Category Archives: Janell

Before you Start to Shop

Where do you go shopping for your dream dress?

                Are you coordinating a shopping trip with your Bride Tribe?! Before you start your engine, do some research! That way you all can have the best experience and make awesome memories.

  1. Consider shopping close to your home, near family or your venue. All have their merits. So, let’s break it down! Close to your home makes alteration trips easy. Close to your parents will give you family time, and usually there will be a party or two planned leading up to the wedding. If you are a destination bride, you might want to get your dress near the venue. You can do fittings when you are in town planning and possibly have them deliver the dress the day of the wedding.
  2. Google the stores in the chosen area. Review their websites, The Knot and/or WeddingWire pages. Do they have the vibe you are looking for? Do they carry dresses within your budgeted range? Are you looking for plus size dresses? (*not all stores stock plus sizes, so call ahead to find out)
  3. Read the reviews and see how many the store has. Ask your friends, coworkers, etc for recommendations. Make an appointment, find out how many guests can join you, and if they permit outside beverages (remember you are going into a store with ALL white dresses.) The stores want you to have an enjoyable experience, but keep the “party” for lunch or local happy hour!

Finding a store that matches your needs is just as important as finding your dream dress! Do your homework and then have some fun!

3 Tips on Shopping for your Wedding Dress!

                Congratulations, you’re engaged! You have been waiting for the question to be popped, or you were just surprised! You said “YES!” So, pop a bottle of champagne and get ready for the ride!

  1. Pick a season and a few dates with your partner (+ family if they are planning with you). Remember to be a little flexible since depending on your venue there might be only limited dates available, or you may pick an off day.
  2. Find your venue and reserve your date!  Your venue lends as the back drop to your special day. It’s going to tell you inside/outside, formal/casual, ballroom/canopy of trees, local/destination. This will help direct you to your fashion style, BUT should not limit you!
  3. It’s all in timing. If you are 5 to 20 months from your wedding date, now is a good time to get your dress. If the time is less than 5 months, no sweat. Many stores sell their gowns off the rack, and a few even have designers with very short delivery time. Your choices may be a bit limited, but you will still find the perfect gown! If more than 20 months out, WAIT! Styles will change, and your taste may change. Once you have purchased your gown. It is yours– no going back.

It’s time to get started. Sooooo, let’s go!

Dress Sizing 101

Why are wedding dress sizes so weird?

Wedding dress sizes don’t seem to be the same as ready to wear (aka your favorite dress from LOFT), why is that?!

Well, “vanity sizing” has snuck into our everyday clothing over the last 30 years, and has skewed the reality of a “real” size. Have you noticed how our daily clothing moves and stretches with us? It is because most clothing is made of a knit. Most wedding dresses are made of woven fabrics that don’t stretch. With that being said, it gives that fitted, push up, look in the bust and the slim waist.

Remember that dresses are not like our everyday clothes, so it will feel and look different. Fit will not be PERFECT when trying on, and here’s why:

  1. Most stores carry a run of sizes from 6 to 18. They will only have one specific style in one size. So, you may not be able to try on your favorite dress, BUT don’t let that dissuade you from choosing that particular dress. A savvy consultant will find a dress in your size with a similar style to let you see what would look like, and then find a way for you to view your favorite. It’s a leap of faith, but it’s worth the risk if it’s YOUR dress. Keep in mind that there are specially stores for plus size brides. They are popping up all over the country if you really feel the need to try that dress on in your size.
  2. ALL bridal dresses will need some type of alteration. If it’s only a nip and tuck to a hem. Expect that most samples you try will need “help” to make it perfect for you. Don’t judge the sample style by the way it fits, or you will totally miss your perfect dress.
  3. Don’t pay attention to the literal dress size number. Just let your consultant guide you in choosing your correct bridal size for the best possible fit. Size doesn’t matter, the FIT does.

Trying on dresses can be stressful, but let the consultant guide you in what to try.  A good store will “clip” you into the dress so you can “see” your fit. Go with the flow, and make sure to come prepared as discussed in Dress Shopping Prep.

Who to take Dress Shopping

Who will you take on your shopping spree?

Life is a party and dress shopping is just the beginning! Asking those that will be your support, and treasure this time with you should get a spot at “the table.” Here is where “the more, the merrier” may not be so fitting for this adventure. It is important to check with the stores you wish to visit for their guest count policy. If they don’t have room for more than 5, then arrange to meet everyone after shopping for lunch or happy hour to celebrate your choice.

  1. It’s a family affair for some brides. For some, it’s been your mother’s dream to go shopping with you. Maybe with your sibling(s), grandmother(s), aunt(s) or maybe even your father. It’s tradition and it may feel right to you.
  2. It’s your squad! Your besties that you hang with daily and brunch with on the weekends. You share opinions and dreams together! They
    know your personality and your fiancé as well as you.
  3. Are you the independent gal that makes decisions on your own? Like you have made in your finances, career and life? Why does shopping for your dress change your norm? You can totally shop on your own!

One or a few, whatever works for you. Just remember that you are ultimately wearing the dress, and not those with you. Pick the one that makes you happy, not the group. PLUS if everyone is in agreeance on your favorite, even better! Leave the stress at the door and have fun!

Dress Shopping Prep

How to be prepared to shop for your wedding dress

                Welcome to a whole new world in shopping! Looking for a wedding dress may seem overwhelming, but here are some tips to get you confident! First, this will not be like shopping online or going to the mall. In most bridal stores you will have a consultant working with you. If she picks up on your vibe, you can rely on her to find your dress. You really won’t need to do much other than enjoy the moment! Here is what you need to know before jumping into the car to shop with your bride tribe.

  1. You did the research; now make an appointment at the stores you want to visit. This will ensure you a dressing room, plus a consultant to aid your search thru the racks of wonderful dresses.
  2. Wear proper (neutral colored) undergarments, and bring shoes the heel height you think you will be wearing on your wedding day. Pro Tip: A strapless bra or sticky bra (if you are shopping for a backless gown), along with underwear/spanx will keep you feeling confident throughout your appointment. Remember, there will be a consultant in the dressing room helping you in and out of dresses. 
  3. Pin your favorite dress ideas. It could just be a specific neckline, skirt, lace treatment you are drawn to. Show these ideas to your consultant! Keep an open mind, your consultant should be able to translate your pics and likes into your dream dress.

Appointment, check. Undergarments, check. Pinterest ideas, check. Let’s shop!

Dress Budgeting Tips

The dreaded B word…

                Budgets can be daunting. Just like thinking about the amount you may possibly spend on a garment you will wear for one day in your life! Wow, that’s a lot to ponder. So why spend a lot of money on this one day dress you ask? Well, unless you are a member of the royal family or an actress, this will be the most photographed dress that you will probably wear in your lifetime. It’s going to be in your favorite photos, probably on your holiday card and all over your social media; so it better be special! This is the time to splurge on yourself.

  1. Everyone’s priorities are different. If it helps, there is a mathematical number that you can follow for all your wedding day expenses on TheKnot.com. The dress is usually 7% of your total budget. The average gown cost in 2018 was $1,600. So crunch some numbers and budget what is comfortable for you. A brand new dress can run from $600 to $10,000, or even more if you watch “Say Yes to the Dress!”
  2. A fortunate bride may even have a family member, ie grandmother or aunt, that may want to gift the wedding dress. If that is the case, you will need to find out what your budget will be. If it is not in the range you were hoping for, ask if you can subsidize the amount if you find something that costs a bit more. Some parents will pay for the wedding day, but may have the bride cover the expenses for her dress. This is an important conversation that must be had before entering into the store.
  3. Most stores will request ½ of the dress cost at the time of purchase. The balance will be due when the dress arrives. Some stores will do a payment program. This is a great question to ask when you make your appointment.

Finding your budget comfort “zone” is important to your shopping experience. You need to go into the store with “real figures” so you don’t tempt yourself with a style outside your budget and leave disappointed. Rely on your consultant to stay in your budget and have a great time finding your dresses.