Within the first week of getting engaged I jumped right into wedding planning. Here in Salt Lake City, we average shorter engagements than the rest of the world. I would guess that the average length of an engagement in Utah is about 4 months. Bless their hearts I don’t know how they do it. I have 6 months in total to plan and I am already having major anxiety around getting everything done in time. I made sure that one of the things I needed to get done ASAP was shopping for a wedding dress. I know that a dress can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to get in, on top of alterations.
I was online looking at bridal shops near me, and I noticed that David’s Bridal was having a sale. Now I have always had a strange opinion on David’s Bridal. I always kind of thought that it was like a Big Box store for bridal gowns, and occasionally you find a beautiful dress. I decided to make an appointment so that I could just go in and get a better idea of what I liked so that when I went to a “real bridal shop” I wouldn’t have to spend a much time trying to find the perfect dress. I’ll finish this story once I get through my tips.
My first tip is to make sure you have a very select group of people going with you. These need to be people that you know, love, and trust. Too many people becomes too many opinions and it gets to be too much and very overwhelming. I had my mom, two sisters, and a family friend. I knew that they would want to help through the whole wedding dress shopping process.
Second tip is make sure you have a very solid understanding of what your budget is. I went in knowing how much I was willing to spend, also factoring in alterations. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a Mormon) so once I am married I need to have my shoulders covered. That can be a slightly expensive alteration to have to start adding sleeves. I made sure that I took a good chunk of money off of my dress budget to help account for that. If you have a separate line item for alterations, that’s great! There is just nothing worse than falling in love with a dress that you simply can’t afford.
My third tip is kind of opposite of how most people shop. Every consultant is going to ask you what you’re looking for. I was the opposite and I knew more of what I wasn’t looking for, vs what I wanted. I knew I didn’t want a ballgown or mermaid. I’m not 100% against white but it would have to be the “perfect dress” for me to really love a white dress.
The fourth and final tip, be open minded. I went into this appointment not expecting anything amazing to happen. I was so wrong. The consultant, my mom, and I walked around the store just getting ideas. We found one that I knew I liked, but I wasn’t overly attached to it on the hanger. It was the first one I tried on and my mom started to cry. I just wrote that off as her oldest daughter getting married and of course she would be emotional. But if I am being completely honest, I knew I loved it too. The problem is though, did I love it because I really did love it, or did I love it because it was the first wedding dress I put on? I started trying on a few other options but none of them really stuck out to me. We went back into the changing room and I tried on that first dress, just to see. In that moment I knew that it was my dress.
I am now the proud owner of a slightly blush, a line, embellished lace wedding dress. Did I cry? Of course I did. Am I happy with having gone to David’s Bridal? Absolutely! I won’t show you my full dress yet, but I will share some quick glances.
Written by Haley from My Fashion Chronicles as a guest writer.