Finding your wedding dress is a quintessential piece that kicks off your wedding planning process, and your engagement season! We spent the day with Amanda and Annette, owners of San Luis Obispo bridal gown boutique Moondance Bridal to get the in's and out's of what to expect at your first bridal appointment, and a few of their best tips to make the experience unforgettable.
Before You Arrive
Be sure to do some initial research to find brands that catch your eye, and ensure that the salon you make an appointment at carries that brand or similar brands. Set clear boundaries on what you want to spend on your gown, and make sure that the salon you are looking at has a good selection in that range. Be sure to eat before you arrive (avoiding a hangry breakdown is key!), and be sure to wear something comfortable with nude undergarments.
What to Expect
Each bridal shop has their own style of hosting brides and guests, and providing an experience to remember. At Moondance Bridal, you can expect to be treated to a glass of champagne, water, and a fitting room all to yourself for the duration of the appointment. You can also expect one stylist to take you through your entire appointment, allowing her to get to know you and your dreams for your wedding day so that she can hand select gowns for you to try with a good understanding of what you are hoping for.
Who to Bring
When selecting your posse, try to keep it under six. A large audience can distract you as the bride, and be extremely overwhelming. What might start out as a fun day of shopping can end up being long and confusing if each party member has an opinion that needs to be heard. Selecting a few key decision makers in your life who know you and what makes you happy is the best way to ensure a supportive and fun group.
At Moondance Bridal, stylists strive to spend a bulk of the appointment helping you try on gowns. Upon arrival, stylists will chat with you about your wedding, and ask a few key questions to determine your wedding day style. You then get a chance to walk through the store and take a closer look at the gowns, seeing what fabrics, hues and shapes your eyes are naturally drawn to. Stylists encourage brides to choose a few that stand out to them, and leave the rest to them. Stylists are careful not to let too much of the the appointment time slip away in this step, as a large number of bride's find themselves liking something completely different than they imagine once they start to try on the gowns.
Finding Beauty in the Mirror
Annette shared with us just how many brides are surprised to see themselves looking so beautiful as they try on gowns. So many times, brides doubt that a certain shape or fabric will look and feel good on them. The truth is, each bride is uniquely stunning, and recognizing your own beauty during this incredible and short season of life is key. Another aspect of the gown shopping process that surprises brides is the fact that this can and should be fun for you! Taking a deep breath, surrounding yourself with positive and trusted influencers, and being kind to yourself will help to make your process smooth, joyful, and fun!
Deciding on "The One"
As the appointment moves along, brides typically find one to three dresses that are main contenders to be the one. Pro - tip: don't be afraid to love the first gown you try on! Amanda and Annette shared that is happens quite often. Towards the end of the appointment, your stylists will give you the chance to revisit your top contenders, and accessorize them to give you an idea of how it will feel on your wedding day. Another pro - tip: finding your gown is a lot like finding your fiance - once you find the one, you don't keep looking! Celebrate finding your gown, and take some fun photos to commemorate the experience.