Shopping for a wedding gown is much more fun when you know what to expect

Before Buying Wedding Gown

5 Things Every Bride Needs to Know Before Buying their Wedding Gown

Congratulations on your engagement!

Shopping for a wedding gown is much more fun when you know what to expect. Bridal magazines and consultants are prime sources of advice.

Here are five tips to save you money and stress when buying a wedding dress.

1. Ensure sufficient time to find the right gown

For customized apparel, you need to allow nine months. After ordering a dress, it can take six months to arrive and three months to alter. If you wish to order a different color or fabric from a sample dress, this can cause some delay. A custom headpiece also takes longer to arrive. If you have less than nine months of shopping time, consider buying a sample or off-the-rack gown.

2. Employ savvy ways to save

Trunk Shows – Browse the Web for trunk shows in your locale. Bridal salons feature these sales events to present designer gowns that aren’t usually available in-store. You’ll likely receive a discount at a trunk show, typically 15 percent. The only drawback is that you’ll probably need to make a full payment, possibly in cash.

Samples – Sample gowns are deeply discounted. However, they may not be your specific size. If a sample doesn’t show much wear and fits you within three sizes, it’s worth considering. Bear in mind that you’ll likely need to pay in full up front.

3. Limit your number of shopping companions

If more than two people accompany you, decisions can be more difficult. Differing opinions can make you dizzy. Choose two people who understand your style and are honest and calm. If you make better choices solo, don’t hesitate to shop alone. A bridal salon consultant can advise you on what will most flatter your figure. She can also look at websites such as

4. Make the best use of your in-store time

When to ShopBridal designers unveil their new collections each April and October. An opportune time to shop is just after the bridal fashion weeks in spring and autumn. Another ideal shopping window is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is when stores increase their stock to accommodate end-of-year engagements.

Appointments – When scheduling with a salon, request the first appointment of the day on a weekday. Few clients will be in the store at that time, and you’ll have the attention of an energetic staff. Stores are most crowded during evenings and weekends.

Camera – When calling for an appointment, ask if you can bring a camera. Photographing a dress from different angles gives you a more objective view than a mirror. It also shows how the fabric will appear in pictures. A dress made of satin or taffeta may look gorgeous in person but wrinkled in a photo, depending on lighting.

Test Drive – Assess how a dress feels when you sit, stand, walk, and bend. Avoid a fit that’s so tight you can’t move freely. Make sure you’ll be comfortable on your wedding day.

5. Get all dress details down in writing

Before handing over your hard-earned cash or that of your parents, write down complete information on the:

  • dress manufacturer’s name
  • model number
  • fitting schedule
  • cancellation policy
  • return policy

If you are preparing to get married, keep these ideas in mind for when you go to shop for your wedding gown. Hopefully this will be a fun experience and ease the stress of your wedding planning. Just make sure you choose the right dress for you and remember to keep your wedding day special.

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