With more than 20 years of experience, bridal stylist Maradee Wahl provides every styling need from shopping for the perfect gown to attending to the bride on her wedding day. Each month, she'll be sharing her helpful tips – based on questions from real brides!
For her premier post, she discusses a question often asked by brides-to-be following Bridal Fashion Week in New York City. The vast number of wedding dress images seen on social media pique a number of brides' interests, but not all women are aware of the runway-to-wedding timeline.
Read on to learn more about Bridal Market in the first Dear Maradee post, below:
I just got engaged, and am dying to start shopping for the perfect gown! I have been following you on Instagram and saw that you were just at Bridal Week in New York.
Can you tell me how to find one of those gorgeous new gowns to try?
Congratulations on your engagement! Like most brides, I know the first thing you want to do is start shopping! Before we dive into the most fun part of planning a wedding, let’s discuss the bridal market and the new collections.
Bridal markets occur twice per year; once in spring and once in fall. Each designer that creates a new collection may offer a runway show or display a presentation of new looks. Of these new looks, some will never be available to a bride, as even the biggest designers will only add in 5-15 new gowns each season, but they must show 15-30 styles to make a fashion-worthy moment! Many gowns will be discontinued immediately after the boutiques and press give their feedback.
The gowns recently shown during April 2016 are spring 2017 collections, so they may not be available to wear until the following year. When looking at the new season, keep in mind that the gown may not be available in time for your wedding day. However, if your wedding is eight to twelve months away, you could be one of the first brides to wear one of the new styles!
Browsing the new collections is still a worthwhile project, as it can introduce you to a new designer to explore! Most designers stay true to their core aesthetic while exploring new trends, so discovering a collection that suits you can open up many more options.
After the market, the gowns will start traveling around the country during trunk shows, so you can go to the collection website and find out the schedule. If there is a location near you, you can make an appointment and try the new gowns. Be sure to call ahead and ask for any particular requests, as the gowns may not be available.
This may be the only time you can see these gowns, and there will be an incentive to purchase that day. It’s a good idea to visit the boutique ahead of time and try other styles by the same designer, so you can focus on comparing your current favorites with the new gowns and be able to make a quick decision.
Also to note, the samples at the trunk show are literally the exact gowns that walked down the runway, so be prepared... they are a very small size, and may not be in perfect condition. Also, small changes may be made in the final gown, so be sure to ask lots of questions! Often, the designer or bridal director will be on hand to showcase the collection and to help you make the right decision for you.
Be sure to check back for more advice from Maradee! If you have questions of your own, we'd love to hear them! Leave a comment below, and the next Dear Maradee feature could answer your question! Find more fashion on InsideWeddings.com here, and read Maradee's tips on how to find the perfect bridal gown.