This is the appointment you’ve been waiting for since the start of your engagement… LET'S DO THIS!
Can't wait to "pin" your dream dresses and try them on? US TOO! So, here's my first piece of advice: TRUST. YOUR. STYLIST. I know it may seem odd to partially hand the reins of your bridal vision over to someone you've likely never met before, but our tribe of stylists has extensive experience in wedding design, event planning and coordination. We've worked with countless brides and bridal parties over the years. Your stylist helps you find your perfect gown by prioritizing your vision and adapting to changes in your vision as you try on -- you'd be surprised at how your tastes can evolve during the trying-on process. Throughout your appointment, we focus on those details that makes your gown a uniquely stunning reflection of YOU. You are in excellent hands, so you can breathe easy and your crew can relax in your comfy bridal suite with you while your stylist fluffs the train of your dress and perfects every detail of your look!
Another important aspect of the trying-on process is undergarment selection. The only undergarment we recommend not wearing when trying on bridal gowns is a bra. Every bra is designed with a specific function (i.e. - push-up, full coverage, etc.) and each dress is equipped with cups that were designed for their own specific function as it relates to the silhouette of the gown. The two generally do not work well in tandem with one another, so it is best to forego the bra and trust the cups in each gown. This next part really goes without saying, but panties are a must unless you are wearing shapewear that covers the same intimate zones as your panties. This is for your safety, the safety of your stylists zipping you up and overall cleanliness of the gowns, as we must ensure that every client has a sanitary try-on experience in each gown. ;) Also, it is best if your shapewear is a nude coloration so that it doesn't show up underneath your dress.
Here's another helpful hint: Before trying on your first gown, you should know going into it that bridal sizing runs small. Bridal designers size their gowns a bit differently than your typical ready-to-wear clothing. And when I tell you they run small, I don’t mean just a little snug -- we’re talking at least 1-2 sizes difference. So, if you're used to wearing a size 8 in ladies dresses or pants, you'll likely be in the 10-12 size range, or possibly even a 14 depending on the designer and silhouette. If you're usually a size 18, you'll likely be at least a 20 or 22 in bridal, depending on the designer and silhouette.
Just know it's not you -- it actually comes down to each designer's unique patterning that takes into account the layering of fabrics and embellishments. Bridal sizing also accommodates worldwide sizing tolerances that were established several decades ago (when average sizes ran smaller -- you know, prior to pandemic snacking and what not... *wink, wink*). The great thing about the try-on process is that we offer a broad range of sizes throughout the boutique, AND we have some pretty incredible tools of the trade that allow you to try on dresses in all different sizes, even if they aren’t quite your size, so that you still get an idea of the design and fit of the gown. We’re talking clips, expanders, more clips… plus, our seasoned Alterations mavens are always happy to answer any questions about fit. And ICYMI: We have a beautiful selection of Plus Size gowns here in-store, up to size 30!
At the end of your appointment, we will take your measurements and compare them with the specific size chart that belongs your gown’s designer. This ensures that we are ordering the proper fit from each designer for your unique body type from the very beginning and avoiding any unnecessary alterations costs to the best of our abilities. Even if the sample size fits you like a glove, it may have more "give" in it than a fresh, never-been-worn gown, so accurate measurements are crucial to securing the right size gown to arrive within your timeline. We'll talk order timelines in our next Bridal 101 post.
BTW -- if you're a "Carrie Bradshaw" type of gal with a special affinity for shoes and you've actually found your bridal shoes before you've found your bridal gown, make sure to bring those to your appointment as well. We love our shoe-addicts and want to make sure we help you find the perfect gown to coordinate with those perfect pumps, boots, sneakers or sandals! This will also help us determine the appropriate hem length, as certain gowns are able to be ordered in custom hem lengths, which could potentially help you save in alterations costs as well.
Stay tuned for more from our ongoing Bridal 101 Series. We're here to help and guide you through this exciting time of planning your wedding! As always, feel free to give us a shout at 910-471-4212, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook and Instagram with any questions! To book your appointment, simply visit our website and we'll make sure that finding your perfect wedding dress is the least of your worries!
Your Bridal Bestie <3