Photo via Michael Gillman Photography
Are you in search of a wedding dress (or the perfect thing to wear to a wedding that might not be yours) this season? We know it is hard to find a dress that fits your dreams, your budget, and your self all at the same time. When you think about it, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a garment you’re only going to wear once.
To those of you specifically in search of The Dress — the one you’ll be wearing when you get married — we understand how real that struggle might be (at least the female half of the Gala Pal team does, ha!). To keep you from attending your wedding in refashioned curtain fabric, Scarlett O’Hara style…
Here are our best tips for finding The Dress:
Don’t set yourself up for heartbreak
Showing up to a bridal shop with unattainable expectations will only hurt you. We love you too much to want that kind of experience for you. Walk into a bridal shop as if you were shopping for a good friend with your taste. Stepping outside of your wedding bubble can be really helpful in this case, so try to stay just a tiny bit impartial.
Try to find something a little more practical
Remember that in most cases, brides end up wearing their dress from about 10 a.m. until the last person staggers away at midnight. Satin is heavy and constrictive. If you don’t think you can handle wearing it for more than the ceremony (read: if you want to dance like there’s no tomorrow), we recommend you get a second dress to wear. It can still be white and semi-formal, but can also allow you to shake your groove thang without passing out.
Don’t just walk into one store and declare your immediate claim to the first dress you see. Check out other stores. They may have the same dress style available, but for less. Or you might get your world rocked by another, completely different dress. Leave your options open!
Did one of your friends have an amazing experience in a bridal shop in a neighboring city? Did your sister get a sweet deal somewhere? Ask recently married people where they shopped and how it went. You may be able to dodge some bullets and get some free champagne out of it.
Don’t feel bad for settling
If you didn’t immediately burst into tears upon trying on the dress you think you will buy, don’t beat yourself up. That’s TLC’s way to make you watch Say Yes to the Dress marathons. Not everyone has that experience and that’s okay. As long as you don’t show up to the wedding in your underwear, you have made an excellent decision.