I am so excited to finally share with you all my wedding dress! It is from One Fine Day Bridal and Gown Boutique in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I couldn’t be happier with the dress I picked, how it looked on me and how my interactions with the staff at One Fine Day added to my overwhelmingly positive experience. Looking back at the whole day and the many vendors we worked with to plan the wedding, One Fine Day was by far my favorite. Whenever I have such a great experience with a company I like to share the details with others, so I have collaborated with One Fine Day to put together 5 helpful tips to remember when searching for your own perfect wedding dress.
Tip #1- Keep an open mind.
When beginning the shopping process it is helpful to bring with you photos of wedding dresses you love. Little inspiration pictures of a sleeve or train you like can be valuable for your consultants, giving them an idea of what you have in mind. Tell your consultants your dreams or expectations in a dress up front, so that they can use their knowledge to help you fulfill those dreams. One thing is for certain: start the process with an open mind.
When going in for my first bridal appointment I had a photo on my phone of a dress I found years ago. “This is my dress” was a thought I had long before I even met my husband. It was a trumpet style gown with a high neck and very low back and beautiful long sleeves. I loved this dress for years and years but when I started trying dresses for myself I realized that those types of dresses did not look as good on me as I had imagined.
This is where keeping an open mind became important to me. I tried on handfuls of dresses, all of which looked similar to what I thought I wanted. When I was nearing the end of my appointment, with only one dress left in my dressing room that looked nothing like my photo, I was beginning to feel discouraged. I was afraid that I was going to leave this first shopping attempt unsuccessfully, but I thought, “What the heck?, I’ll try it on for kicks.” I didn’t have a lot of hope for this last dress, and the only reason it was in my dressing room was that I mentioned in passing to my consultant that I thought it was pretty while we were looking for others. Guess what?!? As soon as I put that dress on, my eyes lit up! I had felt pretty in the other dresses but there was something special and different about this dress. I felt magical and beautiful and I wanted to twirl around the room! From then on I knew that this was my wedding dress.
You may find your dress when you least expect it, so try many different styles and keep an open mind. Let your consultant use their knowledge and experiences with other brides to provide you different options.
Tip #2- You don’t have to have a “Moment.”
Ok, this one completely contradicts my first point above, but hear me out. I knew the second I put on my dress that “This is my dress,” but not every girl has that magical moment. That’s OK! The key to knowing that you have found the right dress is that you feel beautiful when wearing it. What more can any bride really ask for other than feeling absolutely gorgeous in her dress? More than anything, my dress made me feel like I was the most beautiful bride there has ever been.
The thing to ask yourself is, “Do I feel beautiful in this wedding dress?”
Tip #3- It’s OK to be selective in the people you bring to your first appointments.
I know that trying on wedding dresses is something most girls look forward to doing for years, and it is natural to want to share this experience with all of your friends and family. But, when you get up on that pedestal and you have fifteen opinions coming at you, it can be tough. One Fine Day suggests to limit your guests to two or three. Make sure these people are “on your team,” in that they truly want you to be happy in whatever dress you choose. A great alternative to inviting every co-worker and distant relative to your first appointment is to invite them to your first fitting, after you have already chosen your dress. At this point there is less room for opinion as your decision has been made. A first viewing is just as special and a much better time to celebrate!
Remember, bring fewer, but the biggest of your personal cheerleaders.
Tip #4- Don’t let bridal sizing confuse you.
It is important to remember that bridal dress sizing can be greatly different from normal dress sizing. It is quite possible that you will be instructed to order a much larger size than you would normally purchase. Don’t panic! This is normal. These dresses are custom made, not custom fit. It is expected that alterations will be required so that the dress will fit you on your day. You will likely have multiple fittings as “this part” is pulled in and “that part” is tweaked.
When I ordered my dress I thought it was definitely going to be the wrong size and too big. I was truly concerned. But, when the dress arrived I quickly learned that I should have trusted my consultant’s recommendation, as they clearly knew how to size a bridal gown. In total I had four fittings, each slightly improving how the dress fit to my body.
Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by a number on a tag.
Tip #5- Trust your consultants.
Have I mentioned this yet? Your consultant is there to help you find your dress. Remain open and honest with them every step of the way. Try “thinking out loud.” Your consultant can’t read your mind, so if you like or dislike something, say it out loud so that they can react to your thoughts. Your consultant knows their inventory and is constantly trying to adjust their recommendations based on your reactions, so the more you share your reactions the more they can adjust.
Remember, the dresses don’t have feelings, so it is OK to say that you don’t like something. Your consultant wants you to be happy with your final choice, and will continue to provide options until that is achieved. Let them help you, but you must also help them. I made the smallest statement about a dress as I passed it by, and on that comment my consultant brought it to my dressing room. Even when it was the last dress in my room I had doubts, but at the encouragement of my consultant I put it on and, well, you already know the rest!
Shopping for a wedding dress is different than any shopping you have likely done before, so trust the people that are there to help you!
One more thing to consider:
Once you find your dress put on blinders and stop looking at other dresses. Commit to that dress. (Isn’t this about commitment?) If your boutique has a social media presence it might be a good idea to stop following them. Don’t allow yourself the temptation that there might be something “better” than what you have chosen.
Quick Tips for “You know it’s THE dress when…”:
-You are comparing every other dress you try on to “that other one.”
-You are going back to “that other one” every time.
-You are petting and twirling in a dress with out realizing. That means you clearly love it!
I hope these tips are helpful to all the brides that have already started or will be looking for dresses soon or even that single girl who dreams of finding her dress one day. Remember these tips! One Fine Day walked me through my process seamlessly because of these wonderful tips and I hope you can too!
Don’t forget to visit One Fine Day’s website to see all of the beautiful dresses they have to offer! They also have bridesmaids dresses, a full range of bridal accessories, jewelry and more.