1. Please don’t settle for a good deal: It’s so tempting. You kind of like this dress, but you’re not sure if it’s because of the sale price tag, or because of the way it hugs your gorgeous curves. Obviously cost and staying within your budget are important, but you only get one wedding dress (hopefully). Just take a beat, try on more dresses. There’s no ceiling on how many dresses you can try on (except maybe for the patience of the people with you- definitely be considerate), and I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a bride who’s regretted trying on “too many dresses”. If you still find yourself coming back to the sale dress that you were on the fence about, then let’s talk about buying it.
2. It’s probably not going to be like “Say Yes to the Dress”: Ugh. I’m sorry. I know. We all watch it. Over and over. We cry when the sweet bride who didn’t think she’d ever get married finds the most perfect dress. We tear up with them, we celebrate with them. I binged so hard on SYTTD after I got engaged, I thought I was going to need rehab. Then cut to actually finding my dress: it was the third one I tried on, and I was basically like “Oh yeah. This is it.” No tears (okay – maybe my mom teared up), minimal butterflies, just…sureness. But isn’t that kind of a good thing? I’m glad that my dress choice wasn’t an overly emotional one, but a confident one.
3. Drop it, drop it low, girl: My friends that were with me love recounting my wedding dress shopping, because I literally dropped it low in every single one. I straight up busted a move in the middle of these fancy boutiques. If I couldn’t get into a good squat, the dress immediately was out of the running. I love to dance (I didn’t leave the dance floor at my wedding), and I wanted to be able to move. And you know…sit down. Is there anything worse than watching a beautiful bride waddle/be unable to sit? I know, those dang mermaid dresses are stunning, and if you really have your heart set on one – then maybe make an exception. But just really think about it for me. And at least try to sit down in it.
4. Take your people. But not all of them: Obviously you want your loved ones with you when you find the dress you’re going to get married in. And I know saying no is so, so hard. But for the sake of your sanity – you’ve got to draw a line. Your finance’s great aunt can’t come (unless y’all are tight, then ignore me. But you get what I’m saying). You may think you want a litany of adoring eyes upon you, but you know what comes with those eyes? Opinions. And you really only need so many of those. You may be disagreeing with this one, but just trust me. For once. Trust the stranger wedding planner from the internet.
5. Consider your boo: I mean, he is the other one who it’s really for, right? You don’t have to get a full sketch of what he likes before you hit the shops, but maybe just a run a few questions by him. Lace? Beading? Sleeves, no sleeves? Just see what he’s got bouncing around in his mind. You’re going to blow his socks off when he sees you no matter what, but his input is valuable.
These are just the four high points I landed on, but I’m sure there’s much more! What was important to you when you went dress shopping? Or if you haven’t gone yet, what do you consider important?
[all photos by Amanda Causey Photography]