Hello #WildBrides !!
So, let's be honest...dress shopping is one of the BEST parts of the wedding planning process, but it may also feel very overwhelming and stressful. You spend hours on end pouring through Pinterest photos, pinning gowns to your board, learning new lingo (what on earth is a crepe dress anyways?! and how many different types of bustles are there??) , you get your tribe together and plan out a day of appointments, hoping to find your dream gown and have that "say yes to the dress!" moment.
One of the most frequent questions we are asked by our brides is how soon is too soon to start dress shopping?! Well, were here to answer this question and other FAQ's about dress shopping and alterations to help you feel at ease and armed with information to make the dress shopping experience as exciting and stress-free as it should be for every bride!
So, how soon IS too soon to start dress shopping?
The honest answer to this question is that it's never too soon! We recommend at least having a venue and a date nailed down beforehand, so that you can shop appropriately for the season and the setting. Once you've got those details ironed out- feel free to start your dress shopping bonanza!
If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the options ,you might consider starting small- maybe book an appointment and bring along only your mom or MOH at first. Try on a few different styles and get a feel for the silhouette that suits you best. This way, you can figure out what direction you're headed with limited outside opinion. Then, when you're ready to bring your whole tribe in for an appointment you'll already have a good idea of what it is you're looking for in your dream gown. This will make it easier to pull gowns that are tailored to your bridal vision and get you on the right track to saying yes to your dress!
Ok, but how far in advance do I NEED to buy my gown??
The rule of thumb on purchasing a gown is between one year to nine months before your wedding date. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that anything can happen at any time and it is certainly helpful to leave yourself some wiggle room to avoid any frustrations or time crunches.
Our designers typically operate on a 12-18 week timetable for production and shipping.That's anywhere from 3-5 months for your gown to arrive in store- then, another 3-6 months should be left for alterations. This time window is dependent on how much work your gown needs and if you are in need of custom alterations. For example, if you only need the gown bustled, hemmed and taken in an inch or two , your alterations would not take quite as long as if your gown requires custom work. Custom work can include things like adding a sleeve, adding buttons, lowering or raising the neckline/backline, removing or adding layers etc...
Are alterations really THAT important??
YES, YES, YES!!! Alterations are THE MOST important part of making your wedding gown YOURS! Sometimes, brides tend to overlook how instrumental alterations are in the wedding gown buying process. Your seamstress is your magical bridal unicorn who is wildly important in helping to execute your dream gown vision!
I'll say it louder for the people in the back..... YOUR SEAMSTRESS IS YOUR MAGICAL BRIDAL UNICORN!!!!
When purchasing your wedding gown it is so, so important to remember that a seamstress will fit your gown to YOUR body and has the ability to add or remove elements to your specifications (i.e. adding an off the shoulder sleeve, adding buttons down the train of the gown, removing a layer of tulle in an a-line gown and soooo much more!) Sometimes it can be difficult for a bride to find a wedding gown that checks 100% of her boxes, so we encourage our #wildbrides to remember that your seamstress can make your vision come to life with simple additions. If you are in love with a wedding gown, but it's missing a small element, don't rule it out right away!! Remember that your seamstress is....YUP, you guessed it- your magical bridal unicorn who will help your dream gown visions come to life!!
I'm having trouble visualizing how my dress will fit me because the sample sizes in the bridal boutiques aren't my size. What do I do?
We completely understand the frustration of not being able to try on a dress in your exact size and trying to visualize it can sometimes be tough. The sample sizes carried in store are the sizes sent to us by the designer and we do not always get to choose what sizes they send to us! But, when we do get a say we try to choose sizes that are inclusive for brides of all shapes and sizes. We want every body to be able to try on the gowns they love. As bridal consultants, we have a million tricks up our sleeves, including clamps, clips and pins to help you envision the gowns fit as best as possible. We also have multiple color swatch fabrics to help you envision how a different color lining would look!
Each designer has their own measurement specifications. When you decide to purchase a gown we will take your measurements and compare them to the designers size chart, we will then order you the gown size that matches closest to your measurements. Keep in mind- every BODY is different. The measurements created by the designers are based off their own specific formula. If your measurements are between sizes, it is always safest to order the size up- that way there is room for alterations. It is ALWAYS easier to take a dress in than to have to let one out. SO for instance, based on the designers size measurements- if the bodice might be too big, but the hip would fit just right, that's the size you should go with. You are much safer having to take the bodice in than risk having to let the gown out at the hip. And that's where your magical bridal unicorn seamstress comes in BIG time!
Lastly, how much can I expect to spend on alterations? Should this be part of my gown budget?
The cost of alterations differs depending on the amount of work that needs to be done to a dress. Typically, you should plan to spend between $300-$500 on alterations to ensure that your dress is perfect. If your gown needs a ton of custom work, you may be looking at anywhere between $500-$1000. When you consult with a seamstress, they will be able to give you an itemized list of the alterations with pricing. This makes it easier for you to see what exactly you are paying for and if there is any wiggle room to lower the cost. Remember, taking in a gown, hemming it and bustling are the necessities in ensuring your gown fits you like a glove on your wedding day. Start with the basics and work your way up to the customizations if you're on a budget.
Budgeting alterations into your wedding gown budget is important!! If someone is chipping in for the cost of your gown, or even buying it for you- we would encourage you to have a conversation with that person regarding the gown budget with the consideration of alterations in mind.
We hope this answers some of your burning questions and helped to ease your mind about the dress buying experience. We know that buying a wedding gown is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make and that you want it to be exactly as you'd envisioned! We are always here to answer any questions you may have and we hope to see you in our store and make you a member of our #wildbridetribe !!
The Lauren's of WBB
Click here to make your bridal appointment at Wild Blooms Bridal !