What To Know / / When Shopping For Your Dream Wedding Dress

Happy Blog Day, Brides! Meghan here to give you some more tips & tricks for your wedding planning process and this week’s topic is what to know when shopping for your dream wedding dress. Wedding dress shopping (like much of the wedding planning process) may feel foreign to you. You may be wondering, how does it all work? Not only am I here to help give you some helpful tips and tricks from my perspective as a past bride myself, but also from the perspective as a bridal stylist! Some of you may know that in addition to working my own wedding planning business that I also work part time as a bridal stylist at a&bé bridal shop. I purchased my dress at a&bé and fell in love with my experience there. Long story short, I saw they were hiring, applied, and am so happy to be a part of the a&bé family! Perks of the job include playing dress up in our beautiful gowns and of course, providing brides a fun, laid back, and friendly experience to help them find their dream dress! Here are my top 5 what to know tips so that you are fully prepared for your wedding dress shopping experience.

Photo / /  Coral Mia Photography   Dress / /  Willowby  “Galatea”,  a&bé bridal shop,   a&bé mpls   Styling / /  buck & rose

Photo / / Coral Mia Photography

Dress / / Willowby “Galatea”, a&bé bridal shop, a&bé mpls

Styling / / buck & rose

What To Know / / One / / An Ideal Wedding Dress Timeline Takes About 9 Months.

Yes, girl. All wedding gowns are made to order, they are not mass produced! Think about it, this isn’t just a cute top that you’re picking up off the rack to purchase and wear for a date night out. This is your wedding dress! At a&bé, we work with a lot of smaller, independent designers who are hand-making these beauties as orders are coming in. Most gowns will take 4-6 months to be made plus you’ll want to account 2-3 months for your alterations, too, and yes, all gowns require alterations. Don’t have 9 months because your wedding date is rapidly approaching? Totally ok, but be prepared to pay some rush fees to ensure your gown will arrive on time.

What To Know / / Two / / Set A Realistic Budget.

Not sure how much you want to spend on your wedding dress? Do your research and be sure to ask for the price range of dresses your ideal shop carries. In addition to the range, ask them what their average dress cost is. Know that wedding gowns are made with superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, and with beautiful fabrics that aren’t used in everyday scenarios. Not feeling the cost of wedding dresses? Check out bridal consignment shops in your local area for a steal on some gently worn gowns.

What To Know / / Three / / Do Your Inspo Homework.

As a bridal stylist, one of the most common comments that I hear from brides are “I have no idea what I want my wedding dress to look like.” Of course it’s usually your first time trying on a wedding dress, but try to nail down some key wants in a dress prior to your appointment. We always recommend for our brides to take a look at our Instagram feed as well as our website for some designer and style inspo prior to their appointment so that we can get a good feel for their bridal style. It’s also helpful to know what you don’t want- not a ball gown type of bride? Tell your stylist so that we don’t put you in one! We have limited time during your appointment which means we’ll want to explore as many styles as we need to help you find the “one.” I’m always one to throw in a curve ball just to see what you think if we have time.

Photo / /  Carly Mac Photography   Dress / /  Truvelle  “Julie”,  a&bé bridal shop ,  a&bé mpls   This is me on my wedding day! I loved my gown so much and still do looking back at all of our photos.

Photo / / Carly Mac Photography

Dress / / Truvelle “Julie”, a&bé bridal shop, a&bé mpls

This is me on my wedding day! I loved my gown so much and still do looking back at all of our photos.

What To Know / / Four / / Bring Your Key Decision Makers Only.

When you try on a wedding gown, be prepared to feel a roller coaster of emotions. You may laugh, you may cry, and overall, you’re going to have a feeling. You know yourself the best and while it may seem productive to bring all of your bridesmaids, your mom, future MIL, sisters, co-workers, friends, etc. I highly suggest you only bring your key decision makers. For me, it was my mom and my sister and that was it. I didn’t even show photos of my dress to anyone except a few of my bridesmaids because I didn’t want or need the commentary from everyone. Of course, you can hope that everyone will support you and ideally they should. I’ve seen brides become flustered, overwhelmed, and unable to make a decision because they feel uncomfortable with the group being involved in the decision process. My tip is to keep your group extremely small and only reserved for your true support system who will help you and support you in your decision. No need for the peanut gallery, this is not an episode of Say Yes to the Dress!

What To Know / / Five / / Listen To Your Gut!

Wedding dress shopping does not need to take more than one appointment! I always tell brides that they do not have to commit to the bridal appointment process more than they feel necessary because it’s a ton of work. A lot of brides want to see the different selections out there but realistically, you can find a good variety in one shop if you go to the right one. Try an a-line gown, try a fitted gown, try one with lace, try one without. Once you have tried on a good variety, you should be able to make a decision. I tried on a total of 5 dresses and I found my dream dress in one appointment at one shop. I wasn’t afraid of what else was out there because ultimately, I loved my dress and knew that it was for me. Listen to your gut because when you know, there’s no better feeling than popping that champagne to celebrate and when you can check one more thing off of your wedding planning checklist.

For more information on a&bé bridal shop or to book an appointment with one of our stylists (including me!) visit a&bé mpls by clicking here.