Looking for your dream wedding dress? Congratulations! Since you'll want your wedding dress to fit the style and formality of your big day, that means you've likely set a wedding date, have a wedding venue secured, and are ready to bring your wedding vision to life.
Some brides-to-be have been looking forward to browsing beautiful gowns and finding the perfect dress for their entire lives, while others may find the task of sorting through many gowns to find the right dress incredibly daunting. No matter which end of the spectrum you may fall, having the insider scoop on the process can help lessen any pre-shopping nerves to ensure the experience is a memorable one (for the right reasons of course!).
To help brides prepare for this moment, we asked the team at Mon Amie Bridal Salon to share their tips for your first wedding dress appointment, plus when to schedule your bridal appointments and how to make your wedding-dress shopping experience fun. Read their tips, below:
When to Schedule Your Wedding Dress Appointment
While of course timelines may vary based on the bridal designer, time of year, and more factors you won't be able to control, the team at Mon Amie Bridal Salon shares the breakdown of the timeline for ordering your wedding dress with no stress and in plenty of time for your wedding day.
When should you go wedding dress shopping?
- You should start wedding dress shopping 10-12 months before your wedding to ensure no rush fees. But, it’s never too early to start if you want to shop earlier!
- Wedding gowns take between six to eight months to get into our store, hence the early start time.
- If you’re running behind, don’t worry! We will try our hardest to make your dream gown a possibility.
- Is your wedding date fast approaching? Take a look at sample gowns you can buy off the floor or ask about a rush fee on the dress of your dreams!
What happens after I order my wedding dress?
- After your wedding dress has been ordered, there’s nothing left to do other than be patient! Your dream gown is in the process of being made and will be in your arms within six to eight months.
- In the meantime, you can shop for your undergarments, wedding shoes, and accessories since you'll likely want those on hand when it comes time for alterations!
How does the alterations process work?
- Our alterations department prefers to start six to eight weeks before your wedding to ensure that your size won't change during that time frame.
- If you are crunched for time, our alterations team can get your bridal gown ready within a few days with a small rush charge.
Photo by Kristina Adams; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; Veil from Mon Amie Bridal Salon; From Real Wedding: A Timeless, Classic & Elegant Ocean-View Wedding in California
What to Expect During Your Wedding Dress Appointment
There are likely a number of bridal shops, salons, and boutiques in your area, and each one will have different styles, feels, and vibes. That being said, each bridal appointment experience will be fairly similar in terms of how it's conducted – with a bridal stylist pulling options, helping you try on each gown, and working with you as you make your final dress decision.
For tips from the team at Mon Amie Bridal Salon, which features over 2,500 gowns for brides to choose from, take a look at their advice below for what to expect while wedding dress shopping:
Expect to Find "The One"
- Go into every appointment thinking “I am going to find my wedding dress." You'll need to put yourself in the right mindset at the beginning of your shopping experience to be ready to say “yes” when you do find the one.
- If you don’t find your dream dress at the first or second store you visit, keep looking and don't get discouraged.
- If you do find your wedding dress at your first appointment, celebrate that moment and be happy the search was fun and easy! Try not to second-guess yourself.
Expect a Fun Experience
- We pride ourselves on giving every bride the best experience possible. We want your experience to be fun and exciting!
- We will offer you and your guests Champagne to get the party started. Note: If Champagne or bubbly is a must for your wedding-dress shopping experience, check with the bridal boutiques you're considering first. Not all offer this!
Expect Your Bridal Stylist to Listen & Understand What You’re Looking For
- Your stylist is an expert when it comes to wedding dresses. They will listen to your wants and needs and carefully curate a selection of bridal gowns they think you will love!
- If you want to take a gander around the store and choose a few on your own, that is 100% okay, too! However, we recommend letting your bridal stylist do the heavy lifting to find your dream wedding dress that fits your personal style and the style of your wedding day.
Expect to Put Down a Deposit If You Find Your Wedding Dress
- At Mon Amie, we require 60% down when you order the dress and the remaining 40% when it comes in!
- Splitting up the payments helps to make the wedding dress purchase a little easier than having to pay the amount in full. Inquire with the bridal salons you're interested in visiting to determine their policies.
Expect to Like Multiple Wedding Dresses
- It’s totally normal to really like more than one wedding gown when it comes to final decision time… Think to yourself, Which gown makes me feel like the bridal version of myself? and go with your instincts.
- Not every bride cries when they try on "The One," so don't put too much pressure on the special moment!
Expect to Fall in Love with Something You Didn't Expect
- You may fall in love with a wedding dress that's totally different from what you originally thought you would like. Don't be afraid to try on dresses that you never thought you would have considered – brides end up falling in love with these options all the time!
- Brides often come in with one idea and love something totally different – it’s normal. Be open minded with dress silhouettes, necklines, and styles, and remember to make this wedding-attire decision with your heart and not your mind.
Photo by Troy Grover Photographers; Bridal Salon: Mon Amie Bridal Salon; From Real Wedding: Jet Setter Couple's Modern Wedding with Travel-Inspired Elements
How to Make Wedding Dress Shopping Easy & Fun
Movies and television shows make wedding dress shopping either look like the best day of your life – until the wedding, that is – or the worst. Too many opinions from parents, bridesmaids, and family members can make the special moment stressful, as can putting too much pressure on finding "The One" at wedding-dress appointments, but these tips from the team at Mon Amie Bridal Salon should make shopping a breeze:
Come with an Idea in Mind
- You may not know which style will fit your body type best or what kind of fabric you like… but if you know you don’t like a big ball gown or a tight-fitting mermaid dress, then that is a great first step in finding your ideal style!
- Thinking about what you know you don’t like helps you and your bridal stylist realize what you do like!
- Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! Look up different styles of wedding dresses online and have some photos to show your stylist. Sometimes using pictures to describe what you like is easier than using words.
Trust Your Bridal Stylist
- Your stylist or consultant is going to listen to what you want, see your reaction as you try on wedding dresses, and get a feel for what you’re looking for.
- They may want to pull a few bridal gowns that they think you will like (that you may not have considered) and our biggest advice is to trust them!
- Sometimes wedding dresses don’t look as great on the hanger as they do on the body, and your expert stylist knows that.
Come Ready to Find a Wedding Dress
- We know first hand how hard it is to find a wedding dress. We also know that the idea of finding a dress at your first wedding-dress appointment seems impossible, but in reality that happens more often than not.
- There are always going to be more dresses out there and different styles emerging with the new seasons approaching... The search for a gown can be never ending if you let it be.
- Once you find a wedding dress that you love, feel confident in, and makes you feel like a bride, then that’s where your search stops and you know you've found your wedding gown.