What to Expect From a Bridal Appointment (and How To Get The Most Out of It)

This is it, one of the first big milestones when it comes to planning your wedding: your first bridal appointment to pick out your dream dress! It’s not uncommon to be obsessed over this day. Hours of television are devoted to watching women pick out their wedding attire. Most women already have an opinion on what they’d like to wear even if it isn’t full-on day dreams about the perfect day. That said, you might not know what to expect when it’s time for your bridal appointment. Here are some tips to make the most of your day to keep you as stress-free as possible.

Bring Out Your Pinterest Boards and Your Deal Breakers

It’s common for women to have spent some time figuring out what sort of dress they’re envisioning for themselves — this might be on a modern pinterest board, pictures saved to your phone, or even old-school magazine pages. These can be really helpful to show your consultant to help her choose dresses for you to try on. While letting her know what sort of traits you would like in a dress, you should also let her know if you have any deal breakers. No one wants to waste time by forcing you to try on a sexy slinky mermaid gown when you want something modest for your church wedding. If you hate strapless dresses, say so. Likewise, let your consultant know if you’ve always wanted a ballgown or a gown with lace detailing.

Keep an Open Mind

While your consultant will probably avoid anything you call a deal-breaker, try to keep an open mind to her suggestions. It’s not uncommon for brides to think they want a certain kind of dress only to then realize they don’t like the way they feel in it. Some might think a style of dress would never work for them — but then it suits them perfectly. Also remember that some dresses will wow on the body but look limp and sad on the hanger. Don’t dismiss anything until you’ve actually tried it.

Discuss Your Real Budget

No one wants a broken-hearted bride and your consultant definitely doesn’t want to upset you. Discuss your budget with your consultant at the beginning, perhaps when you book your appointment. You don’t want to try on gowns that are thousands of dollars out of budget and then be broken hearted when you can’t order it. Be wary of trying on the expensive designer gown you can’t afford ‘just for fun.’ When discussing budget, also keep in mind you’ll be paying for alterations and accessories to go with your look: shoes, any jewelry and hair pieces. If budget is a strict concern, check in regarding the price range of dresses in the shop and see if any sample pieces are discounted.

Discuss Sizing Concerns

Many dress shops don’t keep the full range of sizes in stock. Some only keep two or three sizes of each dress in stock and use those to give brides an idea of how the dress will look, either left unzipped or held together with clamps in back. Depending on your size needs, this can be disheartening — especially if there are few plus sized options in a shop. It can be helpful to call ahead while booking your appointment and ask about size options so you know what you’re going to be getting yourself into.

Plan Your Undergarments Wisely

While many brides will purchase specific undergarments based on the dress they end up choosing, it’s helpful to wear strategic undergarments to your appointment. Simple, seamless nude underwear with a nude strapless bra are likely your best bet. If you think you might be more comfortable with some sort of shapewear, bring that along with you. Also keep in mind that your consultant will be helping you try on dresses and will be seeing you in your underwear. While they will be a professional and do this for a living (and have likely seen everything), wearing something modest and full coverage can make it more comfortable for you.

Keep Makeup to a Minimum

You’ll want to skip any sort of self tanner and keep your makeup to a very minimum while you’re trying on (white) dresses. This is to keep the samples clean. Some bridal shops may offer you a makeup wipe if you come in heavily made up. That’s not to say you can’t wear makeup- some brides don’t feel confident without a little something on their face but it should probably be something like a good, waterproof mascara with a transfer proof neutral lipstick and not a bold full face.

Keeping all of this in mind can help you feel a little more prepared for what will potentially be an emotional, overwhelming day. With that all in focus, you should be prepared and know all the information you will need so that you can relax and have fun with your big day of dress shopping.

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