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Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips From A Real Bridal Stylist

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Congratulations on your engagement, babe! Maybe you’re just getting started in the wedding planning process, or maybe you need a little more motivation to help you find that perfect wedding gown. Either way, dress shopping is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding, and I’m here to give you my best stylist advice to ensure your search for the gown is absolutely seamless.

Thanks to our friends at Allure Bridals we’re combining these airy photos with a bit of my real life stylist life experience to give you the pep talk, advice, and inspiration you need before you go shopping! Their most recent wedding dress collection shot in Maine combines soft natural elements with an array of bridal and bridesmaid gowns in the season’s richest tones and styles.

Start envisioning yourself on your wedding day (or even posing with your partner looking as flawless as these shots!) and you’ll be in the right mindset when you grab your besties for your wedding dress shopping weekend.

I’m a big believer in the magic of weddings, but from my time as a stylist, I’ve learned magic needs a little help sometimes. Shopping is all in the preparation, your mindset, and the love you bring along with you. Perhaps you’ll be popping into one of Allure Bridals’ retailers with these tips in hand, I can’t wait for you to say yes!

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1. Body & Mind

You know your body better than anyone else! Be grateful for your fuller chest or your small chest, your legs, waist, and any and all curves. No matter what you try on it’s still going to be you in that dress.

Know that the samples you are trying on aren’t your perfect dress (yet!) and you can achieve an amazing fit that flatters your body perfectly when you finally get your gown.

I also highly recommend wearing underwear you feel confident in (and comfortable having your stylist see you in). Want to know a stylist secret? A lot of brides don’t cry in their dress. You know what makes you feel good.

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2. Do Your Research

Every bridal shop is going to vary with the designers they carry and what gowns cost. Call ahead and chat with a stylist! Check out the shop’s website and see which designers resonate with you. Word-of-mouth recommendations are amazing, but even one of your best gals may have a totally different style than you. Just because she found her dream dress there, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the shop for you.

Pick your favorite shops based on their aesthetic and price points. By being selective, you are saving yourself from unintentionally falling in love with gowns out of your price point, or leaving feeling defeated by a shop that didn’t have anything you liked.

Love one of these stunning Allure Bridals wedding dresses? Find them available at a retailer near you.

 

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3. Set a Budget

Be real about it – and like I just said above, call ahead to make sure what you want is available in that price point. If you are realistic about what you want and what you are comfortable spending, nobody is going to judge you for that!

I love receiving calls from brides with questions because everyone is looking for something different! Also consider, does your budget include accessories like a veil or hairpieces too?

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4. Be Selective With Who You Bring

I know this might seem selfish, but the dress shopping is only about YOU. This might be my most helpful bit of information, but just because you have a large bridal party and they will all be in town for the weekend doesn’t necessarily mean they all need to come to your bridal appointments.

Listen to what your heart tells you, and maybe opt for a fun brunch that morning to kick start your day, or a fun cocktail gathering afterward to share all your dress photos. Too many times have I seen a bride be completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of opinions. Everyone has them, and usually, everyone’s intentions are good, but the only opinion that truly matters is yours. Make sure that with whoever you bring your voice is being heard.

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5. Space Appointments Out

I would never recommend going to more than three shops in a day. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t do more than two. Not only is the shopping fun, but it’s also a lot of moving, trying on, deciding what you like, and weeding out what you don’t like. Too many appointments can often feel like things melt together – or even worse, you start to lose the magic when the shopping starts to become a chore.

Pace yourself, and give yourself a little time in between. You’ll be happy you gave yourself time to process all of the emotions that come along with seeing yourself dressed as a bride.

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6. Prep Your Mom, Aunty, Sister & Friends

I already had my sights on a gown before I took my mom dress shopping. Of course I knew my mom would think I looked beautiful in anything, but I wanted her to know I had a really strong feeling about a certain dress before I put it on. That way she wouldn’t influence me away from what I truly wanted.

Some brides need their family’s opinion, and I think that is amazing! If you fall into that category, tell your crew what you need from them beforehand. They only want to give you support and love – and it’s so much easier if they know how.

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7. Be Honest

As a stylist, I always tell brides that my feelings aren’t hurt if they don’t like certain styles, followed by “I didn’t hand sew any of these!” But by telling your family, friends, and stylist what you don’t like, or even why, it guarantees you more time to try on the gowns that are more “you.”

Your stylist can cater to what you are liking, with higher odds of you finding you “the one” if you’re honesty. Every gown is beautiful, but not every gown is going to make you feel like a bride. It’s okay to send the gowns that don’t make the cut back to the rack they came from.

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8. Take Your Dress for a Spin!

I always encourage brides to dance around, walk around, and imagine themselves hugging everyone on that day. While the sample gown you have on may be a bit long, it’s still helpful to imagine yourself getting down on the dance floor or walking down the aisle. If it passes that test, it’s definitely something you’ll feel happy wearing all day and night.

Check it out in natural lighting if the shop has windows, and let yourself feel it on, away from the mirror for a few minutes.

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9. Don’t Overthink It

Am I only going to wear my wedding gown once? Yes. Paying any amount of money for a dress for only one day seems slightly frivolous. To me, it’s an investment in all the photos I’ll get to keep for a lifetime. Make sure you feel amazing before you say yes, and know that your photos last a lifetime.

To me, partying in my lovely gown is what I’m most looking forward to, and I know I needed something that felt fun more than anything else. If you have a budget for the gown that you are comfortable with, then it won’t feel like such a scary thing to say yes to, either.

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10. Let Yourself Celebrate

Deciding on a wedding gown might be one of the biggest choices you make for your wedding day. I think everyone involved – whether your stylist, family, or besties – understands it’s a big decision. I’m a huge believer in celebrating all the milestones along the way, and saying yes to the dress is no exception!

Ask your stylist to help take photos of your group, ask about brunch recommendations in the area, or even treat yourself to a few days off from wedding planning and just enjoy the moment of celebrating you and the bride you’re going to be in the coming months.

Your dress is amplified because you give it life. But don’t just take my advice, take it from every wedding I’ve been to as a guest – on your wedding day everyone is going to think you are a total knockout.

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Essential Info

Head to the Allure Bridals website to see more from their stunning bridal collections and for more information on where to buy these gowns. Don’t forget to check out their incredible selection of bridesmaid gowns too!

Follow Allure Bridals on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for endless dreamy wedding inspiration.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Allure Bridals.

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