The Wedding dress. Oh, that dress. It’s a big day in any gal’s life. Reality TV has given us a glimpse of what dress shopping is like, but is it really all drama and weird clips? Luckily, our good friend Asheton has some real life experience in the bridal industry and she is going to give us a glimpse behind the curtain. Here are her 6 tips on how to have a better bridal appointment!
Hello, darlings! I’m so happy to be here to share my experience both as a bride and a bridal consultant with you all. Thanks to Leigh and Becca for allowing me to take over their blog for a bit. Aren’t they just the best?
My personal experience: Let’s start at the beginning, like right after he pops the question beginning. After the shock and champagne wore off, I knew I had to get to planning quick! Not because we had a short engagement, but because the suspense was killing me! When it came to “the dress” I knew that I needed to do a bit of research before I made any appointments. Because I have tried on a few (one to several thousand) gowns I had an idea of what I was looking for. I still made sure to go over some vague likes and dislikes with my fiancé and also made sure the shops that I chose to make appointments with had what I was looking for both in style and price range. Once those details were down, we were cookin’!
At the shop we were greeted with hugs and hellos and walked back to our designated seating area. My consultant Jenny and I went over the specifics of our big day including location, time of day, and guest count. We talked about dress styles and fabrics then she got to work. While she pulled dresses, the moms browsed around the shop and I made sure they steered clear of any and all snow beast like gowns. In all, I tried on around 10 dresses. (This is actually a few too many. I suggest you start with 5-6 and narrow down based on style and shape, but since I used to work with the lovely ladies at Kelly’s Closet, we played a bit of dress up.)
Once we had our picks, into the dressing room I went! (I have to admit, as seasoned as I was around dresses, this was the point that I got a little nervous!) Since I was feeling a bit flushed it was a good thing that I had to strip down to my underthings. I’m a relatively modest person, but I knew that there was no point in being shy. These consultants are pros and they’ve seen more boobs and bums than they can count. (If it really makes you uncomfortable, let them know and they’ll give you enough space while still making sure you don’t have trouble getting into the gowns. Consultants also stand in the dressing room with you to make sure you don’t damage the gowns, not because they want to see your underwear choice for the day.) One thing I did make sure to do was wear nude underwear. I didn’t want my red polka-dot skivvies to shine through and ruin the moment. I would say to bring a strapless bra; I, however, did not. I knew that bras mostly get in the way and the majority of dresses don’t require extra support. (If they do, it’s added during alterations or with the proper undergarments that you will find closer to your wedding date.) After trying on all the dresses that were pulled I revisited my top 3. Once I tried on “The Dress” for the second time we all knew it was the one. Hugs went all around, the moms shed a few tears, and everyone was happy!
My experience was just delightful. I want yours to be as well, so here a few tips of the trade to help make your experience less a “Reality TV” type of ordeal and more a dreamy day of dress up.
6 Tips For A Better Bridal Appointment
(& how to make your bridal consultant not hate you)
1. Do your research. There is nothing worse than trying to help someone who has NO IDEA of what they want. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE, no, BEG YOU to try on a few dresses BY YOURSELF and nail down a style. You(r mother) may want a ball gown but your body is looking good in that biased cut dress, girl! So don’t get stuck on a style that just isn’t cutting it. Once you nail down what works for you (not what looks good on Pinterest) you can begin enjoying the details of the dress and save time when you bring in your crew.
2. Unless you are the bride, dress shopping is a spectator sport.
Tell your team to park it and enjoy the show. If they have suggestions, encourage them to ask your bridal consultant. She can keep things like this from happening- Your MOH is DYING for you to try that gown that caught her eye in the window, “OMG, LIKE, THAT DRESS IS TO DIE FOR AM I RIGHT?!! YAAASSS!” She may be well intentioned, but she may not know that dress is $20,000. But you know who does? Your lovely consultant. So let her handle it and you just keep twirlin’ girl!
*A note about your guests pulling dresses:
Not allowing people to pull dresses is not meant to be mean or bossy or sadistic. The oils and makeup from our hands can really damage fabrics. Now imagine all the hands that come through the shop that want to caress that gorgeous satin…So if you have to touch, do it using the hanger!
3. Be upfront about your budget. we want you to leave happy and still be able to eat for the rest of the month. Everyone is different. Every wedding is different and we all know this. If your budget concerns you, ask around about shops that have lower priced gowns and staff that are willing to work with small budgets. And another thing, you shouldn’t be treated badly if you have a low budget. If you feel like you are, walk out. Have a Pretty Woman moment, because most consultants work on some form of commission. A good consultant will work hard to find a dress that fits everything about you and will enjoy doing it! (Big mistake. Huge!…I know you’re all saying it.)
4. Keep guest lists exclusive. This is a very special time and most shops allow you an hour long appointment so don’t waste it. Mirror gazing, joking around and other general shenanigans eat up your time and could cause your consultant to lose another appointment (potential money). It’s another reason to not bring a large group because dealing with large groups in a bridal shop is like herding cats. I encourage you to keep your guest list exclusive and your focus on the dresses.
5. Follow up etiquette. It’s a thing, trust me. We know you’re new at this. That’s totally fine and completely understandable. But, please, stop calling us. The sooner we get you your dress, the sooner we get paid our commission. So when that beauty is delivered to our door, we call you immediately. Trust us.
6. Don’t over think it. If you’re confused about what you want or are not having fun looking for your dress, take a step back. Go grab a drink or take a walk and think it over. This is one of the few things that is all about you, Bride. Not enjoying it would be such a shame. I always told my brides that there are a million beautiful dresses out there and that can be daunting. But, when you find a dress that makes you feel beautiful, that is in your price range, and that genuinely makes you happy, pull the trigger! Then relax. Don’t look at other dresses online, don’t make more dress appointments. Just enjoy it. All of it.
I hope this helps you ladies have an enjoyable journey to finding your dream gown. Thanks again to Leigh and Becca for allowing my words to grace their lovely blog. Best wishes and happy planning, brides!