As we are coming to the end of what we in the industry like to refer to as engagement season(Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day) we have many newly engaged brides to be out there. After figuring out time of year and researching and picking a venue brides turn to finding the perfect wedding dress. Wedding dress shopping is likely a new experience for most brides, unless you have been married before or have been with friends or family while they were shopping. Even if you did go along on the appointments shopping for yourself is a completely new experience!
One of the things that you may think about is "How many bridal shops should I visit?" And we are going to go over that in our blog post today. But I will say there is not one definitive answer to that question.
How Many Bridal Shops should I visit?
There is not one clear cut answer to this at it varies bride to bride but that doesn't mean stop reading! We will explain more why that varies and helpful hints to make the most of your bridal shopping experience. The reason this question can vary is because it depends on you! Some brides will say "yes" on their first time out, while other may need a minute to process their choice. But here are some helpful hints on how to be successful shopping for your wedding dress!
How Many Appointments should I make in one day?
We suggest not making more than 1-2 appointments on any one day. Wedding dress shopping is more exhausting then you think, far more than regular shopping. It is also an emotional process and anything over 1-2 appointments in a day can become overwhelming.
Also keep in mind that you may find your dress at your first or second shop and you want to be able to have your "yes" moment with your entourage and if you still have to go to other shops because you have appointments you may not be able to celebrate with everyone.
It is also okay to fall in love with a dress and say "yes" to it before you have gone to all your appointments! When you're fiancé asked you to marry them did you say "I think I want to be with you but let me go on a couple more dates before I say yes." You probably didn't say that so why do that when you fall in love with a wedding dress?
Ultimately you will know if you found your dress but we want to give you some helpful hints to make the most of your wedding dress shopping experience.
Helpful hints to make the most of your dress shopping!
Limit your group, we get that family dynamics can come into play and then you want to include a friend or two but having a lot of people comes with having a lot of opinions and while they all mean well they can sometimes drown out your own thoughts. Bring your closest friends and the ones who will love and support you and will encourage you to find a dress that YOU love!
Don't try on too many dresses! If it is your first time shopping you may want to try on a few more just to rule out different silhouettes but most brides try on 7-10 dresses and unless you have hated every single dress your stylist will start to help you truly decipher what you do or don't like about each dress and get you closer to your choice!
Make sure to start shopping at the right time! Dresses can take 6-8 months to come in and your seamstress likes to have 3 months for alterations! A great time to start shopping is 15-12 months out from your wedding. It will give you the most stress free experience. We don't recommend shopping more than 18 months from your wedding because it can make it hard to make a decision with the event so far away! However it truly is never too early to say "Yes" . Anything closer than 9 months can limit your options, cause extra fees or make some dress choices unavailable to you.
Do some research on the price of dresses. Gather some pictures of dresses that you like and do research on what those dresses cost. Being clear about your budget and then finding bridal shops that carry your style of dresses in that price range is very important and will set you up for success. You don't want to find out when you are there that most of their dresses are in a price range above what you are comfortable spending. Bridal shops always try to be respectful of budgets however they have contractual obligations to their prices so can't make something less to fit in your budget.
Our final thoughts are ultimately the number of bridal shops that you visit is up to you. However starting out with 1-2 bridal shops that you have researched and have both your aesthetic of dresses and in your price range will set you up for success. If you don't find your dress at those shops you can always make more appointments but don't rob yourself of your "yes" moment with your friends and family because you have to run around to many more appointments when you have already found your perfect wedding dress!