1. Don’t delay. One of your first steps in planning your wedding should be finding a bridal gown! Ideally, you should start your dress search a year before the wedding. Gowns are cut to order – this is not your usual off the rack shopping. Alterations also take time, and you’ll want some time to finalize your accessories.
2. Make an appointment. Most bridal salons are appointment-only so be sure to plan your trip a week or two in advance. Here at The Collection, we are happy to take walk-ins, but recommend making an appointment so that a dedicated Stylist can help. Call (407) 740-6003 to set up your appointment with us.
3. Who to bring. Think small entourage and only bring those people closest to your heart, for an intimate experience. It can be fun to shop with a big group of friends, but with a large group sometimes comes mixed signals. When you’re ready to make a decision we recommend a small group.
4. Know your budget. This is a discussion to have with whoever is paying for the gown before you walk in the door, so that you don’t fall in love with something you can’t afford. Gowns at The Collection range from $2,000 to over $13,000, so it’s important to know where you’d like to be budget-wise.
5. Get inspired. Feel free to bring inspiration photos you’ve found on Pinterest or in bridal magazines to share with your Stylist.
6. Come with an open mind. You may bring some ideas with you, but at the same time it’s important to consider your Stylist’s suggestions. Try things on they pick out even if you don’t love it on the hanger, you might be surprised! And don’t get stuck on checklists – brides often end up with something they never imagined wearing.
7. Consider trunk shows. Didn’t find your dress on the first round? Consider coming back for a trunk show. Trunk shows are special events where The Collection has extra dresses they don’t normally have in stock – sometimes straight from the runway or new dresses that aren’t in stores yet. Also, consider having us special order a dress for you to try on. Even if it’s not in the store, we can sometimes track down a sample and ship it to the store for you to try on!
8. Wear nude undergarments. A nude, strapless bra and nude underwear are recommended. Bring heels to try on with dresses, or use the ones we provide.
9. Consider your wedding details. You don’t need to have your entire wedding planned, but having an overall idea of how formal or religious your ceremony is, or the time of year or city where your wedding will take place, can make a huge difference in what kind of dress you pick. Or do what some brides do – pick the dress first, and have that set the tone for the rest of the wedding!
10. Don’t expect a “moment.” This happens for some brides, but you may not feel the clouds part and angels sing when you find your dress. Instead of an emotional response, look for the dress that makes you visualize your wedding day. The one that transports you to that day – not the one that makes someone else happy, but what you feel confident walking down the aisle in.
Good luck with your bridal gown search! Let us know how we can help you find “the one”!