This post marks something of a departure for us. We usually concentrate on the positive, on how to do things or how to achieve your dream wedding. Today we’re turning that on its head and concentrating on how to avoid something. In this case, how to avoid wedding dress disasters.
We have all heard horror stories of brides getting themselves into financial trouble by spending more than they can afford on a dress, or buying a completely unsuitable dress for their shape or size.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, which is why we’re going to discuss the best way to avoid disaster.
1.Stick to your budget
We tend to talk about budgets and the importance of sticking to them a lot on our blog. While we don’t like repeating ourselves, this is such a pivotal point that we can’t help it. Setting a realistic budget for the wedding as a whole and for the dress in particular is so important that we just have to mention it here once more.
As exciting as it is trying on wedding dresses you can’t afford, it’s only exciting when you don’t have to buy one. If you are actually wedding dress shopping, trying on dresses you can’t afford is a good way to disappoint yourself.
Worse, you could continually torture yourself and cause problems choosing a dress. You will always comparing dresses you can afford with the one you loved that you simply cannot. That’s not a good way to get a dress you’ll love.
Bridal magazines and TV shows are great for providing inspiration and giving us ideas, but when it comes to actual decision making they aren’t so good. Both forms of media are designed to sell a lifestyle and not one many of us can realistically afford.
Watch, absorb and take inspiration, but don’t take wedding magazines and TV shows literally. They are aspirational. They create a lifestyle for us to aspire to, not one we can achieve easily.
3.Be honest with yourself
While on the subject of media, it’s important to realise each image is carefully chosen to show off each dress at its best. They are also Photoshopped and edited so they look as close to perfect as possible. They rarely reflect real life and real body shapes.
While they may imply anyone, with any shape can wear a Vera Wang, it’s unfortunately just not true.
Being honest about your own size and shape is something you need to do early on. It will not only help in decision making, it will save time, money and tears. Disappointment is something we should all avoid wherever possible. That’s especially true of that disappointment stems from comparing ourselves to an ideal that doesn’t exist in real life.
Once you’re comfortable with yourself, you will also be more open to advice and influence. When you’re wedding dress shopping, input from others is vital. From friends, family and the shop owners themselves. Each has a valuable part to play in your dress shopping and you need to be in a place where you’re receptive to what they have to say.
Ideally you should begin wedding dress shopping the minute you have set a date, budget and venue. That should be between six to nine months in advance of your big day. If you’re having a dress made for you, it’s important to start as early as possible to give the dressmaker as long as possible to do a good job.
If you’re buying off the shelf, you still need to give the boutique as long as possible to allow for alterations and adjustments. We would say three months at a minimum.
Every bride to be needs a support network to help choose her wedding dress. Just choose carefully. Take too many people with you and it can turn into a circus that cannot agree on anything. Take too few and you could miss out on valuable input.
There is no “ideal” here as everyone is different. We took our mother, chief bridesmaid and another bridesmaid with us when we went dress shopping. That gave us the variety and support that made our dress shopping experience as painless as it could be.
6.Don’t ignore the details
Finally, wedding dress shopping is as much about taking care of the details as it is about the dress itself. Make sure the price includes alterations. Make sure you get a full receipt. Ensure you store it correctly. Make very sure nothing gets spilled on it before the wedding and that you’re ultra-careful when you’re putting the dress on for the actual wedding.
We think those are six important points to help avoid wedding dress disaster. Each has its own part to play and will influence just how productive or painful your dress shopping experience will be. Use them well!