are great for that.
Tip #5 - Buy for your wedding day body
Buy the dress at the weight you'll be. Sometimes fluctuating a few pounds can make the difference of changing your body silhouette. Thus, your dress could be made for an hourglass, and it looks great in the salon… 3 months later, you lost weight in your upper half and now you are pear shape. (many women go from hourglass to pear- this could be you!)
Tip #6 - the back is AS IMPORTANT as the front
When you're trying on a dress, make sure you inspect the back of the dress, JUST as much as the front. Remember that this will appear in most of the photos taken during the mass. Also remember at the reception, all eyes are on you and the groom, so people are getting you from every angle.
Tip #7 - Let Mother Mary help you find the PERFECT dress
You don’t have to be super stuck on finding a dress at a fancy boutique. The setting doesn't have to be a nice salon sipping champagne. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and be open to looking in places you would likely overlook. In my case, I said a prayer to Mother Mary that she would find me the perfect dress... and she did! I would have NEVER imagined to find my dress how I did... the experience was providence.
Plus, it's more fun when you're up for unique adventures along the way and make it your own.
And those are my beginner tips!
Here are a few photos of my dress... I only tried on 5 dresses to find the one!
Hope this helps out! I have a lot more tidbits (and maybe even share my almost disaster with you... it's bad), so feel free to email me with any styling help & suggestions.