As a bride planning her wedding, you may already have ideas of what you want to wear on your big day. It may all be up in your head, or you may even have pictures printed out, but do you know what it’s like to actually shop for a wedding dress? If this is your first wedding, then the answer is probably no! Wedding dress shopping is totally different than the regular type of shopping you do for everyday fashion. Here are a few etiquette rules to keep in mind as you skip into the bridal salon.
Wedding Dress Appointment Etiquette Tips
Shop on time
Designer bridal gowns are all made to order, that means they are not cut and sewn until your order is received. They are not mass-produced items that can be made quickly. You should order your gown no later than six months prior to your wedding.
If you place your order any closer to your wedding date, you will inquire a “rush fee” from the designer or not be able to order the gown you have chosen at all. Eight to ten months is the optimal time to order your gown to ensure that all goes on schedule and allow you a little breathing room.
Make an Appointment
One of the best ways to ruin your wedding dress shopping day is to head into a gorgeous salon on a whim with friends and be turned away because you didn’t make an appointment.
Wedding dress shopping is not the same as just popping into the department store and searching for a party dress.
It is a much more in-depth and serious process (although, it should also be fun, of course!).
Salons have a limited number of dressing rooms and you are not allowed to just shop and try-on on your own.
Bridal consultants are on staff and are assigned to each appointment to help the bride choose dresses, pull the dresses from stock, and help them try them on.
Make sure you call at least a couple of weeks before you want to head into the salon and make an appointment.
This way, you can make it a fun and memorable experience with your entourage.
When shopping for a wedding gown, you will be changing in and out of dresses in front of your consultant.
Make sure you are wearing the proper undergarments that you will feel comfortable in, and will not show through some of the gowns (no black, red, or polka dots).
Nude panties and bra are best. If you plan on wearing shapewear please bring them with you as it makes a difference in sizing.
You do not need camera-ready makeup.
We know you may want to take a few photos to remember your favorites, but many of these gowns will need to go over your head so please skip the makeup!
The same goes for self-tanners, bronzers and anything else that can damage the gown.
Have a budget in mind
It’s super important to be upfront and honest about your budget with the stylist at the beginning of your appointment.
First off, you don’t want to try on gowns and fall in love with one that you can’t ever afford. Second, you don’t want to waste the stylist’s time that way.
An experienced stylist will be able to pull out dresses that are within your price range. Dresses that you’re sure to love.
Be honest about your budget from the beginning so you are happy with your choice at the end.
Don’t Be Late
Finally, and possibly the most important etiquette tip is to never be late or a no-show for your wedding gown appointment.
The salon is assigning you to a consultant that is blocking out a chunk of their day to work specifically with you and the salon may have had to turn down brides because of your appointment.