WRITTEN BY Kelly Joslyn, Owner of Sākred Bridal | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tags Photography
Finding “the dress” is on the to-do list of most brides. But it can certainly be one of the more daunting (and sometimes stressful) tasks to check off. However, with proper planning, it can be one of the most enjoyable, memory-making moments unto itself. Let’s dive into a few ways in which you can make the most of your dress shopping day.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
There is a proper time and place for “dropping in,” but wedding gown shopping is not one of those. Nearly all reputable bridal salons require an appointment — usually with 24 hours or more notice and many times with a pre- appointment questionnaire. This is for your benefit. You should have a stylist that is knowledgeable of your wedding details and is planning to spend one to two hours of undivided attention to make the most of your time.
BRING PROPER UNDERGARMENTS
Think about what you would plan to wear on your wedding day. If you think Spanx or other shapewear will be in your garment bag, then bring them along to your appointment. Regardless of size, many crepe or fitted gowns look best with shapewear or a thong for a more seamless appearance. If a ballgown is more your style, then your regular undies should be just fine — just make sure they are neutral in color and closest to your skin tone. It’s not the day to sport your red polka dot bikinis as they will show through most gown fabrics. Finally, strapless bras are not needed for bridal appointments. Most well-constructed gowns have built-in support with corseting or cups and are made to be worn without a bra.
INVITE THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
Brides by nature are a little nervous, excited or sometimes both when starting their gown search. Strong personalities and opinions can affect the overall mood of the appointment. Think specifically about the opinions you value most and keep your circle small. For example, if you can’t imagine saying yes to a dress without your mom present, then don’t shop until she can be with you. “Just looking” could end up being THE dress and she missed that authentic moment. For those you feel compelled to involve, but have reservations about, invite them to your gown pick-up appointment. A gown reveal is much more direct, but just as special, and the pressure of a decision is a thing of the past. And finally, it never hurts to have a pre-appointment pep talk with your entourage. Let them know you love them and value their opinion, but would appreciate it if the first reaction to any gown comes from you.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO SAY “YES”
Your gown should feel authentically “you.” No one can define what that is but you. A gown can check every box on your must-have list, but if you don’t love it, then it’s not the dress — move on. The next gown could be completely different than anything you thought you wanted, but she evokes an emotion within you — if you relate to her like your favorite pair of jeans … then honey, you’ve just found your gown. Whether it is the first gown you try on or the 50th, giving yourself permission to say yes is key.
When you find a gown that you just don’t want to take off, she’s your girl! And don’t let future bridal salon appointments you have scheduled deter you. Bridal shops would much rather you call to inform them that you’ve found your gown and cancel an appointment than to spend an appointment helping you search for a gown you’ve already found elsewhere. That’s a valuable time slot that could be given to a bride still searching or on a waiting list.
WHEN YOU DO SAY “YES” … DELETE THE PINTEREST BOARD!
“FOMO” has no place in the bridal world. There are millions of gowns out there and there are all sorts of shapes and sizes and personalities to match them. Going on an elusive search, store after store, to try them all is exhausting, confusing and, quite frankly, impossible. When you met your fiancé, you stopped looking for someone else. Take the same approach with your dress.
RELAX AND ENJOY!
Your gown will be a direct reflection of who you are. When you meet her, you’ll know her. The End.
About the Author
Kelly Joslyn is the owner and buyer of Sākred Bridal, Athens’ premier bridal retailer. Joslyn opened Sākred with the intent to source designers and styles not typical of the mainstream. Offering the latest gowns for today’s most discerning brides, the salon introduces a modern take on the traditional experience. Private consultations are set in a beautiful loft space, reserved strictly for the bride and her guests. Each gown is as unique as the bride who wears her.