TME Tips: Five Things to Know About Gown Shopping

Searching for your wedding gown can be a ton of fun, or a ton of stress.   Should you only look at your One*True*LOVE gown?  What about the latest trend, will it work with your body type?  How much to budget?  Read below to find a few tips that can help you stay grounded during the process! 1) The gown you love may not look good on you.  And the gown you're "eh" about might just hit the jackpot! I know, you're thinking "But I already tore out every picture of it and I just HAVE to have it!!" Ok, calm down.  I definitely think you SHOULD try it on, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work.  You are allowed to be disappointed and sad, but remember, just because that one isn't *The One* doesn't mean you won't find the gown that is.  On the other hand, your consultant will likely bring you gowns that may not tickle your fancy at first- but once they're on, they may just bring tears to your eyes!  Take some chances- because you never know!

2) Expect alterations. Unless you're having your gown custom made, you're going to need a few fittings.  While doing your dress shopping, you'll be trying on the sample size- that size is usually around a size 8.  Your actual gown will be ordered based off your measurements, but it won't be custom. It will likely need to have some parts taken in, some let out.  A hem is almost always required.  When you do have your fittings, bring your day-of undies, and your shoes. You'd be surprised how much difference a bra can make in the fit of your big day dress!

3) Wear nice undies and bring a strapless bra. There is a chance that everyone you bring with you is going to see you in some state of undress, so make sure your skivvies are up to snuff!  No holes or loose elastic!  Not to mention the fact that pretty undies make anyone feel more confident, and this is one time that you'll definitely want your confidence to shine!

4) Know what you want to spend. A lot of different factors affect the cost of a gown.  You'll pay a premium for natural fabrics- the same style gown in a synthetic could be hundreds of dollars less expensive.  The designer can hike the cost as well- but take heart- many designers are now releasing lower cost versions of their gorgeous gowns- take the Vera Wang White Collection for David's Bridal!  Other things that can affect cost: where you shop and when.  Gowns can take up to 16 weeks for delivery after order! So to avoid rush fees and unccessary stress, make this your mantra- shop early! You can expect to spend about 8-10% of your total wedding budget on your attire.  Of course you can spend less if you'd like, or more, but that range is a good general guideline.

5) This is an important experience! Finding your wedding gown is a quintessential experience of the entire planning process.  When you think of brides it's often in front of a bridal salon mirror, twirling in the gown that makes them feel incredible!  To get the most out of this experience, book an appointment at the salon of your choice- you'll get better service that way, and likely a dedicated consultant to guide you step by step.  Bring people you love and trust - your mom is a good choice, as are your best friends/bridesmaids.  Don't bring anyone you know would be jealous or too judgmental- you stand on a pedestal being stared at for most of the time; extra negativity is a no no.

There is a gown out there for everyone- whether you're looking for couture or ready to wear, whether your style is silk satin and alencon lace or white cotton eyelet  Most of it is about how you approach it. Stay positive, trust the process and live the joy- you're getting married!

Good luck, Happy Planning and Keep Celebrating!