Many brides feel overwhelmed almost from the moment they say “yes” to that beautiful engagement ring (and, let's be honest, sometimes long before that!). Reality television has not really helped quell that anxiety – consider those bridal shows screaming at us to say “YES!” to dresses – yikes! “Why,” the stressed-out bride asks, “does finding a wedding dress have to be so complicated?” It does not, darling, it really does not. Ladies, for your consideration (or re-consideration): the bridal boutique.
Object 1: “But will not I have to spend tons of money if I go to a specialty wedding store?”
Answer: Not necessarily. The key to successfully navigating the “shopping for the dress” endeavor is to be realistic about your budget. If you can not afford a dress over $ 2000, do not try a more expensive dress on. Period. Most of the wonderful people who work in the industry do not want to force you into a dress you can not afford. Instead, they try their best to work with what you have. However, that means you need to meet them halfway and be absolutely clear about your budget. For example, if your budget is $ 2000 tops, make that clear up front. And, more importantly, be realistic with YOURSELF about your budget. Think about this: is that money allotted just for the dress? Or is it actually for everything related to your wedding day apparel? If so, that $ 2000 is no longer just for the dress, right? Will you need alterations? Foundation garments? Shoes? Jewelry? A veil? Make sure to have a clear understanding of your honest-to-God budget before you walk into a bridal boutique. When you take that initiative up front, your overall experience will be much more positive.
Objection 2: “But I should be able to find a dress on my own, right?”
Answer: We all want to have the woman who usually buys a dress on a whim in a vintage online auction and finds that it's the perfect item (needing no alterations!) For the big day. However, the reality is far more complicated. As much as we may want that 50s A-line look, or that poofy, over-the-top Princess Diana getup, the reality is that our bodies are what they are. Meaning: as much as you may want to be the “Jazz-Age bride” of your dreams, your body might be more suited to the high-waisted, fitted side of bridal finery. So how do you find out what dresses suit your body best? By booking an appointment with a bridal boutique! As much as we all wished the online auction dream were true, the best way to be a sane, in-control bride is to make a bridal appointment and then to come into your session excited but open-minded. Many brides find that once they try on the mermaid dress they thought they wanted, they actually end up going for something their trained professional suggests. It makes sense, right? We may have an idea of the “perfect” dress in our heads, but the perfect dress for our bodies might be something else entirely.
In addition to making the “finding the dress for your big day” outing much more manageable, the bridal boutique you chose may offer other services like wedding planning, alterations, bridesmaids' dresses, and so on. Do not be afraid to look into these options – especially wedding planning! Many boutiques offer as little or as much as you need, which means either a full-blown wedding package or simply a knowledgeable person with what to bounce off ideas. And honestly, who better to share your (wedding) hopes and dreams with than an industry professional?