*Disclaimer* These are my personal opinions and how I went about this process. It might not be the right path for everyone :)
EEKKK!!! I have been looking forward to sharing all about my wedding dress experience for so long! I literally started planning and making notes about this post since before I started my blog.
To give you a little backstory, Jett and I got engaged on January 22nd 2016 in Maui, Hawaii, completely to my surprise. I literally blacked out when it happened (which I heard is actually not unheard of, and a lot of people don’t remember what all is said in the moment). Regardless, it was the best moment of my life. I never thought he would pull off the most insane proposal without me having a clue!
For those of you that know me, you know I am a crazy person when it comes to anything regarding our wedding. My fiancé is about to kill me with all the things I keep bringing up to him and INSISTING that we NEED.
So, when it came to finding the dress I started shopping early. It’s important that you know I am the MOST indecisive person on the planet. I can’t even decide on a scent of dish soap, let alone a wedding dress.
I’m going to share some tips and advice I learned throughout my long journey to finding the dress of my dreams!!
After we got engaged I went to a few stores in Philadelphia to browse and try dresses on for fun. I definitely recommend doing this first. The whole process can be extremely overwhelming, so starting out just doing it for fun will allow you to see options you might have turned your nose up at otherwise. Also, you only get to wear a wedding dress once. Soak up every second you can and try on the dresses you would never wear for your actual wedding. This can ease your decision making process knowing you have seen so many different styles.
When the time came for me to officially start shopping I had 3 days lined up with appointments in New York.
I went to:
Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier
My mom, aunt, and two best friends came along for most of the appointments. Now this brings me to the outside opinions you will most likely receive. Allowing your loved ones in on this process can cause some chaos and different points of view. Sometimes stronger than you would have imagined or liked (mom). Do not forget that this is your dress, your day, your moment, and listening to your gut feeling is always best. Your people will respect that and be happy for you no matter what you decide.
Going in with styles that you like is a great start. Pictures are even better. This will really help your stylist find exactly what you’re looking for. Keep in mind most bridal appointments are only one hour, which really isn’t a lot of time. This is another reason I recommend looking around for fun prior to your set appointments so you can maximize your time. If you start to feel what you pictured in your head isn’t working out, do not be afraid to speak up and try on something different / outside your comfort zone. You may be completely surprised!
It’s important to have a budget in mind and let your stylist know that. How awful would it be to fall in love with a dress, but then realize it was way over your budget?! If they know your limit up front they will be able to show you so many more options within your price range, and could end up being even closer to what you’re looking for at a more affordable price.
The following is something I struggled with.
I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted that I couldn’t even explain with words or on paper. I kept reaching for things that I wanted to change, or add, or take away because I had too many visions in my head. It took me several appointments to finally realize that I needed to stop trying to make everything perfect and focus on what made me feel beautiful and showed my true self and sense of style. It sounds crazy but it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the process and forget that you’re going to be wearing this dress on the best day of your life! What could be better than that?!
Being indecisive is a curse in itself. If you’re anything like me, you could buy multiple wedding dresses and wear them to every event leading up to the big day because they’re that amazing. I ended up deciding on a dress very far in advance of my wedding date (chosen in September 2016, wedding in April 2018). I knew that I needed to get this out of the way because if not, it would be all I could think about for the next year! Which brings me to my next piece of advice: once you choose your dress and make the final decision do not try on anymore dresses! This can cause you to second guess your decision, think you made the wrong choice, and have you feeling confused.
Having said this, there is something I can’t stress enough. Do not make a decision until you are truly ready. Don’t give into the pressure of others or feel like you have to follow a timeline. If you need a day or two to think about it, take that time! It’s okay!
I hope these little things I learned along the way will help some other indecisive brides out there. I’m so lucky to have the most amazing, supportive, people in my life who helped me through this process. Especially my mom. We went round and round during all of this (I love you), but we have memories and stories to last a lifetime. Thank you for putting up with my crazy ideas and helping me find the most unreal dress.
The most important thing that goes without saying is have fun!!! I can’t tell you the amount of laughs, eye rolls, and happy tears I shared with my crew. This time in your life is so special and it only comes around once. So drink all the champagne and try on as many dresses as you want because it’s all about YOU!
P.S. The dresses pictured are completely different than my actual wedding dress!