10 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping
by Tali Gallo, owner of The Bridal Finery
Photos by Amalie Orrange Photography
- Start Pinning! Pinterest is a great resource to gather ideas. I recommend creating a “Wedding Day” board and a “Wedding Dress” board. Start pinning without being too selective. Once you pin for a few days, go back and edit. Remove the dresses you are not as passionate about. This will be useful later when you meet with your bridal stylist. Photos make it so much easier to describe your style. Keep an open mind though and don’t get stuck on a designer name. Certain designers pay for advertisement on Pinterest and that is why their names are prevalent.
- Gather your squad. By squad I mean 2-3 close friends or family members. It can be overwhelming shopping with more than three people, especially if they are very opinionated. In some capacity, we are all influenced by what others say. Talk to your squad beforehand and show them your Pinterest board so they are on the same page.
- Research bridal boutiques. Put the work in before trying on wedding dresses. Research the boutiques in your area. Many brides don’t research and book several appointments to later realize the boutiques each offer something different and have their own niche. Simplify the process. Read the reviews to see what real brides are saying about their experience. Go with the boutique that best fits your needs.
- Book your bridal appointment on the weekday. When you are ready to book, call the boutique you are most interested in visiting. Share all the details you have decided on so far. This will allow them to better help you. Book on a weekday to avoid heavy traffic. If you don’t want to try on dresses in front of other brides, see if private appointments are available.
- Bring shoes and undergarments. Some bridal boutiques offer shoes and undergarments while others do not. Be prepared and bring a similar heel height to what you are considering for your wedding day. If you are already eyeing a pair of shoes, go ahead and purchase them so you can break them in during your bridal appointment. Wear a bra that represents how much padding you would like to wear on your wedding day.
- Communicate your price range to your stylist. Being honest and open with your bridal stylist will help the appointment run smoothly. Wedding dresses are beautiful at all price points; however, there is a recognizable quality and fit you will feel in a designer wedding dress. Your stylist will show you options in a range you feel comfortable with.
- Start with a few dresses. Try on three wedding dresses to start. You never know, the very first dress could be the one! You learn more as you go. If you don’t find your wedding dress immediately, the feedback on the first three dresses helps when pulling more options.
- Hold off on accessories until you find the dress. Shopping for your veil and bridal jewelry while searching for your wedding dress can be overwhelming. Once you find your wedding dress, then try on veil and jewelry options with your dress. Finding a veil and jewelry for every dress you try on will leave you feeling exhausted and unaccomplished.
- Ask the boutique about the alterations process. Every boutique operates differently. Alterations are an important part of the wedding dress process. Make sure to work with a boutique who has strong relationships with seamstresses. Some boutiques offer in-house alterations. This is ideal. Working with a trustworthy boutique and seamstress is equally as important as finding a beautiful wedding dress. They can make or break the experience.
- Stop and celebrate when you find the one! Once you find the perfect wedding dress in a boutique you enjoy working with, stop and celebrate! There are thousands of wedding dresses and hundreds of boutiques. You could shop forever. You have to know when to enjoy the moment of finding your wedding dress and stop looking. If it helps, delete your “Wedding Dress” Pinterest board after you find the one. Have fun!
Tali, along with her business partner Roberta, recently opened her own bridal boutique, The Bridal Finery, which offers pre-owned and sample sale gowns from some of the industry’s finest designers as well as made-to-order wedding dresses. The boutique is located at 976 North Orange Ave. Suite C in Winter Park. Learn more at thebridalfinery.com.