The big day is coming – do you know what you’re wearing? Choosing a dress is the major decision
for most brides. The venue is important, but all eyes are always on the bride when she walks down
the aisle. Traditional white or ecru dresses fill dress shops and catalogs. You don’t need to stick with tradition – the sky is the limit for creating the perfect dress and wedding.
Okay, you’ve decided it is time to begin planning the wedding right after he popped the question. Lists of guests, choosing a place for the reception, but what about the dress? Waiting until the last minute,
which for weddings can be a month or so before the event, is a bad idea. Buying too early is considered another bad idea by some, but buying six to eight months before the wedding gives you time to save money for any alterations needed later or pay for other wedding essentials.
If you’re having a dress custom made by you or someone else it’s advisable to get planning even earlier. Dress design and sewing can have any number of issues crop up. By getting started even up to a year in advance, you’ve got it covered.
When shopping for a ready made dress, check out stores before the end of the year. During Halloween-
Thanksgiving is a great time to find older stock at discounts. Even if that stock is a few months old.
Stores want to push out the dresses on hand to make room for the incoming styles.
Another factor is the number of engagements over Christmas and Valentine’s Day. This is when retailers will bump prices of new dresses. Avoid shopping during this time if at all possible. Don’t forget to check the hidden racks, scour all sizes, and don’t be afraid to have something altered. It can be cost effective to buy a larger dress in the style you want and have it taken in as long as you use an of-site seamstress (or do it yourself).
Be firm about your budget. Don’t let anyone talk you into spending more than you can afford.
Okay, get ready to repeat to yourself : “I’m not Hogzilla.” Seriously, the sizes on wedding dresses run smaller than your regular clothing styles. Plan on looking at dresses that are at least two sizes larger.
Clothing sizes have evolved over the decades while formal clothing sizes have stayed mostly the same.
Don’t forget to factor in bust size. Your chest can make a big difference in the overall size of your dress. Buying larger and taking in the waist is the best way to ensure the proper chest fit. You’ll find store staff trying to sell you a bra that’s more like a torture device – skip this by purchasing a good fitting bra before. Wear it and anything else you plan wearing under your wedding dress when you go shopping.
Last, but perhaps most important, take people with you that you trust. Your mother, mother in law, sister, sister in law (to be) – all are good choices. Your best friend(s) can help you as well.