Shopping for your bridal gown is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that can be overwhelming for any bride. We asked Stacey Kraft, owner of Flair Boston, to share some helpful tips for brides searching for their dream gown and her top dress picks for 2018.By Colby Radomski
1. Do Your Homework
While you may not have picked out your dream dress, it’s important to have a vision for what type of dress style you’re looking for. There are a number of factors to consider before purchasing a dress, including budget, your body type and the formality of your event. Will your nuptials be a black-tie affair or take place on the beach? Kraft suggests bringing a Pinterest board or an inspiration book to your bridal appointment so your stylist can present dresses based on what you show her. Pro tip: Be open to new styles. While you ultimately know what you’ll be comfortable in, your stylist may be able to show you some alternative styles that you wouldn’t ordinarily try on that look amazing.
2. Time It Right
Most stores are by appointment so that bridal consultants can give you their undivided attention. But shopping on the right day can also make a difference, especially if you’re visiting a store that’s swarming with brides. While Saturdays are a convenient time to shop for most, a busy shop can make things overwhelming and actually make your appointment feel more rushed. Pro tip: Consider shopping on a weekday when it’s quiet.
3. Budget Wisely
Simply put, don’t waste your (or your stylist’s) time trying on dresses that are beyond your budget. Trust us, you’ll be frustrated when you can’t say “Yes” to that out-of-your-price-range dress you absolutely love. It’s also important to factor in your fashion additions, including alterations, veil and undergarments, which can quickly tally up the overall total.
4. Entourage Etiquette
Having a second opinion is helpful, but too many opinions can leave you with clouded judgment. Choose only a few family members or friends to join you at your appointment and consult a professional for their opinion. Above all, trust your instincts when it comes to choosing your dress—it’s your wedding, after all!
5. Consider Comfort vs. Fashion
Remember that you’ll be wearing your dress for upwards of eight to 10 hours. If you’re a girl that values clothing comfort, we advise choosing a dress (and undergarments) that are going to keep you cozy all day long. Consider what feels best on your body—can you handle something form-fitting and possibly restricting all day?—as well as the season your wedding is taking place when choosing fabrics and styles (a heavily embellished sleeved ballgown works great for a winter wedding, but will leave you uncomfortably warm in mid-summer).
6. Find Your Perfect Fit
Many brides diet before their weddings, but don’t buy a dress that’s a size or two too small in the hopes you’ll lose that extra 15 pounds. Buy a dress that fits you now. It’s much easier and less stressful to have your gown altered to a smaller size than having it let out or trying to squeeze into it on your big day!
7. Have Fun!
Finding the perfect dress can be a daunting task, especially for picky brides. But remember to have fun with your appointment. After all, planning your wedding is an exciting time—plus, who doesn’t love playing dress up?!