If you ask any girl out there: “What’s your guilty pleasure?” I bet you she’ll say shopping! I even bet you that shopping will be the answer to almost any question you ask a female! And if you’re wondering why, chances are because we treat shopping as retail therapy, a free, but not-so-free therapy! But my question is: Have you ever been stressed while shopping? If your answer is no, then you haven’t been wedding dress shopping yet! As stress-free and relaxing as shopping is, it can be the most overwhelming experience when you’re a bride-to-be. You have that intense worry and concern of finding the One, to the point where you forget to enjoy the ride.
1- My top tips and tricks for a bride-to-be
I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard this at least 10 times. Set a budget, Set a budget!! I can’t stress enough how important it is to set a budget, and stick to it! You may be wondering why and I’ll tell you. Do you know how frustrating it is to fall in love with a dress out of your budget range? Awful, that’s what it feels like. I know how tempting it is to try on that Zuhair Murad wedding dress for example, only to find out it’s over your budget by miles! However enticed you might be to change that amount, trust me you’ll live to regret it. Weddings are not cheap, they can be the most expensive events, so try to stay as close as possible to your initial amount.
Now that we have the budget issue solved, let’s move to the actual shopping part. First of all, choose the right people to accompany you who share the same taste as you. You don’t want to get to your appointment and be distracted by different opinions. Choose an entourage that will tell you their opinion honestly and transparently. I’d suggest to go with your mother and maid-of-honor.
2- Book your appointment early
Once you get engaged, it’s a good idea to start creating a mood board for your planning including your venue, theme, color palette. By doing that you’re creating a clear vision for yourself as to what should be done. On that ‘To-Do list’, you need to specify your wedding date in order to work accordingly. It’s important to give yourself time, especially if you’re a picky bride-to-be, like Moi! So, book your appointment at least 7 months before the set date to have everything in order.
Before venturing into my bridal appointment, I browsed through Esposa Group and Esposacouture websites, I found a few dresses I might like. I thought I wanted an A-line wedding dress with off-the-shoulder neckline at first, and I came in determined. I tried on dresses that fit my style exactly, and here are a few of the options.
I liked this dress so much and was mesmerized with its illusion bodice, but the pearls were a turn off for me!
I then tried on this gorgeous bridal gown by Pronovias. The floral lace, the off-the-shoulder, the beautiful skirt, every detail was on point! But even though I’m not one to like overloaded embellishment, I found myself leaning towards a more crafted skirt.
At that moment, my bridal consultant suggested to try something different, strapless. I wasn’t too thrilled about that as I thought it wouldn’t be comfortable during the wedding, but I decided to give it a shot.
This gown was everything! The architectural neckline, the floral details, the glitter tulle. Everything! The issue is that I liked it, but didn’t fall in love with it.
3- Think outside the box
After my failed bridal appointment, I went home devastated feeling like the pickiest bride on the planet. I went on a full rent with my friend who already got her dress from Esposa. She said: “You never know how picky you are until you become a bride!”. I felt that statement very deeply and for the first time after my appointment, I felt normal. The next day I called the shop and booked another appointment even though I felt like I will never find the one. I went to my appointment alone this time, putting my full trust into my consultant’s hands, and went for it.
The first dress I tried on was Agness. I don’t need to explain how absolutely stunning that dress was. But again, I didn’t feel as if it’s bridal enough for me even though I loved it so much! Aside from that, the long sleeves were an issue for me ’cause I’m having a summer wedding.
This dress was the definition of romance and sensuality. It shows off your delicate decolleté and shoulders, cascading down in a tulle lightweight skirt. But again, the sleeves!
4- All about that bridal feeling
At that point I was discouraged and very down as I felt like I’m not going to find a dress at all and I’ll have to settle for less. I was very confused as I’m the easiest shopper ever normally. I’m the type to : See it, like it, get it! Therefore I wasn’t understanding why I’m having such a hard time finding a wedding dress. Just when I was about to give up, my awesome bridal consultant comes out with a dress which I hated at first. It didn’t match my style, the skirt was ruffled, it had thick straps. If it was shown to me at first I wouldn’t have tried it on, but I said why not.
I put it on and, instant emotions! It complimented my body perfectly, cinched in my waist and gave me that fairytale bridal look. I couldn’t even put into words how I was feeling and I could actually see myself walking down the aisle in this beauty.
My top tips for you: Dare to think outside the box! Try to get out of your comfort zone and put on different styles and cuts. I know many of you won’t understand this but, go on your first bridal appointment alone! Trust me when I say this experience was enlightening and fresh! Now that you have my top tips, book your appointment and start your own journey.