8 Tips For Picking the Perfect Wedding Gown
When little girls spend their math classes daydreaming of weddings ( instead winning the World Series — not to say you can’t do both ), what do they dream of first? The perfect marriage dress, naturally : a gown in ideal embellishments, and sweeping train, the ideal elaborations, and the ideal shoes.
Many brides are lucky. They may search high and low, braving chilly department shops and in your face bridal shops, but eventually they come face-to-face with The One. They know this is The One because they start crying, or their ma or chums all start crying instantly. All of the planning … the tone, the right sort of venues … it all springs to life.
Other brides are not as lucky. They’ve searched just as hard, working their way through shops across 3 or four states, but they have not found The One. Instead, they’ve found 3 or four Contenders, all of which are serviceable and nice, but not earth-shattering sufficient to tell them that now is definitely time to stop the looking and get on with the planning. These brides have it harder.
Even if you’re the first kind of bride, buying the dress is such a significant call that you run a likelihood of falling into that wallet-skinning class known as the Two-Dress Bride. Here are some tips for picking the perfect dress and avoiding that awful fate.
1. Bring the entourage, but do not buy. It is fun and helpful to bring your mother, friends or sisters on the dress-shopping expedition. It gives you a buffer against an overbearing sales staff, and it’s entertaining to see whether your impressions of perfection are shared by your family and friends, not to mention how they’ll love being an element of such an important decision. But irrespective of how enthusiastic everyone gets over a certain dress, don’t buy in the heat of the moment. Give yourself time to reconsider and buy with a cool head later, alone. The vast majority of dresses are non-returnable, so when you have acquired it, you have acquired it.
2. Don’t buy too early unless you may. Bridal gowns can take 4 to ten months from the maker, but there’s no reason to buy over a year ahead of time, unless your selected style is going to be abandoned. Give yourself some time to sit on your call. When you pick a robe, you can see a hundred others almost like it. You’ll become a walking encyclopedia on that style of gown. All the better if you have room to choose.
3. If you’ve bought “The One,” stop shopping. Any more window-shopping at about that point will only lead you down the road toward the dreary land of Two-Dress Brides. What you need to do instead is remember that happy sense of having attempted on The One. Go get The One out of the closet, put it on and stand before the mirror. You can remember precisely why it is the One.
4. If you’ve bought “The One” and can’t stop shopping, get a 2nd view. Show your first and second choices to other brides. Be truthful — tell them you have already remortgaged your apartment for the first dress, but you think this 2nd dress might be It. They will be honest, too — the 1st one was better. You will feel reassured.
5. Don’t tell yourself “I’ll sell the old dress and choose a new one.” This old saw of the Two-Dress Bride just won’t work. You’ll never get more than a fragment of what you paid for your first dress if you purchased it new.
6. Don’t be afraid to target high — no matter what your position. Some brides knew from the start they wanted a designer label, but life just did not cooperate by making them heiresses. Yet all isn’t lost if you are prepared to buy courageously. At any given moment, a better-heeled bride is selling her once-used St. Pucchi or Ulla-Maija on eBay. She paid thousands upon thousands, but you, smart patron, will pay half that or less. To take this road, you have to shop sooner than other brides so you will have a choice of gowns.
7. Shop on the web, but never send a check. Bridal robe companies infrequently have a way of vanishing overnite. Irrespective of what the owner tells you, never make a purchase as large as a wedding gown without the chargeback protection of a credit card. If they say they can’t take plastic, move on.
8. Don’t hold out forever for The One. Some brides never find The One. What they do find is a few dresses they look beautiful in. If you’re this bride, try beginning your planning from the theme rather than the dress. You will potentially finally get sick to death of dress shopping. When that happens, “good enough” really will be good enough. Concentrate on other facets of the marriage that mean a lot to you, like the venue, the food, or the inescapable devotion of your soon-to-be husband.
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