Wedding dress shopping may look a little different today, but it certainly hasn’t lost its magic. Here’s what to expect while wedding dress shopping.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
The principal thing to remember is preparation. Like almost all good events, weddings require a bit of planning; the same is true of wedding dress shopping. Take your time and prepare well so that you can enjoy every magical moment of waltzing in, being oohed and ahhed over, and trying on an array of the dreamiest dresses. How should you prepare for this magical time?
- Call Ahead. First things first, you have to set up an appointment. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most bridal dress shops required an appointment – or at least strongly recommended it though still allowing walk-ins. This has changed a bit – call the store ahead of time to schedule your appointment and to ask about their expectations. Some stores may ask you to show up a bit early, and most will ask that you wear a mask. Call ahead so that you not only have a set appointment but so that you and dress shopping staff are on the same page when it comes to protocol and social distancing practices,
- Know Your Budget. Prevent wasted time and disappointment by knowing your budget ahead of time; be open with your attendant about how much you are budgeting for your dress so that they can more easily and quickly find the perfect dress for you. Being realistic about how much you can spend will not only save you time in finding the right dress but also help your attendant narrow down your options appropriately.
- Have Photos Ready. All too often brides depend entirely on their consultant to advise them and find the right dress. Even with a scheduled appointment, a lack of preparation can take up all your time and leave you frustrated and empty-handed. Your attendant is more than happy to help you find what you’re looking for – but she can only do so if you have at least an idea of what you want. Before your appointment, collect pictures, create a Pinterest board, or even screenshot dresses you like – shapes, designs, fabrics – whatever details you please. The dress you show your attendant doesn’t have to be “the one” or the perfect dress – rather it will help show your consultant what you like, what you feel comfortable wearing, and how you like to style yourself.
- Have Patience. Expect the experience to be a little different than you might have imagined. Come prepared with understanding, grace, and the knowledge that while things may be different, your attendant will do his absolute most to ensure your experience is still wonderful and magical.
What to Do During Your Appointment
- Wear a Mask. This may seem second-nature by now, but mask mandates are still in place and most dress shops will still ask that you wear a mask and properly social distance during your appointment. Wearing a mask doesn’t have to make your dress appointment any less lovely – bring a mask that celebrates your big plans! Whether it’s a fun “Bride” labeled mask or a mask with an outer layer of lace for elegance, there are a myriad of exciting options to choose from online. You and your bridal party could even have matching masks!
- Be Honest. Because you will be wearing a mask, your attendant may have a difficult time reading your face to see what you think of the dresses you are trying on. Professional consultants are very good at picking up on the smallest of clues to judge how you’re feeling about a dress but unfortunately they are not mind readers; masks cover most of your face and make their job a lot harder. To help your attendant – and yourself – be vocal about what aspects of the dress you like or don’t like. Speak up about how comfortable you feel in the dress or share things you might change about it – this will save you time and help your dress advisor find the perfect dress for you.
- No Haters Allowed. A blessing in disguise, restrictions require you to only bring a small handful of close friends or family with you. Thanks to these requirements, you no longer have to bring obligatory people who might have otherwise been too vocal about their taste or unhelpful and unsupportive. Those discouraging entourages of friends and family have left too many brides frustrated and without a dress. Leave the humbugs at home and only bring supportive people whose opinions really matter to you.
- Ask About Delivery Dates. Due to many postponed weddings and the booming shipping industry, delivery of the wedding dress itself may take longer than anticipated. Be sure to consider this ahead of time and order your dress in a timely manner. Your wedding dress salespeople will be honest about estimated time frames – just don’t forget to ask!
Congratulations! You’re getting married! You’ve come this far and wedding dress shopping should be an exciting experience. Follow Ball Conference Center’s tips to have the smoothest wedding dress appointment – we can’t wait for you to find the dress of your dreams!