Now that we know what shape you have, let's talk about your first appointment!
First thing's first- make sure you actually make an appointment! :) Bridal shops want to make sure they can give you their full attention! So while you're walking in may work out, it is always best to call ahead and make an appointment!
Bring with you any photos or magazine clippings you have. We want to see your Pinterest board! The more information you can give your consultant the better. We love to soak up what you love and help translate it into your dream dress!
As a rule of thumb, try to keep your guests to the bare minimum. It is basically impossible to please everyone. Bring the opinions who matter most! So, unless your cousin's best friend's girlfriend happens to also be your best friend, let her be surprised at the wedding!
Once all the introductions have been made and you've talked about what you think you want to look like, it's time to get to work! At most salons, your consultant will walk with you to show you gowns on the rack. Here at A Formal Affair, we believe this step is very important. During this time, your consultant will show you options that are similar to what you have described. They will most likely also show you gowns that are not what you described. Don't be discouraged by this. Your consultant is "feeling you out" to help determine your over-all style.
In general, you will start with only a few gowns. During this time, do your best to be open minded. Sometimes the way you think you want to look does not translate into the gowns you saw on the rack. It is very important that you try to trust your consultant. If they have been listening they should be able to sort out what you're really searching for. Your consultant will probably ask you to break the dress down into sections- Neckline, fit, and fullness.
Once a shape is narrowed down, start focusing on the details! If you're wanting sparkle, do you like crystals or sequence better? What about your train? Is it too short? Too long? Does a belt do it for you? If lace is more your style, does the heavier, piped lace make you feel beautiful? Or would you rather a soft floral pattern? Don't worry about knowing the technical terms, just be honest about how you're feeling.
***We have to interject a side note here: Ladies, you would be astonished to know how often a bride falls in love with the first gown she tries on. There is nothing wrong or abnormal with that at all! Some brides will need to try on a few more after "just to make sure," and that is okay. But don't reject a dress solely on the premise of it being the first one!***
Throughout this process, your consultant will be getting to know you and your wedding. Any details you feel comfortable giving will only help your consultant help find the right dress for you. If you start to feel overwhelmed, tell your consultant. They can help you. Trust them.
Once you have selected a gown, your consultant will take your measurements. You will then consult the designer's size chart and select the size that best fits your individual measurement. A few things to keep in mind when deliberating on a size:
- Bridal gowns run small. Most women go up 2 sizes from their normal size.
- If you've selected a more shapely dress (mermaid, trumpet, fit and flare), the size dress you order will be based on your largest measurement, which for most ladies is their hips.
- DO NOT focus on the number, focus on the fit!
- VERY few women are fortunate enough to not need any alterations (other than a bustle).
Expect to pay for your dress the day you select it. Most salons require payment up front and in full. It is the exception not the rule to place a deposit and finish paying it off over time. If payment is a concern, you should feel comfortable talking to consultant about it. In most cases, a solution can be found.
We hope this walk-through has been helpful! Remember, this day should be a great experience and it should be fun!