It’s been a little while since I posted – I started a new job (more on that later) and have been slowly (but steadily) wedding planning alongside all the craziness that comes along with switching careers.
I decided that as my wedding planning starts to pick up (almost in the one year countdown 🙂 ) I’d start a little ‘Wedding Series’ to occassionally check in and share things I’m learning along the way.
As many of you saw – I said YES to the dress earlier this month. While the feeling of finding t h e o n e was overwhelming happiness, hindsight is 20/20. I realized that I was stressing, and stressing hard when I couldn’t find MY dress the couple times I went shopping. I started to feel overwhelmed and unsure I’d ever find a dress or ever get that excitement of THE dress. Thinking back on those couple times I realized there were a few things I wasn’t doing when stepping into wedding dresses that I wish someone would have told me before ever heading out.
If you’re newly engaged, starting to think of your dream dress or just craving currently a little look into my wedding mindset then you’re in luck – here are my five things I wish I knew before going dress shopping.
Now I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get great advice from close friends and even some co-workers before heading out to go dress shopping. Everyone told me to be open to styles and try on things that may not necessarily be “me” as well as know your budget – you don’t want to try on and fall in love with something that just isn’t financially possible. Both pieces of advice were amazing and I’m glad I received them. But a few other things came to mind looking back that I want to share.
Pictured above: Garnish Boutique
1. Search designers and if you like a style – find a real bride whose worn that dress.
- I was nervous about tying myself to a specific style or designer if I did this but it helps to narrow down the stress that can come with being surrounded by literally hundreds of dresses. Instead of just looking on Pinterest, go to the designers site; they usually have a link to see the dress on a REAL bride. It wasn’t until the second time I was going to try on dresses did I finally find this feature on designers sites; I was able to see women similar to me in dresses which helped create a better frame of what I liked when I went back to the store.
2. Even if you HATE a dress you try on – stay in it.
- Why? Well you need to figure out what you don’t like about the dress. I tried on about five dresses in probably six minutes in my second stop my first time trying on dresses – if you asked, I couldn’t tell you what I liked and didn’t like. The people who work at these shops are experts at this so stand there and tell them what you don’t like about the dress. Be honest with them and they can help you narrow down the vast selection of dresses – because trust me there are A L O T of dresses.
3. Wear some makeup – but don’t go overboard.
- I’m not one for wearing excessive makeup but the first time I went dress shopping I didn’t do my makeup the way I normally do – essentially didn’t have on any liner or mascara. Looking back now – it really threw me off! My advice – don’t try to do your “day of” makeup, but definitely throw on some makeup to feel like yourself (if you are the type who wears makeup that is – if not, then don’t wear any!).
4. Trying on Wedding dresses is emotionally draining.
- “The most exciting time of your life.”, “The day you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl.” All of these things get you excited and ready to get out there and try on dresses – but no-one tells you… it’s EXHAUSTING. The first time I went shopping I drove from Baltimore toDC and then to Annapolis. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT follow this lead. We sat in traffic everywhere we went and it just made me more stressed. Trying on dresses in itself is an exciting and emotionally draining time – make one appointment and take your time! You’ll thank me.
5. This is your wedding – find the dress that makes you happy.
- You (hopefully) only get a wedding dress once in your life – forget what everyone else is saying or opinions they are giving and let yourself be your own guide. If you like a fitted dress, get a fitted dress, if you want a ballgown, get the ballgown, if you want it strapless and short, get it strapless and short! You’re going to feel your best in something YOU love so get something YOU love.
Last thing I’ll leave you with – if you don’t find your dress the first time, second time, or even fifteenth time you try on dresses don’t get discouraged or stressed. Your dress is out there and once you find it, whether you cry your eyes out, smile uncontrollably, or just stand there and think to yourself “ohhh yeah”, there will be something that gives you that ‘feeling’ but no-one can tell you what that is – but when you feel it, you’ll know!
So let me know – do you want to hear more about my wedding planning process? What kinds of things are you interested in? Leave me a comment below!
And for all you Brides currently searching for a dress – I’d recommend Garnish Boutique to each and every one of you! I’m officially a Garnish bride and while I won’t be showing you my dress until September 29th 2018 (and no, it’s not pictured in ANY of the photos shared here), head there and tell them I sent ya – you won’t regret your experience.
‘Til my next craving!