I can't wait for you to find the dress that you'll say I do in, the last dress you'll put on as a single lady! I went through the process myself and remember feeling excited, apprehensive, and just a little bit scared shitless that I 1) wouldn't find a dress 2) would spend way way way more money than what I had budgeted or 3) would get pressured into buying a dress I didn't even want or like.
My first dress shopping venture included both my mom and my dad, my dad was an excellent notetaker (plus he carried the money) and my mom was a regular mom. She picked out many a dress that I of course balked at and retorted that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such and such.
Rude, I know, but that’s the way it went.
The second trip included the moms. My mom, my husband’s mom, and his aunt. It also included finding the dress, which was based on my dad’s extensive notes.
Before purchasing the dress we took a break, got a breather, ate lunch and then went back to take advantage of the same-day-discount.
Because I was nervous that I wouldn’t find the right dress, I went assuming I wouldn’t find the right dress, right away. I think that’s wise. Because I didn’t want to go over budget, I didn’t try on dresses that were over budget. And because I didn’t want to get pressured into buying a dress I didn’t like, I brought women who would help me feel confident in saying no, but also in saying no.
What will your experience be like?
I want you to march through those doors and feel like an absolute boss. I want you to be treated the way you want to be treated, I want you to find the dress of your dreams and I want you to stay within your budget.
It all starts with confidence. We are all different beings and have different dispositions, but here are my tips on how to bridal shop to fit your personality.
IF YOU ARE INSECURE ABOUT YOUR BODY
Rely on the consultant to pick dresses for you that will flatter your body type. They are experts after all, they fit women into bridal gowns day in and day out. I still encourage you to try on the dresses that you've pinned to your secret Pinterest board, but have an open mind to what the sales consultant suggests.
IF YOU ARE INTROVERTED
You might want to go alone. You can have a list of dresses or styles that you want to try on, but communicate to the consultant that you prefer to have maximum privacy and you will reach out to them with questions when you have them. That way you don't feel uncomfortable upon uncomfortable when a stranger offers to zip you up.
You might want to go with your bossy friend. You know the one who always sticks up for you, is a great listener and whose love language is words of affirmation. If you have a person like this bring them.
IF YOU ARE EASILY PERSUADED TO SPEND MORE MONEY
Tell the consultant a dollar sign LOWER than your actual budget, so you won't have anxiety about the purchase price while trying on. Shop at stores with a price range of dresses that includes your target price, but not too much higher.
IF YOU ARE EXTROVERTED
Do you LOVE attention, have you got high energy and are you ready to be in the spotlight (is your name Josey!?): bring friends and family, caffeine and schedule snack stops before or after. Listen to what others say about how you look in a dress, not just the fit but the look on your face and the sound of your voice when you talk about how you feel getting one step closer to your wedding day.
IF YOU ARE OFTEN VICTIM OT BUYER’S REMORSE
Try this tactic: Look the consultant in the eye, smile and say "I'm not ready to buy a dress right now, thank you for your time, I have your card so I can reach out to you if I have more questions or decide to go with that dress."
Or whatever you want to say, no need to lie, just smile and be direct. Or, call me on Facetime and I will shout at them "NO THANK YOOUUUU BUT THANK YOU!"
IF YOU ARE INDECISIVE
Instead of getting stuck in analysis paralysis take a step back and take a break. Have pictures of you in your favorite dresses and revisit them in a day or more, that way you will be a bit removed from the decision making process. Or you could even just go to lunch after your fitting and see how you feel, that way you won't miss out on the buy-today-one-time-discount-deal the sales person is baiting you with.
I originally wrote this piece to satiate the queries of Sixpence bride Johanna, but I hope that all will find value in my musings, and at the very least just a little bit of courage!
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Photo credit Abigail Berge Photography | Dresses // Modehaus | Venue and Rentals // White House Co