As engagement season comes to an end, wedding planning and designing will soon be in full swing. And if you got engaged this season, then you may be feeling like there’s just so much to do. Furthermore, you are likely thinking of a few things to get the process started including the overall budget, where you’ll tie the knot, who you will hire to bring your vision to life and what dress you’ll be wearing down the aisle. And it’s that very last thought that we want to focus on today.
When it comes to wedding dress shopping, it can feel a bit foreign. You may be wondering how much you should allocate from your wedding budget, who to invite along to the experience, and how to best prepare for the appointment so it’s as stress free as possible. We were both there once too and had many of those same questions, so we took some time to learn the best wedding dress shopping advice from two local experts and can’t wait to share what they had to say.
Who is The Bridal Finery?
Before we dive in, let us introduce you to Tali and Roberta of The Bridal Finery. We met these two shortly after we began wedding planning and designing and were immediately attracted to their passion and expertise. These two offer the best wedding dress shopping advice with an extensive background in bridal fashion and have always made us feel so welcome in their bridal boutique located in Winter Park.
Speaking of their bridal boutique, if you haven’t been to The Bridal Finery, you should definitely check it out! The Bridal Finery is a unique concept (learn more here) in the wedding industry that combines sample sale and made-to-order wedding dresses in a single boutique (read: intimate) experience.
What does this mean? It means you can find your dream designer dress at sample sale prices straight off the runway or you can design a statement piece that speaks perfectly to your style and personality. Plus, their experience is like no other, offering intimate, private appointments catered to you and those attending the appointment with you.
The Best Wedding Dress Shopping Advice from The Bridal Finery
The Busy Bee: When it comes to wedding dress shopping, where does one even begin?
The Bridal Finery: After a combined 20 years in the bridal industry, we have found that it makes the planning of the wedding easier when you already have your wedding dress. We have heard over and over how relieved brides are after they find their gown. It helps them narrow down the venue, colors for the wedding, bridesmaids dresses and family’s attire.
TBB: What should one consider when setting a wedding dress budget?
TBF: Do your research on Pinterest, keeping in mind that you may be falling in love with a wedding dress that is over what you have in mind to spend on your dress. There are a lot of counterfeit websites out there stealing images from the designer’s website and putting it on their counterfeit website with a price tag of a few hundred dollars. I remember years ago, a bride fell in love with a Jim Hjelm gown and she purchased it. She then called later saying that she found the gown somewhere else for $350; a $3000 gown! I had to have the designer email her to let her know the price of the gown, and tell her that the website was fake.
Consider what you normally wear, and if you are a person that cares about fit, construction and designer clothing. Remember that you have to love what you are wearing and how you feel in the dress, after all, you will only have your photos after your wedding day is over, and if you don’t love the way you feel in your dress, you won’t like your photos.
TBB: How does one determine where to set an appointment?
TBF: When it is time for you to try on wedding dresses, RESEARCH every shop that you are considering shopping at! Read their reviews, check out their social media channels and read their website. Make sure that it is the right fit for you. Remember that you are entering a relationship with the bridal boutique, purchasing your wedding dress should not be just a transaction, it is a relationship. Make sure that the bridal boutique is communicating with you before the appointment, and after it. It is important for the boutique to explain to you what happens after you purchase a gown, and how they track the whole process. Ask them questions!!! Ask about alterations and if they recommend someone, or if they have an in-house seamstress.
TBB: What should one wear to her appointment?
TBF: We recommend that you wear whatever you are comfortable with, and something that you would want to take pictures in after you find your gown! We have Spanx and a long line corset bra for you to wear as you try on dresses. We do recommend that you bring a heel that is about the same height as you are planning on wearing on your wedding day.
TBB: How should one do her hair and makeup for the appointment?
TBF: I like to tell my brides to come in “picture ready”! Style your hair and makeup as you feel comfortable and beautiful. [We] believe that you should see your wedding dress as close to your wedding day vision as possible. If you picture yourself with an updo, we will give you a quick updo (please keep in mind, we are not professional hair artists) and style you with complementing jewelry and veils.
TBB: Who should be invited to enjoy the experience alongside the bride-to-be?
TBF: I always recommend that the bride only bring people that know what she is looking for, and know her style well. Everyone has different opinions on what they like and dislike, and the same goes for a wedding dress. Different people may have different opinions on what they think you should wear or what they think looks good on you. I would recommend that you only bring 3 people with you to shop, and not send or show anyone else photos. It is always better to surprise them in person the day of the wedding.
If you’re currently searching for your dream wedding dress, we highly recommend calling Tali and Roberta and making your private appointment. You can also find the answers to their FAQs here and their unique story here. If you do visit their boutique, be sure to let us know. We’d love to hear about your experience and if you found “the” dress!
Photographer: LH Photography
Hair & Makeup: MakeoverStation
Lighting: DJ Jacob Co