Friday, June 15, 2012

Fact or Fiction? : Debunking Wedding Dress Shopping Rumors

Shopping for wedding gowns should be a fun and memorable experience! However, many brides experience some anxiety about wedding gown shopping whether because they don't know what to expect or because they are expecting something that doesn't sound like fun. The main thing to keep in mind is that you are shopping for a beautiful dress that will showcase your own beauty on your wedding day. It should be an exciting and stress-free experience! One way to alleviate stress is to know what to expect so here are some rumors we have heard about wedding gown shopping and the truth behind them.

Rumor: "I need to bring a complicated one-piece undergarment to try on wedding gowns."

Fact: You do not need to bring any special undergarments for wedding gown shopping. You will probably not be wearing a bra to try on dresses since you will  not need to wear one with most wedding dresses. Build in corsets, boning, bust cups, and back support straps will give you more support than any bra! The only time it is advised that you bring undergarments such as spanx or a strapless bra is if you are coming in for an alterations fitting and you are planning on wearing those same undergarments on your wedding day.

Rumor: "I need to start shopping for a wedding gown at least six months prior to my wedding date."

Fact: Many bridal boutiques carry samples rather than gowns you can purchase off-the-rack. This is so that more styles can be showcased in the store, rather than carrying fewer dresses in several sizes. This also ensures that YOU will be the only one who ever tries on your dress. It will not be made until you order it so when it comes in, it is truly YOUR dress.  The gowns generally take a MINIMUM of 4 to 6 months in production. Once you add in shippng and alterations time, you may have close to another month. It is advisable to give yourself more time than you need when ordering a dress so that you have plenty of time for the dress to come in and get any alterations you may need.

*If you are getting bridal portraits taken, you will probably need to order your dress even further in advance so that you can have your dress in and altered before the portrait date.*

Rumor: "The more friends and family I  bring shopping with me, the better! More opinions will help me make a decision."

Fact: Many brides love to bring in friends or family when dress shopping, especially for the first time. They can offer support and opinions and shopping for your wedding dress can be a very fun and special event to share with your loved ones. However, it is best to limit your guests to a few very close family members or friends. Anyone who has seen a wedding reality show on television knows that sometimes bringing more family and friends can mean bringing more stress! Since most brides will need more than one trip to the bridal boutique before they say "yes", some brides find it helpful to make a shopping trip solo or with just one family member or friend in tow. This way you can a little peace and quiet to think about the dresses you are trying on. When you find one you love, you can always bring your mom or sister or best friend in to see the dress before you place your order. When it comes down to it, you know your family and friends well so you can make the call on who will be a good shopping buddy. You just want to be sure the dress you choose is the one YOU love, not the one that was your family's favorite but you weren't crazy about. After all, this is YOUR dress for YOUR big day.

Rumor: "All designers use the same dress sizes."

Fact: All designers in fashion have different classifications for sizes. This is especially true in bridal. Bridal sizes, in general, are very different from read-to-wear sizes in that they run quite small. For example, if you wear a dress from a department store that is a size 6, you would need a size 8 or even a size 10 in a wedding gown. In addition to wedding dresses running small, each designer has a different size chart that they use for their gowns. So, just because you tried on a dress sample from a particular designer in a size 10 that fit you perfectly, that does not mean you will be a size 10 for all wedding gown lines. The measurements usually included on a size chart are bust, waist, hips, and sometimes hollow to hem, which is a length measurement. When you order a wedding gown, a bridal consultant will take these measurements on you and compare them to the specific designer's size chart to determine the best match for size.

Rumor: " It's ok to order a dress that is 2 sizes too small...I'm going to lose weight before my wedding!"

Fact: This is a tricky one! Many brides do lose weight before their wedding but keep in mind that it is always easier for a seamstress to take in a dress that is too large than to let out a dress that is too small. It is difficult to gauge how much weight will be lost in the time before your dress comes in. Also, losing weight does not always mean a change in all of your measurements. The safest option is to order a gown in the size that matches your current measurements. If you are very adamant about a smaller dress size, the best thing to do is hold off on ordering as long as possible as you lose the weight and get re-measured right before ordering to ensure accurate measurements. Just remember, you still need to leave yourself about 6 months in between your ordering date and your wear date for the dress.

Rumor: " I know I want a mermaid style dress so I don't need to try on any other styles."

Fact: Most brides are surprised by what style of gown looks the best on their body. Mermaid might be the exact style that you are looking for however it is best to try on a variety of styles and designs in order to end up with the best dress success. So when you are shopping around for a gown, EXPLORE! Be open-minded and try on that ballgown that you never thought would be "the one". It might surprise you. I cannot tell you how many brides I have had who come in and say they want a simple dress with no "bling" or beading or sparkles but end up falling in love with a very "bling-y"  and sparkly dress. When a bride focuses on one specific style or design and limits herself to only trying on that style, she may be missing out on the best dress for them.  That is why it is suggested to look at the different styles and even get some suggestions from the boutiques' consultants. After all, you never know until you try it on.


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