More often than not, this bridal fantasy scenario is all based on finding that perfect dress. But before heading out to your closest bridal boutique, its time to ground yourself and crunch some numbers.
Most experts recommend putting aside 10% of the wedding budget for attire. Easy now, sister! This includes the groom’s tux, wedding-day jewelry, accessories and other additional beauty expenses like professional makeup and hair, spa treatments or teeth whitening. However, this doesn’t mean your perfect dress is completely out of reach if you’ve fallen for designer styles. Sample sales and slightly used dresses are a good alternative to the pricey, custom versions. If you’re an assertive, bargain-hunting bride many experts suggest trying on favorite dresses in person and then shopping online for a better deal. The internet is also a good place to see styles of new bridal lines, like J. Crew and Ann Taylor that carry gowns starting in the hundreds and are less likely to cause the common symptoms of sticker shock! Alternately, some brides choose to rent a gown.
Once you’ve established your wedding dress budget, refrain from trying on dresses that exceed your allotted amount. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a dress you cannot afford. You either choose to pass on the extravagant purchase, and mourn “the one that got away” or give in to its haute couture seduction and wonder why you have no money left for fresh flowers.
When purchasing a wedding dress, consider the time of year you will be getting married and the location. Often brides rationalize a summer-style gown for a winter wedding because they love the design. Others can't let go of their vision of a full-gown, princess dress, despite their sea-side nuptials. Consider all the stressors that can arise on the big day, and make sure your comfort level is not one of them. You should feel over-joyed, yet also relaxed and at-ease. Being too cold or too hot in a dress that is too loose or too tight is not what you want to remember about this day. Discomfort is not a compromise. The majority of that "perfect" dress is all about the perfect fit. If you feel good, you will look good, too!
Finally, think twice before bringing your entourage with you to try on dresses. Opinions will abound and too many conflicting views might confuse and annoy more than aide in the process. Limiting your shopping group to no more than 3 people is a good way to avoid those painful moments we witness on Say Yes To The Dress! Because shopping for your wedding dress should be an intimate and unforgettable experience, many brides prefer to share this special time with just their mothers or mother-in-laws.
Despite the opinions of others, however, be sure to listen to yourself when it comes to your final decision. Make sure it is “the one”. You did such a good job picking the man, the dress should come easy!