Selecting your wedding gown for the BIG day, is very much like choosing your partner for life. You have to make sure you are compatible, make sure it’s the right fit; and many people ask, how do you know when it is time to say YES to the DRESS? One word: butterflies.
Getting to butterflies can be quite the challenge, and in many cases, several locations and dress options. First, you need to establish a Budget for your wedding gown. Most bridal gowns today tend to run from $800-3000 for most designers readily available in bridal boutiques in the US, and on average, most brides spend around $1250 for their gown. One way to cut down on cost is to search for pre-owned bridal gowns, or keep a look out for bridal shops in your area for Sample Sales.
Once you have established your budget, and before you even venture to a Sample Sale, you need to determine the style of gown you want. This is where compatibility and fit are most important. The best advice I was given, and that I will share with you is simply this: try on each style of gown (whether you love lace or not) to determine if you like mermaid, trumpet, fit & flare, a-line, or full ball gown. The first time I tried on wedding gowns, my heart was set on a form fitting mermaid gown. Then I tried one on, the exact one I had drooled over in magazine, and while I felt fabulous, I did not get butterflies. I was underwhlemed. It felt like a dress I would wear to a red carpet event, not down the church aisle to surprise the love of my life.
The most important fact about trying on all different styles is you can cut out a style that simply will not work, and determine which style makes you feel like a bride. You have selected a style, now it is about the little details. Bling, ruffles, texture, color and fabric are next.
Search online and in bridal magazines for the details on gowns, even if it is not the style you want. Make an appointment at your local bridal shop, and bring these aides to show your bridal consultant at your appointment. She will pull options for you, and then all 3 factors come into play. Compatibility, fit, and then this is where the butterflies come in.
You may get lucky with a Mother Fairy Consultant, and in my case, it happened to be a designer that I was obsessing over, Justin Alexander. He happened to have a trunk show at the bridal shop where I had my appointment. My consultant and Justin Alexander came up to me, and he said, “this is your gown”, and politely took the other ball gown out of my hands, and handed me her. The moment I stepped in front of the mirror with her on, I melted. I mean, butterflies to the point I was bursting out in hives and tears! This gown had all 3 factors, complete with tufts of tulle over ostrich feathers and a French corset. She was perfect. While the girls were “jacking me up” with accessories and veils, Justin Alexander personally drew a sketch of me in my gown (gasp!). I snapped a photo with him, and said YES to the DRESS!
Much like choosing your mate for life, you just know when it’s right, and you say yes.
Justin Alexander & I when I said YES to the DRESS, and my Wedding Day.