inding the right dress can quickly become a nightmare for a bride to be. Perhaps the most important item on your extensive to do list, it marks the beginning of eternal bliss. Think about it, when do you don a wedding dress? Only at your wedding, of course!
One of the first things brides think of is what should my dream gown look like. From colour to style to fit to material, the choices are endless. The last thing you want to do is to end up with “just any dress”. It’s your special day, you are not just any bride and “just any dress” simply doesn’t cut it.
We have compiled a guide to the perfect wedding dress just for you! Finding “the one” has never been easier. Part 1 of the series focuses on the initial preparation. Let’s go dress shopping!
How and where to start?
1. You want to start your overall preparation 1 year earlier so that you have ample time to nail down the details. It seems like a really long time but trust me, you need it! Besides, giving yourself more leeway is always better than less. Planning should be relaxing and fun! If you are planning for workout campaign, you will need time to take the transformation into account as well.
You want to get a head start especially if you are looking for a customized gown (4 to 6 months at least) depending on the specific beading and embroidery work required, it might take longer. These are often done by hand by custom couture designers and custom fitters.
2. How many dresses do you need?
Go through the list of events that require a wardrobe change and decide how many dress changes you need. Typically, most brides will have 2 changes on their wedding day, 1 for day and 1 for night. Some traditions include changing into a Kua for the tea ceremony so you stay culturally relevant. Others, prefers a short dress for their ROM ceremony for a more casual look.
3. Research. Research, research
Start a wedding dress mood board and collect photos of gowns that speak to you. Browse through bridal magazines, Pinterest, Instagram and copy these photos on your smartphone so you bring them to the boutique.
Before you start shopping, always determine your budget. This is only 1 part of your wedding and you do not want to end up overspending on your dress and end up changing your mind later. So, it would be useful to have a good gauge on the price range. It will help you set a realistic and concrete budget. The best way to find out related rates is to visit a wedding boutique and ask away!
2 Wallet friendly tips
PACKAGE Vs. ALA CARTE
It is often more time and cost-effective to find a quality one–stop shop rather than independent places and not to mention it is less of a hassle. It’s your big day and the less stress, the better! Some Bridal boutiques offer a comprehensive package that includes other services such as pre-wedding photography and concept albums for keeps, makeup and hair services, floral arrangements for bouquet, corsages and wedding car. These also include actual wedding day photography and videography, etc. Do ask to look at the portfolio of works to ensure that you are comfortable with the standard of delivery.
Should the boutique not offer some service you are looking for, do save the effort of going through the endless list of service providers by asking for reliable recommendations.
OFF THE RACK RENTAL Vs. MADE TO MEASURE
Needless to say, off the rack rental will be easier on the pocket but of course customization is a must-have for the discerning bride. Imagine a dream dress that fits like a glove, accentuates your curves and making sure you stay the center of attention. Sounds good, but be careful when you do that, as the prices do go up. Depending on the intricacy of design, the workmanship required and the materials used. A point to note is that customized embroidery details are usually the most expensive so if that is what you want, prepare for it in your budget.
If the extra budget and longer time required is not something you see yourself being able to commit to, off the rack rental is definitely the way to go. Off the rack rental means you will be able to choose from the dresses available based on the existing designs. While most places include alterations for gown to fit the bride’s body, customizations to the gown designs and details are not included. Do ask if the boutique classifies the gowns into different ranges with price increments. This could amount to an unpredictable increase in costs during the gown selection process.
Head to a bridal boutique that has a wide variety of dresses with different silhouettes that can accommodate different dress sizes. It is also good to find out how often they update their collection and if they provide complimentary alteration and dry cleaning. Browse through their selection of gowns on the first visit to see if their overall style suits you. Note: It is not wise to set your eyes on a particular dress if your wedding is one year ahead, as it may not be available then.
4. A knowledgeable bridal consultant
Dress shopping can be an enjoyable event, especially when you have a well-trained bridal consultant on board. A professional bridal consultant will be able to work hand in hand with the other crucial advisors such as the designer, custom fitter, hair and make up stylist. Do work together with them and be open about your concerns and not second guess the suggestions. Remember that everyone is working towards the same goal – to make you the most beautiful bride on your wedding!
You will also want to make sure your wedding boutique can accommodate your out of the box requests and even make suggestions for additional vendors if needed. This is where the experience and service quality comes in, the best industry professionals will ease your woes and guarantee everything is a breeze. They have a wide selection to choose from and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure your vision comes true.
Look out for part 2 of this series and good luck!
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