Hey there!

Welcome to my lifestyle blog. If you are interested in the adventures, current obsessions, and general rantings of a 23 year old married gal, you are in the right place!

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips + Tricks                              {How To Find Your Dream Dress}

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips + Tricks {How To Find Your Dream Dress}

Hey babes! 

I am so excited to be kicking off my wedding blog series! As some of you may know, I am a former bridal consultant *hair flip* who has a passion for weddings. I love the idea of a beautiful celebration devoted to two people choosing to spend the rest of their lives together. I love when couples use their wedding as a time to represent their style, their dreams, and their one of a kind relationship and love for one another!

{ So basically, I could not be more excited for this time in my and Grayson's life! }

I thought it would be fun and helpful for other brides if I documented my (very) DIY wedding, along with any tips or tricks that I could contribute to the process!

For my first post in the series, I am talking about one of my F A V E things- wedding dresses! I have actually already blogged about wedding dress shopping over at Always & Forever's blog, so if you want a crash course in what to expect during a bridal appointment, and how to make the most of your appointment- you can go check that out here

Today I want to talk about some important things about dress shopping and maybe a few hacks sprinkled in here and there. 

So. You're engaged. The pressure of what to do and where to start hits like a train. Where the heck do you even begin?

Let me make this easy for you. Your Dress.

Start with your dress. 

I cannot stress this enough! Go dress shopping first thing, or as close to first as you can! You may not realize it but your dress is the home base for so many things in your wedding. Let's just talk the logistics really quick. Unless you're buying a sale dress (which is awesome and we will talk about why later) you will probably not be able to buy it off the rack due to sizing or stock. This means you will have to order it!

Ordering wedding dresses is nothing like ordering from Forever 21 or Target. It can take anywhere from 4-8 months to get your gown in. YEAH. This obviously varies by designer, where it is made, and any extra alterations they would have to custom do, like length change. Some designers offer rush shipping, but some don't. Sometimes it just depends on which dress you order by the designer. It's a roll of the dice! 

For example, I got engaged in February, went dress shopping the following week, and still was cutting it close on getting mine in time. My dress is pretty heavy on the beading (hehe) and we had to get it in a petite length so there are definitely some some factors in why rush shipping isn't an option. Our engagement is on the shorter side (6 months) but luckily we had some wiggle room with our actual date so I didn't stress too much. Now if you're on a super short time frame, make sure your consultant knows this. She can make sure to only pull what is available off the rack or check rush shipping dates and ya'll can go from there!

Now stepping away from technical reasoning, let's talk about the aesthetic reasons you might want to find your wedding dress first. If you have a dress that is modern, minimalistic, and simple, but the rest of your wedding decor + vibe is vintage textures and rich jewel tones, there is just something about it that would seem off. You need your dress to match your vibe. Finding your gown sets the tone for your wedding.

I repeat:

Finding your wedding dress will set the tone of your wedding.

I pictured my wedding somewhere between industrial and earthy. Maybe some macrame, and lots of greenery. Greenery in my hair, bridesmaids hair, greenery on the tables, greenery on the ground- greenery errwhere- very simple. 

Finding my wedding gown turned all that upside down.

While my dress is similar to what I wanted, it isn't truly what I expected to end up with. (Its so much more *heart eyes all around*) It is quite a bit more formal, and features a lot more embellishment than I anticipated! After my bridal appointment I realized very quickly that I was going to have to change the way my bridesmaids wear their hair (nixing the eucalyptus crowns, and opting for more dressy + metal accents) as well as stepping up the centerpieces and general decor. You just want it all to *go*! I am all about breaking the rules when it comes to weddings (My bridesmaids are wearing black hello) But you don't want to look back on pictures and think you could have done it a little better. 

Through finding my dress I figured out a more authentic image for what I want out of my wedding, and am able to play around more with more elegant pieces and vintage gold accents! I'm still tying in my original plan of an abundance of greenery- but I am cutting the macrame and replacing it with rich woods and dashes of burgundy! It is truly all about the details.

Imagine if I had gone all out on a custom macrame arbor hanger and bouquet wrap (I came so close to doing this it's not even F U N N Y) and then turned around, found my dream dress only to find I had dropped some cash on something I wasn't even able to use. I know it certainly would not have been the end of the world, buuut it would have been an extra dash of stress in the already high stress situation that is wedding planning. 

Save the time, money, and stress and dress shop first!

Work those Sale Dresses!

 I think with the hype of weddings being so high now a days there is a certain pressure to only shop from certain designers and only the newest seasons styles. This is funny to me because DIY weddings are  becoming more and more popular. (One would think the same trend would follow through with dresses?) What most brides don't realize it that sale dresses are an amazing option for so many reasons!

 With sale dresses, you're actually 1) Less likely to have a bride you know wear the same dress as you (or one that is too similar) 2) Saving some cash and 3) You can use that saved cash to can customize your dress with a belt like this or this, lace appliqués like these, shoulder jewelry like this and this, or even sleeves like this or this!

Basically you could have a one of a kind custom gown, just by using Etsy or your local bridal shop- all while saving money. Are you seeing the appeal now? Like I mentioned earlier, this is an awesome way to get your dress quickly if you're on a time crunch, but also a great way to channel your creative side and make your dress uniquely yours!

The last thing I want to mention may seem obvious, but as someone who used to work her booty off to help brides find their dream dresses I find it important to say!

The last thing I want to mention is 

Trust your consultant.

Their main motive is to make a happy bride. They are trained to ask the right questions, pull the most appropriate dresses, and make you feel beautiful. Remember that they help countless ladies weed out dress after dress, style after style, body type after body type. They know their stuff. If they listen to what you say, study every Pinterest wedding dress pin, and ask every question that they do- they have a pretty good idea of what they're talking about. At least  HUMOR them and try on the dress that they pull for you- even if you're not completely sold. I would venture to say most consultants have a better idea of what their bride wants than the bride does. 

Wedding dress shopping can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Weddings are a time of celebration, joy, and feeling beautiful- and at the end of the day, no matter how you get to that point- that is the most important thing. 

I will be back here soon with some awesome wedding DIYs coming your way very soon!



Dress in picture is from Always & Forever!

Venue is Heritage Acres!

Photographer is AnneMarie Studios!

My Tape-In Hair Extensions                                               {Pricing, Thoughts, Care}

My Tape-In Hair Extensions {Pricing, Thoughts, Care}

Aubrey + Grayson / How We Met + Engagement Pictures

Aubrey + Grayson / How We Met + Engagement Pictures