Hey everyone! It's been QUITE some time since you've heard from me. I've missed my little blog here, just haven't been able to find the time to get to it. In two weeks I'll have been working as a Bridal Consultant for a year now...and let me just say, I'm loving it. =) In the spirit of my one year "anniversary" falling during a Mori Lee Trunk Show at * our store *, I thought I'd share ten things that the ladies at work and I all agree on about the hunt for your wedding gown.
Mori Lee style 1956 Fall 2013
1) Know your budget – Stick to it!When it comes to actually going to the dresses to begin your search, this will be the FIRST question we will ask you. We do not care how big or small your budget is…and if you’ve found yourself at a bridal shop that it matters to them, perhaps you should try going to a different one. The sole point of a bridal consultant’s job is to assist you in finding you a dress you love. So don’t try to fake a huge budget where “price is no object” when in reality you can only allot $200 or are even only comfortable spending that amount. Do a little overall budget planning. First decide what you want to spend on a dress and then stick to it. But don’t forget any accessories you’ll want to wear such as a veil or tiara, bracelet, anything. You may want to include these in a whole bridal ensemble budget or make one completely separate for accessories. A surprise expense is the price of a veil. If you’re opting for a beaded or embroidered trim veil, you have to consider that it’s been hand done and that will apply to the cost.
2) Keep your entourage smallPlease! Please! Please! Par down the amount of people joining you in selecting your dress. It can quickly become over whelming to the bride and even the consultant. Try keeping it more intimate such as your mother/step mother, grandma, sister or best friend. We aren’t hating on your tons of friends or large family; promise. The issue comes in when a) there isn’t anywhere for people to sit and it can actually interfere with other brides and their consultant’s ability to get around and do their job. B) Everyone wants to browse through and pull dresses. Budget is ignored, wrong sizes are pulled, the bride gets overwhelmed with 20 dresses…and yes. It becomes very frustrating for the consultant to lose any and all control of an appointment. You can break a serious sweat getting girls in and out of dresses, especially when the number of dresses people “just want to see” keeps increasing. Wait for a go ahead from the consultant before grabbing dresses. Two or three people is very ideal; keep it all simple.
Other people to leave at home…people who are overly opinionated or are going to ignore the bride’s opinion and what they are wanting. Wait until you have your own wedding, don’t try to hijack someone else’s. Already had one? Try a vow renewal. Let your friend or loved one have their own day.
3) It’s not TV; you will have your own experience and reaction.This one is pretty self-explanatory, but with shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” it has become quite necessary to talk about. Nearly every newly engaged girl automatically runs to this show. Fun and entertaining to watch? Yes, of course. It helps bring on bridal fever. Realistic for the vast majority of brides? No. let’s be serious and first discuss their budgets. I’ll pause to let you envy the girls on that show with a $5000+ budget……ok. Now let’s move on to the typical tears and big ta-do from saying “Yes to the Dress”. I’ve only seen this reaction 2 or 3 times, and that’s from also watching my co-workers’ brides not just my own. Consider that some of these TV brides may be playing it up a smidge for the cameras. Don’t get all down if you aren’t bawling over a dress, you’ll know in your own way. One of the queues I look/listen for is the coveted “L” word said about a dress. A second is wanting to stay in the dress as long as possible, wanting to drive home…not just with it…but in it. Trust me; you’ll know when to say yes.
4) Once you’ve picked a dress, stop looking.
I mean it! Plain and simple don’t look anymore. You picked that dress for a reason…just like you picked your fiancé’ for a reason. You wouldn’t keep looking for a fiancée if you already had one…I hope not. The only only only reason to look once you have a dress is if you truly don’t love your dress. I’ve seen this happen for a couple reasons: online ordering. You don’t really know what you’re getting when you’re ordering from the “cheap sites”. Sizing may not always be accurate, craftsmanship can be shotty…your dress may never show up! This last one I’ve had girls come in with zero time because their dress never showed up. Another reason is plus sized women don’t always get many options at some stores, so they end up getting a dress they practically hate because it “fit” and they felt like it was their only choice. Girls, there are so many more options available now. Do some researching and calling around. Sometimes a long drive is all it’ll take to find you the dress of your dreams, regardless of your size. The last reason a bride would be looking if she already has a dress is if she chose a dress that someone else liked and felt that’s what she had to choose. (See #2 and #5)
5) Remember, your opinion is most important. (You are the only one who truly knows your vision for the dress/event.)
It doesn’t matter how many Pinterest pictures you show your entourage, it’s still only all really coming together in your mind. You and only you will know how you actually feel in a dress – emotionally and physically. We all know the emotional tie and attachment to “the” wedding dress. But is a dress heavy? Itchy? Make you feel heavy? Make you feel beautiful? Make you feel happy? Only you can know and feel these things. (yes, there are momma’s that can look on their daughter’s face and be able to read it without a word said but it’s still not the same.) Certainly be respectful of others’ opinions and feelings-it’s a big deal for those who have waited your whole life for this day too – but stay true to yourself.
6) Time frame – come in early!
Yes, we understand the runaway and get married brides, the elopements, quickly thrown together military weddings planned around a service members’ rare time off. We really do! (Especially with our store being near Ft. Knox.) BUT!! If you are able to take your time, do. You’ll be able to get more exact with what you want. If a store doesn’t have a certain size or style dress (by a designer they carry) you will have to order. I only know our stores’ time frames but if a designer doesn’t have that dress already made in stock, on average it can take up to 6 months to come in. you like beading? Hand beading takes quite some time. Opting for a couture gown? Yup...be prepared to wait. Want that ever-so specific bridesmaids dress in that oh-so perfect color? 12-14 weeks (by our stores’ times). It’s the bridesmaids that usually become a setback in matters of coming in near the wedding date. If you need a rush on a dress’ order, expect about an additional $30. The earlier you’re able to make your selections and orders, the less stress you’ll have. Don’t forget to figure in time for alterations that may be needed. (Consider that with budget too!) Leave about a month for bridesmaids and 2 months for bridal gown alterations.
7) It’s ok to look around...at dresses.
Your best bet is to wait until you are ready to purchase before trying the dresses on.You could very well find your dream dress the day you’re “just looking”. Then you’ll have some disappointment at having to leave the dress at the store where the next bride could walk out the door with it. In cases of clearance and discontinued styles, they are typically the only ones left so it’s gone, it’s gone. When it comes to someone buying your dress and you simply don’t have time to order, then (unless you are incredibly laid back) you’re left with dissatisfaction of having to pick a dress you aren’t really in love with. (Granted, a lot of girls have the “well then it just wasn’t meant to be outlook.) Our store offers the option of layaway (yay, layaway!) and that’s typically 25% down. Soooo…if you’ve established a budget, and really stick to it, then you’ll know pretty much exactly how much to bring with you. Speaking of things to bring with you, you don’t have to bring anything in particular when you are coming to look for your dress. If you have something like certain shoes or a borrowed veil for example, definitely bring them along!
8) It’s not about keeping up with the Jones’. Stay true to yourself.
It simply isn’t necessary to get yourself all overwhelmed and go bankrupt to put on an opulent display…especially if in reality you are a quiet, chill, very simple person. We looove big princess weddings, we love eeevvvverrryything on our Pinterest boards…let them inspire you but put your own twist on things to keep it close to your heart. You want your love reflected, your “couple-style” to be very distinct. Don’t forget about the groom either. Many will say, “Anything you want” but don’t put him on the side line. If he’s down for a huge event, go for it, girl! Just keep in mind a lot of guys are quite content to run to the court house.
9) Be open.
You never know how a dress will look until it is on your body. Nothing wrong with trying on a couple different silhouettes even if you have one in mind already. It’s a quick, easy way to eliminate those styles for sure. OR it could open up a new style to you. For instance, a lot of girls with hips don’t think they can wear a dress fitted through the hip. Untrue my friends =) you’ve just got to be open to trying. This is also where it’s important to trust your consultant. We learn out inventory awfully quickly and while you’re introducing yourself, we’re already making guesses of what would look good on you. We’re getting a sense of your vibe and personality. As you describe what you’re looking for, the cogs keep turning. At our store we’ll have each other chime in and give suggestions as well. Sometimes one of the other ladies can remember that one gown you just can’t put your finger on. The worst thing that can happen when trying on a dress is that you simply don’t like it. Then we get your out of it and move on to the next. Oh, and by the way, sometimes the first dress is “the” dress. You can still try on a few others to be sure, but it really does happen! (A lot)
10) Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Heard that before? It applies to your wedding too. You love a dress but it doesn’t have a sweetheart neckline; no bigs, that’s a simple alteration. The bridesmaids dress doesn’t come in the precise color you had in mind but a slight twinge darker; does that mean your life and marriage is ruined? Of course not. As with anything else in life it’s important to try to be flexible when things don’t always pan out 100% as you planned. It’s easy to get swept up, but your wedding is about being united together as husband and wife. Don’t let anything upstage or get bigger than that union. It’s all about the love =)