Shopping for a wedding dress should be fun and exciting! That said, so many brides aren’t sure what to expect when they come to their first bridal appointment. There’s only one of each dress? You’re in the room with me? Can I bring everyone I know?? So to help with those questions, here’s the low-down on what you can expect from your first bridal appointment and how to best prepare for a fun day!
- Do a little homework
OK, this is not as hard as it sounds! Get on Pinterest (like you don’t have a wedding board already ;P) and pin some gowns that you like. Better yet, visit our designers’ page here and check out the designers we have in our store. If you like any of the gowns, pin them! Pictures are so helpful when you have a specific vision for your gown because sometimes it’s hard to put that vision into words. Then when you come to your appointment you can show us your ideas and that goes a long way towards us being as helpful as possible to you!
- Trust your stylist
We promise we won’t make you put on anything you hate- you’re the boss after all! But, we will make suggestions if we feel like you are leaning towards something different than what your original “vision” was. “I know I want a ball gown” turns into “OMG I look fabulous in this fit and flare” in just a matter of minutes. Wedding gowns are structured better than any piece of clothing you’ve ever owned, so you may be surprised by what shape you actually end up loving yourself in. Know that we, above all, want you to be happy and make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the room so be open to trying something different. And yes, we will take credit when you choose something that we picked 😀
- Did we just become best friends??
Girl, we are going to get up close and personal by the end of your bridal appointment. We will be in the dressing room with you so wear undergarments that you don’t mind us seeing! We’ve seen everything, so you can’t surprise us, but fair warning, you’ll probably lose your bra by the end of the appointment. We here at Monica’s also provide you a long line corset bra to try gowns on, so don’t worry about bringing a strapless with you. Our bras have lower backs than traditional strapless bras, so they tend to look better. And frankly, you probably won’t wear one on the big day, so don’t get too wrapped up in the whole bra thing.
- Mind your “B”
No one likes the word “budget” but we encourage you to keep it in mind. As stylists, we will always attempt to be respectful of what you tell us that number is. We get asked a lot to try on gowns that are outside of a bride’s budget “because we’re just trying on for style.” We are happy to put you in anything you want (again, you’re the boss babe here), but the worst part of our job is watching the heartbreak on your face when you fall in love with a gown you can’t afford. If you know you’ve got a hard limit, try to stick to it.
- We repeat, you are the Boss Babe
Having your friends and family with you at your bridal appointment is awesome. It’s a special day that they are very excited to be a part of, but remember, they are there because they love YOU! That said, your opinion is the most important one in the room. If you don’t like a dress- tell us! If you don’t want to try something on that your cousin brought to us, don’t! You run the show today girl. Make sure that you choose a dress for yourself and no one else (not even your groom- yeah, we said it)!
- Your second grade teacher doesn’t need to be there
Ok, we are being funny here, but you really don’t need your ENTIRE bride tribe there. Too many opinions can be overwhelming and take the focus off of you and what you are really looking for. Plus, sometimes too many people can make it hard to hear your own thoughts, literally. (Seriously, we women are LOUD!) We suggest your mom, MOH, and maybe your future mother-in-law. At a Monica’s appointment, for instance, there are only three chairs per dressing room. We will allow you to bring as many peeps as you deem necessary, but only three will have a chair.
- This can be super fun or stressful and confusing
We like to think wedding dress shopping is the second most fun thing in the wedding process, right after the proposal. However, it can easily go south if you put too much pressure on yourself. Some brides go to 10 different stores to make sure they don’t miss anything- and guess what they tell us? Everything starts to run together and look alike, and most of them come back to the first dress that they really loved. If your gown checks off every box on your list, you feel great in it, and you don’t want to take it off- you’ve probably found your wedding gown!
- Find your sweet spot
We know how exciting this time is; you’re newly engaged and you are just dying to try on to see yourself in a wedding dress and experiment with styles. We recommend shopping at least 8-10 months before your wedding so that there is not only ample time for ordering and alterations. And (see above) so you don’t confuse yourself by trying on 300 gowns! Of course, once you find THE gown, the sooner you can order, the better. This will alleviate so much stress since so many decisions about décor, flowers, etc. can be based on your dress. Side note, if you don’t have a venue (which will dictate your date) how can you paint yourself into the picture in a wedding gown? We find it’s best to wait to come shopping until you’ve got your venue on lock.
- Sample sizes and bridal sizing are annoying
If we carried a wedding dress in every size available we’d need a huge warehouse AND they’d cost $10,000 each to cover our overhead. For those reasons, we only get one or two of each gown. The size range spans from size 8-28 (yes, we have plus sizes!). The dress you try on might not fit you perfectly, but we do our very best to show you how the gown will fit and look on you. Once you say “yes” to a wedding dress, we will take your measurements and help you choose a size that will fit you best. And while we’re on that subject- ignore the numbers! Bridal sizes run 2-3 sizes different from our regular clothes. Ignore them- they are ridiculous and mean nothing!
- Crying is NOT required
Although we do keep tissues on hand, not everyone cries. If you do- awesome! (Ok, that sounds mean, but it’s always sweet to see a misty-eyed bride say “yes.”) If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t found THE dress. You didn’t cry the last time you found the perfect pair of jeans, did you? Not that we’re judging 🙂
We could literally write a book about bridal appointments, so we know we’ve left some things out. If you have more questions, call or email us! We are here to help, and we can’t wait to see you!
XOXO, The Monica’s Girls