We Know: How To Buy A Wedding Dress

What should I do before shopping for a wedding dress?

  • Decide on what's essential: Whether you have known what you wanted in a wedding dress since you were a little girl or have no idea, come up with a list of things that you absolutely cannot do without and will not compromise on. Dreamt of having a long train? It goes on the list. Hate beads with a passion? They're out. This is your dress and no one else's, after all.
  • Plan Ahead: Allow six months to have your wedding dress made, altered and whatever else you need done to it. Start shopping even earlier so there's no rush and less stress.
  • Stick to Budget: Not everyone can afford their dream wedding, with every bell and whistle. Be willing to compromise on some things that aren't essential. An off-the-rack dress can be just as beautiful as a designer one.
  • No Impulse Purchases: Even though you may walk into the bridal shop and find your dream wedding dress on the first day, don't buy it! Everyone has made purchases that they loved "in the moment" and regretted a week or two later. Let the reality of the situation sink in and go back to the store. Does the dress still appeal to you in the same way? If so, it's yours.

What should I look for in a wedding dress?

  • Find Your Comfort Zone: If you plan on really boogying down at the reception, a strapless dress might now be the best idea. And if you tend to trip in dresses that touch the floor, your wedding dress will be no different. You want to be beautiful on your wedding day, but you don't have to sacrifice every ounce of comfort to do so.
  • A Style For Your Body: Not every kind of dress will look good on you. Big puffy sleeves and ball gowns aren't for everybody. Find a dress style that suits your body. Ask an honest friend's opinion. What's trendy isn't always what's best.
  • White Isn't A Must: The tradition is to wear white on your wedding day, but if you don't look good in white, don't wear it! A muted white with a subtle hint of color may be better for you. Or maybe you just want to be bold with something vibrant.

How much does a wedding dress cost?
Pricing for wedding dresses varies quite a lot, but expect to pay anywhere between $500 to several thousand dollars. An "off-the-rack" dress can cost around $500, will be made of synthetic materials and will need to be altered for your body shape. For brides-to-be with a bigger budget, a designer dress can cost several thousand dollars because it will be made from natural materials such as silk, have hand-detailing and custom fit to your size.

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