If you are newly engaged and you’ve already secured a location for your wedding, then your next step will probably be gown hunting. You may have been dreaming of an elaborate, fairy tale wedding since you were a girl or you may be looking for something a little less formal; Either way, before you begin there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
1. What kind of bridal gown do I want?
2. How much do I want to spend?
3. What is my body style?
First, let’s address our self-imposed questions. Do you want a formal gown or just an elegant, informal dress? How you answer will likely determine how and where you shop. These days you have endless options for where you buy clothing and there are advantages and drawbacks to where you shop. If you shop online you may have a wider variety of dress/gown options; however, one major disadvantage of shopping online will be determining whether you and your dress/gown are a good fit.
Next, include your estimated gown cost in your wedding budget. If you are patient, flexible and shop around there are great deals to be found. I recently heard a bride tell of finding a $900 designer dress on clearance for $75. Was the dress her first choice? …probably not, but in all likelihood she was open-minded, tried on the dress because it was beautiful (or heavily discounted) and perhaps she liked the way it looked on her – which is of the utmost importance.
Finally, know your body type and aim for a dress that will accentuate your shape and style. I’ll leave this topic to the fashion experts. Here’s a great article that briefly touches on body types and dresses styles that match by the knowledgeable folks at I-do.com – Australia.
If you live in a medium-sized or large city you’ll have more options. I encourage my clients to shop locally, but don’t settle for less. The media blitz of negative news about the economy has everyone scared to leave home in fear that they’ll lose their job or spend money that they should be saving. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dress you don’t like. Be sure to check out all your bridal boutique options. Consignment stores are very popular amongst brides who want to save these days and although consignment is often a euphemism for “used”, consignment stores typically have a high standard for the merchandise the peddle.
List of Online Bridal Stores:
List of Brick and Mortar Bridal Stores:
Local Bridal Designers (Central Texas):
Unbridaled, Adelle’s Bridal Boutique, Balina Bridal, Serendipity Bridal, Alexia Gavela Bridal, Melange Bridal LLC, Belle Saison Bridal, Coutures by Laura, Designer Exchange, more…
Unbridaled unbridaled.com – (512) 444-2743
Adelle’s Bridal Boutique adellesbridalandquinceanera.com
Balina Bridal http://www.balina.com – (512) 719-5900
Alexia Gavela Bridal agbride.com – (512) 419-7818
Melange Bridal LLC http://www.melangebridal.com – (512) 345-8780
Belle Saison Bridal bellesaisonbridal.com – (512) 452-1199
Some minor details to remember:
-Not all dresses are sized the same; some vendors like David’s Bridal use European style of sizing, which varies from what you might find elsewhere. In all likelihood, your dress will be a size or two larger than you expect because of size discrepancies amongst designers.
-You can engineer a dress using an online dress creator here: Wedding Dress Creator
-The Knot has a Wedding Dress Cost Calculator based on inputs such as dress style, price range, designer and more.