What If I Lose Weight/put On Weight Before The Wedding
Whether its a weight loss or a weight gain, this can be tricky, especially if the dress has already been altered or youre very close to your wedding date. If its a lace-up gown, youll have an easier time, but if your wedding gown has a zip, that can be fiddly. That said, anythings possible, just expect to have to pay for the additional alterations and, if you do gain or lose weight, be sure to speak with your seamstress as soon as possible as alterations, especially complicated ones, can take time.
Its also the reason why, no matter how early you purchase your wedding gown, your alterations will most likely be left until closer to your wedding day.
What Is Your Cancellation And/or Refund Policy
None of us likes to think about the worst, but it is prudent to plan for it, so ask about the consequences should you need to cancel your purchase with your wedding dress designer or seller of choice. How much notice must you give? Will you lose your deposit if you cancel? Will you lose it if you re-schedule?
The thing with wedding gowns is that unless youre purchasing from a sample sale where gowns are purchased as is and rarely with the possibility of a refund, most wedding gowns are tailored to each bride and, therefore, cant be returned.
Obviously, the policy varies from store to store and will be subject to consumer trading laws in your region but, for the most part, its unlikely youll get any money back.
If you cancel before anything is done to the dress, you may get your deposit back, but thats not guaranteed, so dont be afraid to ask these questions up front because, in the event you need to cancel your wedding, youll be glad you did.
Demanding The Wrong Size
Wedding gown sizes typically run one or two sizes smaller than street clothes, so try not to get hung up on the number. Do not fixate on the actual size but instead on how your measurements compare to the particular line on the specific designers size chart, said Gesinee of Gesinees Bridal in Concord, CA.
Planning on losing weight before the big day? If I had a nickel for every person I have measured who said they were going to lose weight, I would be rich! said Lash. Play it safe and order a size that fits your current body. Any dress can be taken in, typically up to four sizes without affecting the look of the dress, but most can only be let out one full sizeif that. You need to be realistic, in case you dont lose your targeted weight, says DeMarco.
What happens if your dress doesnt fit when it comes in? First, dont freak out and go on a crash diet. Theres always something you can do, said DeMarco. You can order fabric from the designer, add beading, or even put in a new back to accommodate the measurements needed.
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Look Out For Sample Dress Sales
For those of you who dont know what a sample wedding dress sale is, its when a bridal store and designers sell the dresses brides try on in-store.
Prestigious designers tend to host at least two sample sales a year across two major cities. Typically, one in January and one during the summer. So, keep your eyes peeled for these dates and you might even find your Vera Wang gown after all!
Sample sales have a mountain of pros and cons. Most notably the massively discounted rates which are good if you are on a tight wedding budget! Plus, theres usually a wide array of sizes to choose from. So, there should be plenty of options on the way of finding the perfect wedding dress.
However, despite boutiques doing their utmost to look after their samples, there might be marks or minor damages present So, be sure to thoroughly inspect the dress before making any decisions while youre there because usually, you have to buy your designer gown on the spot.
All in all sample sales are definitely worth trying, especially as bridal trends dont vary massively from season to season. However, the nature of sample sales can be a little pressured. So, our best advice to you is to do a normal dress shop first. That way youll know the kinds of styles and silhouettes that compliment you best before you head into potential chaos!
Top Tip: Some wedding attire stores still require you to make a bridal appointment in advance, so always double-check to see if thats necessary.
Typical Wedding Dress Shopping Timeline
As a frame of reference, we typically recommend brides begin their dress hunt nine months to a year before their wedding date. . This is the perfect sweet spot kind of the Goldilocks of dress shopping timelinesfor a few reasons. On the front end, it gives you plenty of room to breathe after your engagement, and then take your time looking for dress inspiration. On the back end, it allows time for multiple bridal salon visits, custom details, fittings, alterations, unforeseen fixes or even to change your mind .
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Sticking With One Style
Ninety percent of our brides leave with something completely different than what they had in mind when they walked in, said DeMarco. Bringing in pictures of dresses you like is a good start, but if your consultant recommends something different, give it a try. Its impossible to tell what a dress will look like on your body just from seeing it on a hanger. If a bride is fuller in the hip area, she might have a mind set that she cant wear a fitted dress, says DeMarco. However, what she may not know is that a more fitted dress would show off her curves, fit beautifully, and make her appear more slender as opposed to covering up.
Need advice on which shape is most flattering? Get some recommendations here.
Save Money On Your Wedding Dress By Buying Pre
When it comes to saving money on your big day, one thing that is always a struggle is the dress. Youll only wear for a few hours on one day, so its hard to justify a high price tag. But theres also the emotional aspect. You want to remember feeling your most beautiful in a dress that fits the occasion and looks stunning on you! Buying a pre-owned designer wedding dress is the best way to score your dream dress for less.
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Dont Forget Your Maids
Once your dress is sorted its time to think about your maids, too. About six months before the wedding is roughly the right time to start shopping for your maids’ outfits and we have a huge range of bridesmaids dresses in a selection of beautiful colours for just £79.99 / 89.99 each. Each dress is made to order and will be ready to collect in up to 12 weeks. Remember to take a peek at our super cute flower girls’ outfits too, theyre just adorable!
Dont Forget About Finances
Beautiful wedding dresses come at a price, and often youll need to act quickly to secure the dress of your dreams. So dont start wedding dress shopping until youre ready and able to buy one. You dont want to fall in love with a dress only to realise you cant buy it yet.
When youre ready to start wedding dress shopping, Belle Bridal is here to help. We can help you find stunning, designer wedding gowns for a fraction of their usual price. Contact us today to book a free appointment at our London bridal boutique.
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Do Send Accurate Measurements
Ideally you dont want to be ordering your dress off a simple size guide. I personally NEVER trust them! I dont know about you, but I can be a size S in one shop and a XL in the next .
The best case scenario is that the place youre ordering your dress from will ask for your measurements and then make a gown to fit you. This is what Adorona did, and both dresses turned out perfect. Ask which measurements they need and have someone to help you do it. Then check and double check that youve got them right!
I get it, no-one REALLY likes to measure themselves, but this is not the time for bending the truth. Dont stand there sucking in your tummy or wearing a padded bra. You want the dress to be comfortable. Be honest about your size. I promise, youll look and feel a million times more beautiful in a dress that actually fits.
Consider Working With A Stylist
Yes, there is such a thing as a bridal stylist she or he is your advocate and guide in shopping for all your looks, knows the ins and outs of the industry, has great relationships, and can solve any issues that arise creatively. When it comes to scoring options and appointments in a pandemic world, a stylist can be invaluable. This expert will serve as your right hand in choosing your looks, as well as in alterations, accessory coordination, and, hopefully, day-of dressing as well.
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Choose Your Hair Accessories
It’s also time to find your veil so you can get an idea of your entire look, from head to toe, when you have your gown fitting. For a casual dress, go with a complementary short blusher or cage veil. If you’re wearing a ball gown, you might want to choose something more dramatic and grand, like a chapel- or cathedral-length veil.
Weeks Prior To Wedding Date
The second fitting will take place at this time to see if any other minor adjustments need to be made to the dress. You will want to bring your veil and accessories to this fitting so you can decide if the final look is as perfect as you imaged. Look over the dress to make sure there are no wrinkles or bunching and that the bodice and hem fit perfectly.
Months Before Your Wedding
- Purchase your gown.
Around the nine-month mark you should make a final decision on a gown and put down a deposit. It can take up to six months for your dress to be built and then shipped to your salon. So, give yourself enough time putting a down payment on your dress as soon as you know its the one.
Are Alterations Included In The Cost Of My Gown
Buying your wedding dress isnt like buying a pretty frock at a local clothing store, where you try it on, purchase it and walk away.
Unless youre at a sample sale, most wedding dress designers and wedding dress boutiques dont actually hold a lot of stock, if any, that can be immediately sold. So, if you try on a dress in-store and then fall head over heels in love with it, know that you wont be taking it home!
The boutique will order it in for you, then alter it according to your very unique measurements so that it fits like a glove and looks like it was made for your and your exact body shape.
As such, alterations, generally, arent included in the price tag hanging off that gorgeous wedding gown and, depending on what level of alternations you need done, expect to pay up to several hundred additional dollars for alternations.
That said, obviously, if youre having your wedding dress custom-made, there arent any alterations per se and, therefore, everything should be included in the final price.
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Our Top Tips For Buying A Wedding Dress
1) Start shopping with an open mind. Be willing to try on different styles, even if they dont immediately jump out at you. Many brides find they choose something entirely outside of their usual style, so dont rule anything out until youve tried it on.
2) Dont start shopping until you have a budget. You might fall in love with something outside of your budget and then feel like you have to compromise on your dress. Pick a budget and stick to it before you start your search. And dont forget to include alterations in your budget.
3) Dont let the size of your dress define you. You are more than a dress size, and any good bridal boutique will let you focus on the dresses rather than the number on the label.
4) Alterations are your friend. Alterations can do more than adjust the size and fit. You could add sparkle, change the straps, add a lace topper or even dip-dye your dress a wild colour. Your wedding dress boutique will be able to recommend local wedding dress alteration companies to help you get the perfect dress.
5) Have fun! Wedding dress shopping is supposed to be a joyous experience, so if youre finding it stressful or upsetting for any reason, dont be afraid to walk away and return when you are in a better headspace. Dress shopping can be stressful, particularly if you arent feeling very confident. Make sure you surround yourself with a supportive bridal party to keep things positive.
Ready to start your search for your dream bridal gown?
Give Yourself A Runway To Make Decisions
Lead time is key. Bridal gowns are made to order and not always made to measure. That means the process of making your wedding dress does not begin until your measurements are taken and deposit has been paid. Once the deposit is received and any and all design specifications are outlined and signed off on by both you, the client, and the store or design house, all fabrics and embroidery/beading needed are secured. Logistics are then put in place in the designer’s atelier to produce your gown over the course of a few months, to reach you in time for three fittings prior to the wedding date.
Each dress and brand have unique timelines, so it’s important to not shop too late or too early .
As for narrowing your search to only designers located in the United States, we have seen no evidence of delays, holdups, or shipping restrictions affecting the shopping process. Designers internationally are working as hard as American houses to get back to work full force, and wedding gowns are, in essence, global creations. Most luxury design houses rely on fabrics from Italy and France, embroidery from India, fastenings from Asia, and more. Choose the boutiques and designers you shop wisely based on your researchthen, trust them. No store or consultant worth their salt will show you anything that won’t be available in time for your wedding date.
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