Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Now that you are engaged, are you dreaming of finding your wedding dress?

If you are eager to hit the bridal shop to try on different styles and find the picture-perfect fit, then this timeline can help you determine when it is best to gather your support team and start shopping.

When should you try on dresses?
It is essential to understand that finding and fitting the right wedding dress is a process. Your dress will need to be ordered, shipped, altered, and pressed before your wedding date. Some dresses are made to order, and it can take up to six months to piece together. But, even if you are purchasing off the rack, it is likely you will still need time to make adjustments.

With this in mind, we recommend you begin dress shopping as soon as you have secured the venue. Ideally, you will have eight to ten months for find your dress and have it returned and ready to wear on the big day.

What are the steps for finding the right dress?
Since selecting the right dress is more than simply hitting the store and buying what you like, we have created a simple timeline set you on the right shopping path.

  1. Choose a style. You may already have a style in mind but do some online research and purchase and peruse a few bridal magazines. Trends change year to year, and you may find yourself leaning towards a look that you want to try first. It makes your trip to the bridal shop more efficient when you already have an idea of what you like. Although, we do recommend you try on a few varying styles, you may be surprised with what you fall in love with!
  2. Choose your budget. Decide how much of your wedding budget you plan to spend on your dress. Remember to add in taxes, shipping costs, alterations, and the added cost of your veil and accessories.
  3. Set an appointment. Many bridal boutiques will require and appointment to try on gowns. It is likely that they will have an attendant available to walk you through the process, so they need to have you on the schedule to provide the best possible service.
  4. Make your purchase and allow time for your dress to be created and packaged for shipping.
  5. Once your dress has arrived, make an appointment to try it on and determine what needs to be altered.
  6. After the final alterations, have your dress steamed or professionally pressed and hung in a sealed bag until your wedding date.

How to Choose Bridesmaids Dresses for a Spring Wedding

If you are getting married, it’s likely that you have already thought about what kind of wedding party you want. You’ve probably selected the ceremony site, chosen your favorite vendors, and made plans for the rehearsal dinner.

Now is the time to start thinking about your wedding party and what they will wear. But picking an option within your color and style theme is only the beginning. While the process seems fun, it is not quite as easy as you may think. Before you start shopping, you should know a few basics to help you make an informed decision.

Consider the Weather.
If you live in an area where spring weather can range from freezing temperatures to sunny and warm, you may want to look for dresses that can be worn under a wrap or jacket. If you’re not sure what to expect in terms of the weather, look for dresses that can layer nicely so your girls are comfortable if it gets a little chilly.

How formal is your wedding?
If you are hosting a casual wedding, there are many ways in which to go about choosing your bridesmaid dresses. You can choose from a variety of short, flowing, and colorful dresses. Alternatively, you could give each girl a few choices within a range of options and let them choose what suits their style and personality best. Then, you can offer matching accessories to tie the look together nicely.

If you’re going the formal route, then consider length and fabric. Typically, a knee-length dress or longer is considered “formal.” Dresses made of bridal satin, brocade, or charmeuse look classy for a dressy event. This is the time to let your bridesmaids rock that long, gorgeous ballgown of their dreams!

Consider body types.
It is important to consider which styles look flattering on the unique body types of your bridesmaids. If you want your girls to wear matching dresses, consider picking a maxi style which is long a flowing and a little less formal, the sheath look, which is long and fitted for any style wedding, or an empire waist that clinches the narrowest point of the bust and flows nicely from there. If you are willing to let your girls mix and match, let them try on various styles and purchase the one they feel the most beautiful in.

Think about the cost.
It is likely that your bridesmaids will purchase their own dress, so you should be mindful of the cost. Perhaps one or two bridesmaids can afford to spend a bit more money on a dress than another, so be considerate of everyone’s budget before making your final decision.

An affordable bridesmaids’ dress ranges between $100 and $200 for a typical wedding. With that price, you can select something that will look great on everyone. Make sure you pick a dress that they will be excited to wear again!

Your Wedding Invitations Guide

Now that you are engaged, congratulations! As you begin organizing details, take some time to find a style of wedding invitation that is right for you.  Here is a guide to helping you begin the selection process as well as understanding how to properly address and insert the correct wording.

Style

First, determine whether you plan to have a casual or formal event and keep your setting in mind.  Will your wedding take place indoors or outdoors, in the evening or early afternoon? Are you planning a destination wedding, or something at your local church? Each of these factors can play a part when deciding which invitation to choose. A formal wedding invitation is better suited for an indoor wedding in the evening hours where a sit-down dinner will be served.  A casual invitation is better suited for an early afternoon wedding on the beach. It is essential that the formality and style of your selection corresponds with your atmosphere.

Colors

Have you already selected the colors of your bridesmaid’s dresses and floral arrangements? If you have a shade in mind, wedding invitations are a perfect avenue for introducing your color theme.

Addressing

Before you order your wedding invitations, pre-plan who will be included on your guest list.  Always order additional invitations in the event you need to extend a last-minute invite. Address your envelopes to clearly reflect who you plan to include.  If you are hoping for a family along with their children, address your envelopes to the “Family of….” If you only intend to invite the couple, address the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs.…” For the singleton who is engaged, be sure to include their fiancé. In this instance, or in the instance of a single person who you want to bring a guest, write “Mr. or Ms.….and Guest” While most single adults are allowed to bring a date to weddings, if you are keeping your numbers low and only want to invite him or her, be sure you only address the invitation to the name of the person you plan to include. Here are more tips on how to keep your guest list small.   Here is a guide to knowing when you should allow a “plus-one.” Make sure you include response cards and envelopes with postage to keep your RSVP list in order.

Wording

This part should take most of your attention and time. It is essential to include the name of the bride and groom, the exact wedding location and time, parent’s name if they are taking part in wedding payment and planning, and any other pertinent information your guests will need to know. Avoid adding registry information or logistics. If you want to include anything additional such as these items, add them to a card or small note within the envelope. Feel free to add a poem, or something unique to make your invitation special, but remember to keep it simple with few words. Too much information in a small space can be overwhelming. Here are some invitation mistakes to avoid. If you are planning a reception following your ceremony include a note stating “Reception to follow” so all guest can plan ahead. Optional elements to include in your envelope are, reception details, directions, registry information, and anything else.  Wedding website details can be added to your invitation or as an optional add-in.