When young girls spend their math classes daydreaming of weddings (rather than winning the World Series — not to say you won’t do both), exactly what do they dream of first? An ideal wedding dress, obviously: a gown in white satin with a bustle and also sweeping train, the right embellishments, and the perfect shoes.
There are actually few occasions in our modern world where a woman finds herself in a position to wear a no-holds-barred ball gown, a lot less a crystal tiara, all the things too many where she actually is called on to wear to a neutral suit or uninspiring “biz-caz” combo. No question that with so many brides, their wedding plans start with the dress.
A number of these brides are lucky. They could search high and low, braving chilly department stores and also pushy bridal shops, however eventually they come face-to-face with The One. They know this is actually the One because they start crying, or even their mother or friends almost all start crying at once. All of a sudden the rest of the planning … the theme, the tone, the right kind of venues … all of it springs to life.
Other brides normally are not as fortunate. They already have searched just as hard, working their way through shops across three or four states, however they haven’t found The One. Instead, they also have found three or four Contenders, all of these are serviceable and nice, however, not earth-shattering enough to tell them that now is definitely time to fully stop the searching and get on with the planning. These brides have it harder.
Even if most likely the first kind of bride, buying the dress is such a important decision that you run a risk of falling into that wallet-skinning category known as the Two-Dress Bride. Follow this advice for picking the perfect dress as well as avoiding that awful fate.
1. Bring the entourage, however shouldn’t buy. It’s fun and useful to bring your mother, friends or even sisters on the dress-shopping expedition. Provides you a buffer against an overbearing sales staff, and it is fun to see if your impressions of perfection are usually shared by your loved ones, not forgetting how they’ll love being part of this kind of important decision. However no matter how enthusiastic everyone gets over a certain dress, shouldn’t buy in the heat of the moment. Give yourself time to reconsider and buy with a cool head later, alone. The vast majority of dresses are non-returnable, so when you’ve bought it, you’ve bought it.
2. Don’t buy too early unless you must. Bridal gowns can take four to ten months to come from the manufacturer, but there’s no reason to buy over a year ahead of time, unless your chosen style is going to be discontinued. Give yourself some time to sit on your decision. Once you pick a gown, you’ll see a hundred others nearly like it. You’ll become a walking encyclopedia on that style of gown. All the better if you still have room to choose.
3. If you’ve bought “The One,” stop shopping. Any more window-shopping at this point will only lead you down the road toward the dreary land of Two-Dress Brides. What you need to do instead is remember that blissful feeling of having tried on The One. Go get The One out of the closet, put it on and stand in front of the mirror. You’ll remember exactly why it’s The One.
4. If you’ve bought “The One” and can’t stop shopping, get a second opinion. Show your first and second choices to other brides. Be honest — tell them you’ve already remortgaged your condo for the first dress, but you think this second dress might be It. They’ll be truthful, too — the first one was better. You’ll feel reassured.
5. Don’t tell yourself “I’ll sell the old dress and choose a new one.” This old saw of the Two-Dress Bride just won’t work. You’ll never get more than a fraction of what you paid for your first dress if you bought it new.
6. Don’t be afraid to aim high — no matter what your budget. Some brides knew from the start they wanted a designer label, but life just didn’t cooperate by making them heiresses. Yet all is not lost if you’re willing to shop courageously. At any given moment, a better-heeled bride is selling her once-used St. Pucchi or Ulla-Maija on eBay. She paid thousands upon thousands, but you, smart shopper, will pay half that or less. To take this road, you must shop earlier than other brides so you’ll have a choice of gowns. Always pay with a credit card so you’ll have recourse if the dress doesn’t arrive in acceptable condition, and again, shop early so you can buy another if necessary. Shop courageously, but not recklessly.
7. Order online, but never send a check. Bridal gown companies sometimes have a way of disappearing overnight. No matter what proprietor tells you, never ever make a purchase as large as a wedding gown with no chargeback protection of a credit card. If they say they can’t take plastic, move on.
8. Can not hold out forever for The One. Some brides never discover the One. What they do find is a few dresses they look beautiful in. In case you are this bride, try starting your planning through the theme instead of the dress. You’ll likely eventually get sick to death of dress shopping. When that happens, “good enough” really will be good enough. Focus on other aspects of the wedding which means that a lot to you, like the venue, the food, or the inevitable adoration of your soon-to-be husband.