Whether you’ve been planning your wedding since you were a little kid or have no idea what an “A-line gown” even is, planning your dream wedding is an essential part of getting engaged! Although wedding planning can be stressful, wedding dress shopping doesn’t have to be! Whatever your experience in bridalwear is, Maggie Sottero has 10 wedding dress shopping tips to consider when looking for your perfect gown.
How To Prepare for Wedding Dress Shopping: What Dress Do You Feel Best In?
At the end of the day, the most important part of finding your dream dress is choosing a gown that feels the most like you and makes you feel best. However, it doesn’t hurt to do some extra research to prepare yourself for a long day of shopping. Learning more about wedding dress silhouettes will never be a waste of time before heading to your bridal shop.
If your head is going in circles looking at wedding gowns, take a breath. One of our many wedding dress shopping tips to consider is learning more about the different kinds of silhouettes. While there are various fits out there, the most popularly seen silhouettes in bridal boutiques are A-line, ballgown, fit and flare, mermaid, and sheath. All these gowns will fit and compliment the bride’s figure differently. Learning beforehand what will make you feel the best will save you a headache in the long run!
To get started on this process, take our Style Quiz to learn what kind of dress is the one for you. Don’t worry too much though – your expert stylist is there for you to make sure you look beautiful and feel confident.
Anticipating Delivery Times
Photo Courtesy Of Lola Grace Bridal | PC: Aaron Collett Photography
We know what question has been keeping you up at night: Can this gown be delivered in time for my wedding? Good news, it absolutely can! Especially if you follow these wedding dress shopping tips.
Most brides shop for gowns about 6-9 months before their wear dates. We recommend starting about a year ahead to accommodate delivery and alterations. Whatever your timeline, ask about specific styles with quicker or longer delivery windows to narrow your options!
For brides with a quick engagement, you’re in luck. Many of our Maggie Sottero gowns are “Quick Ship” wedding gowns. Our Quick Ship wedding gowns arrive faster than our normal delivery window, so you can breathe easy and focus on your best day ever. To find a Quick Ship gown, make sure to schedule an appointment with one of our Authorized Retailers!
Wedding Dress Shopping Advice: Everything You Need To Know About Alterations, Fees, and Availability
PC: Hey Sisters! Photography
Now that you’ve found your dream dress, it’s time to focus on alterations, fees, and availability wedding dress shopping tips. For alterations, ask the retailer if they offer in-house alterations or if they recommend a professional seamstress. Plan on an average of two fitting sessions, but anticipate changes based on your body type, dress style, and customization requests.
Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the cost of alterations and other fees to your overall dress budget! These additional costs can be anything from customizations, rush charges, or storage fees so put a little bit of extra money aside.
Additionally, sometimes wedding dresses go off the market without warning, so many boutiques offer an incentive to purchase a gown on your first visit. Make sure “the one” doesn’t slip away!
Wedding Dress Shopping Tips: Comfort Versus Fit
Whether you are the bride who plans on hiking to their ceremony, or the one who is more focused on showing off those sexy curves, there is a wedding dress out there for you. When picturing yourself on your big day, consider what your ideal comfort and fit are.
Wedding dresses are made with expensive and delicate materials, which can limit your range of motion. Can you raise your arms in a dress? Does the skirt feel heavy? Will the fabric breathe well for your season and venue? These factors help you lock down beauty AND function for your big day.
Thinking about the silhouette when asking yourself these questions is also important. For example, Hattie by Rebecca Ingram will be more curve-enhancing, but will most likely inhibit your ability to drop it low on the big day. Keating by Rebecca Ingram on the other hand, with its flowing skirt and soft lace, will allow a lot more freedom in movement on the dance floor.
Fabric is also one of the important wedding dress shopping tips to think about. Dresses with stretch like Monaco by Maggie Sottero are a popular choice for brides who are looking for a comfortable gown to wear for hours at a time. With its stretchy and luxurious crepe fabric, you will stay cool and unhindered all evening long. On the other hand, Frederique by Maggie Sottero, while certainly not uncomfortable, is more about style than comfort with its off-the-shoulder straps. Well, it’ll keep you from doing the YMCA as easily at least!
What Size Should You Order?
If there’s one wedding dress shopping tip we want you to know, it’s this: wedding dress sizes are different than street sizes. Your stylist will most likely be your best resource for deciding what size to order when shopping! One thing you’ll want to anticipate, however, is weight fluctuations before the big day.
To find your best wedding dress size, visit one of our Authorized Retailers to be measured!
How To Prepare For Wedding Dress Shopping: What Undergarments Should You Bring To Your Appointment?
The style of dresses that you like will ultimately determine the type of undergarments you should wear for the big day. Generally, the rule is to wear undergarments that match your skin tone, however, features like a plunging V-neckline or illusion lace back may require certain types of undergarments. Most bridal shops have an in-house selection of shapewear and undergarments to complement your gown, ensuring a dreamy and ultra-flattering fit!
Wedding Dress Shopping Advice: Always Book An Appointment
We have hundreds of Authorized Retailers in the United States alone so there are many opportunities to make an appointment to find your dream dress! In order to find your dream dress with ease, make sure to book an appointment at one of our Authorized Retailers.
This will prevent you from missing out on any designs you have your heart (and Pinterest board) set on and from not having enough time to order your dress.
Who To Bring With You To Your Appointment
PC: More Beatty Photography
Trying on your wedding dress can be an exciting, and stressful, time in your life. That’s why you should share this special experience with the supportive and loving people in your life! Having a lot of voices in the appointment can make the experience overwhelming and can quickly break the experience. A good rule of thumb for most appointments is to include your bridal party, and any important family members and in-laws who will add to your special day.
Wedding Dress Shopping Tips: Pick A Gown That Feels Like You And Your Style
Picking your wedding dress style is one of the most important wedding dress shopping tips to think about! While fabric, fit, size, and cost might be the details on the top of your mind, choosing a gown that fits your style and personality is the one that we care about the most.
Maybe you’re looking to have a Meghan Markle moment and pick a modest wedding gown like Aston by Sottero and Midgley. Or, you might be more attracted to a boho kind of gown, like Hattie Lynette by Rebecca Ingram. Whether you’re looking to feel sexy (we’re personally a fan of Baxley by Maggie Sottero for this look), have an open back (Zander by Sottero and Midgley) or sparkly (hello, Verina by Sottero and Midgely), make sure to find that dress that feels most like you!
Remember to Find A Dress That Feels Most Like You Because That’s Who Your Fiancé Fell In Love With
PC: Hayley Jessat Photography
Silhouette, cost, fabric, and nagging family members aside, overall, the biggest wedding dress shopping tip we can give you is to pick a gown that feels most like you, because that’s what your fiancé fell in love with!
Happy shopping! Find an Authorized Retailer near you to get started.