1 Research Styles.
Start by taking a look at bridal magazines and online to see a variety of different gowns. This will give you a good idea of what is currently in-style and give you a preview of what you like prior to entering a bridal salon.
2 Research Bridal Consultations.
Shopping in bridal is different then other shopping experiences. Depending on where you decide to shop they may offer more then one type of bridal consultation. Depending on where you book, certain fees may apply. Currently at Taylor's Bridal there is no booking fee for a regular consultation. However, when you choose a V.I.P. package, it is a more luxurious experience and it happens outside of regular store hours, so fees do apply.
3 No One Likes Bridal Sizing.
Generally bridal sizes go off of European sizing, which means it tends to run one to two sizes smaller then what you would usually wear. At Taylor's Bridal we carry a variety of samples in different sizes and have a collection of samples that are dedicated to the curvier bride. Not every bridal salon will cater to curvier brides and often bridal samples run small. When you find your dress and you're ready to order, you will need to be measured. Listen to your consultants advice on sizing and ask questions if you are unsure as to why they are recommending a specific size.
4 Book an Appointment.
With bridal being more of a personal shopping experience it is important that you call or email ahead or book online. At Taylor's Bridal when you schedule a consultation you are guaranteed a consultant to help you, your own change room as well as over an hour window to shop. Without booking a consultation, there may not be a change room or consultant available. It is of the upmost importance to book ahead to ensure that you are receiving the best bridal experience possible.
5 Choose your Entourage Wisely.
Wedding dress shopping is an exciting experience and a lot of your friends and family may want to come along. If you've ever tried to plan an outing with a big group before, you can imagine how hard it can be to get everyone to agree on a wedding dress. Try and limit yourself to 2 or 3 people whose opinions matter the most to you.
6 Have Your Person With You, Always.
If there is someone in your life that you want with you when you say, "Yes!" make sure they are available for every consultation you book. You may miss out on a deal or promotion by coming back to order at a later date.
7 Start Shopping Early.
There is no overnight or express shipping in bridal. Depending on where you shop, a wedding gown can take up to 6 months to order in and it will need alterations. Generally, you want to leave three months for alterations, as bridal is a very custom fit. You want your gown to fit you perfectly. Starting your search a little over a year in advance will allow you the time to look without fear of shipping and alteration restrictions.
8 Know Your Wedding.
Prior to gown shopping, know the what, when and where of your wedding. If you have a theme, you should know what it is prior to shopping. Whether it's rustic or classic and elegant or an actual theme like Harry Potter. You should know when and where you are getting married and actually have your venue booked. This is a crucial step because it will set the shipping time line. Without a set venue or date, if you end up getting married sooner then anticipated your wedding gown may not arrive in time.
9 Have A Budget.
Prior to shopping you should have a set budget in mind for your wedding gown with a little leniency. No one likes to talk numbers but it is important to know what your budget is and whether or not that includes alterations. Be honest with your consultant about your budget. If you can't go any higher than your set budget let them know so that they can ensure you don't fall in love with a gown that is over budget. If you can go higher, let them know, they may have a gown in mind that's everything you've described, but it's a little over your set budget.
10 Choose 3 or 4 Descriptive Words.
Knowing the bridal styles and silhouettes is not a necessity. Telling your consultant a few descriptive words about how you want to look or feel on your wedding day will allow them to pull gowns that suit your style. If you want to feel elegant, sophisticated and sexy, your consultant might pull a classic crepe gown with some sleek side cut outs and a low back. If you want to look and feel like a princess, they might pull a detailed ball gown with sparkle.
11 Be Open.
Every bridal consultant will tell you that often the style you think you want is not the style you will end up with. Sometimes a new style may catch you off guard and you may like it more then your initial choice. You may also find a style you hadn't considered that may suit your body type better then you imagined. If you are not open,