Shopping for wedding dresses can be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding. Even if you're not normally the dressy type, it can be hard not to get excited by the intricate creations of silk and lace that line the racks of the bridal shops. However, dress shopping can also be more frustrating than you might expect. What do you do when you try on dress after dress, and still can't make a decision? How about when you find your dream dress – only to discover it doesn't look quite as good in the mirror as it did in your mind? Before you give up and elope just to avoid another session at the bridal shop, consider whether you're making one of these wedding dress shopping mistakes. Avoiding them may help you finally settle on the right dress for you.
Making it a Group Experience
Sure, it helps to bring someone with you when you're trying on wedding dresses. You may need help getting in and out of some of the more complicated dresses, or someone to bring different styles to the dressing room. Plus, it's an experience that can be fun to share with a close friend or loved one.
But when you bring all eight of your bridesmaids, your dress needs can get lost under all of their contrasting opinions. If your mother and mother-in-law don't get along, you can end up getting stuck in-between their battle of wills instead of finding the perfect dress. Your sister who disapproves of everything you do is not likely to be the best judge of whether a dress is right for you.
Don't bring too many people. Don't bring people who routinely frustrate you in other settings – even if they're family. And definitely don't bring two people who are likely to spend the whole time disagreeing with each other instead of helping you. Limit your dress shopping companions to one or two people who can be both supportive and honest.
Insisting on the "Right" Size
If you've been dieting and working out in an effort to drop a few sizes for your wedding, it can feel frustrating when the bridal shop clerk insists that you need a size or two larger. But wedding dresses run small. This is because in many cases, the sizes are based on body types and body size expectations that have been outdated for decades.
Sure, it's frustrating, but this is really completely in your control. Just take a deep breath and let your size worries go. No one, least of all you, will be looking at the size on your gown on your wedding day. Who cares if the number doesn't accurately represent your real body shape?
It's also worth remembering that wedding dresses often require special undergarments and accessories, and you'll need a bit of extra room anyway. Your dress will also almost certainly need to be altered, as well. Let the bridal shop assistant get accurate measurements, and ask them for suggestions if you're having trouble figuring out the size you need. You'll feel a lot better if you just forget the number and try on dresses that fit.
Shopping at the Wrong Times
Buying a wedding dress isn't like picking out a T-shirt. It's a process that takes time, and you definitely need the attention of a good bridal shop assistant. Saturday afternoon isn't the best time to get the personalized attention you need – that's when everybody is out shopping. The day of the annual price-slashing sale isn't a good day for trying on wedding dresses either.
Hit the dress shop on a slow weekday morning to get a shop assistant with plenty of time to fuss over you. Or make an appointment to ensure that there will be someone with time set aside specifically for you. Be wary of grabbing a dress at a deep discount on a one-day only sale. Often these are sample dresses that have already been tried on many times and could possibly be damaged. You're also in danger of grabbing a poorly sized dress just because it's cheap. With what you'll end up spending to fix any damage or alter the dress to fit properly, you might have gotten a new dress at the regular price for less.
Most importantly, trust your own instincts. It doesn't matter how much the bridal shop employees or your friends rave over a dress – if you don't like it, it's not right for you. The right dress is out there somewhere, so don't settle for less.
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