4. Do "the aisle test" to make sure the gown looks good from every angle. Before making your final decision, we will help you into the top contender one last time, veil and all, have you walk around the pedestal and or sofa or walk to meet my a loved one at the front entrance. Walking towards them and seeing a stunned reaction solidifies how much you love the dress. Once you find it: go ahead, sit, shimmy, and even twirl in the gowns while trying them on—if it's the right one, you should feel as if you never want to take it off.
5. Trying on wedding gowns is physically and emotionally exhausting. Wedding gowns can be very heavy and getting in and out of them is a workout in itself; you will find yourself ravenous and in need of a good nap afterwards! Up until that point, don't make major planning decisions (photographer, DJ), but when you see how I look in YOUR dress, it will be as if all that had gone before was just a fuzzy dream that suddenly everything becomes crystal-clear. Not the weepy type? don't be mortified if or when tears stream down your cheeks. On the other hand, a bride-to-be friend of mine who sniffles at commercials was mystified by how detached she was to the gown she bought. That's the beauty of wedding planning—no two brides will ever have the same exact experience.
6. Make Mom love you forever by trying on a dress she recommends, even if you hate it. If Mom has been looking forward to this moment ever since you played dress-up as a little girl, oblige her just this one time and try on one of her recommendations. It's a win-win: Either she'll see that you were right about lace looking all kinds of wrong on you, or you may shock yourself by purchasing one of her picks. Also, be open to suggestions by the consultant. We can not count the number of girls who fell in love with the dress that they hated on the hanger once they put it on!
7. Ask if there are any discounts they can offer you. We offer discounts if you purchase bridesmaid or mother of the bride/groom dresses there as well. At trunk shows, which feature an entire collection from a specific designer, brides can get a percentage off (usually 10-15), for buying a gown that same day. If you're serious about a dress and can't make the show, try it on beforehand and see if they'll grant it to you at the lower price anyway.
8. You’ll have to sign on the dotted line for even the smallest details. In order to buy a dress, you'll have to commit to a certain size ahead of time, and they're teeny-tiny compared to regular clothing sizes (a bridal size 6 is equivalent to a size 2 in "normal" clothes). Be prepared to expected that. Don't be surprised to learn you may have to sign off on the height of the heels you will be wearing on the day of the wedding (this would affect your alterations). If you're planning on customizing your gown by adding sleeves, embellishments, or dropping/raising the waist, be prepared to answer very specific questions about that as well. Do not feel offended at anytime during the process when a seamstress or consultant asks you about your cycle or weight fluctuations. They are only trying to do what they need to make you look perfect on your wedding day.
9. Repeat after me: You are not a failure if you have to try on more than 10 gowns before finding The Gown. Shopping can be a scene out of a romantic comedy or a nightmare: The excitement in the bridal salon is palpable, you're swilling champagne, everyone coos over how stunning you are, and you wish you could bottle how giddy you feel. What movies don't show you is how despondent it can feel if it takes four, or five, or six visits before you find anything that even remotely feels like you. No one tells you that you may even leave some salons crying due to how they work with their clients. Everyone from my doctor to my neighbors got a kick when "the bridal professional couldn't even find a dress." You may find it on the first dress and you may not, but you will find it!
10. Do it once, do it fabulous. We may repeat this mantra to me throughout my appointment, and it's stuck in my head ever since. You're (hopefully) only going to shop for a wedding gown once in your life—drown out everyone else's opinion and you'll hear a silent little voice tell you which one you should choose. If you are feeling uncertain I will remind you that I am the dress doctor and you should go home, take two aspirin and call me in the morning. When you go to bed be thinking about the gowns you loved when you go to sleep: and your mind will do the work while you sleep. When you wake up your mind will have done the work and sorted things out for you. THE dress will be THE one you first think of when you wake up in the morning. Then, when you pick it, lie to everyone except a handful of people you can trust not to spill the secret.