Choosing a Dress
What to bring to your first bridal shop visit
By Natalie Tsang
August 3, 2011
First have an idea of what you want your wedding to be like. Try to imagine it as vividly as possible. Will you be a bride walking down the church aisle with a princess wedding gown, a full veil, and a train? Or will the wedding be outside underneath the big blue sky with you in a sleek, short, modern dress? Knowing the season and time of day of the wedding can help you eliminate choices that just won't work. Think about your personality, too. If you love to dance, you know to look for wedding dresses that offer more mobility.
You should have an idea of what silhouettes look best on your figure. Going through your closet and trying on the formal gowns you already own can give you an idea of what necklines, cuts, and fabrics look best on you. Even casual wear can help. See if you have shirts with sweetheart necklines or halter-tops. Try them on and study the look and feel.
Third, walk in with an open mind but don't feel any pressure to choose on your first try or even your second or third. Although you should focus on tried and true styles, do try on a few dresses that your bridal consultant suggests that you'd usually pass over. You could always find that one dress that looks okay on the hanger but makes you look like a goddess.
It's always good to bring an extra pair of eyes, but make sure it's someone who has good taste. If you're allowed to bring a digital camera, take snapshots and jot down notes. You can use your notes, pictures, and sketches to find similar styles online or at other stores.
Also, if there are some things you already know you'll be wearing because of sentimental reasons like jewelry, wear them with the dresses. It's also a good idea to bring a comfortable pair of high heels. Those extra few inches can radically change how you look and move in the dress.
Here is a short checklist:
- An idea of your wedding
- A few silhouettes that you must try
- An open mind and a good attitude
- A trusted advisor, camera, and notepad
- Things to wear with your dress like jewelry and shoes