Wedding Dress Mania – The Prequel

Disclaimer: Because my fiance reads this blog and we are taking the traditional “no seeing the dress before the ceremony” approach, I cannot give away too many details here at 50Peach. But I promise I’ll share with my readers what I can. :) 

You may be shocked to know that in the three full months I’ve been engaged, I have not yet tried on a single wedding dress. Well that, my friends, will change this weekend!!! My maid and matron of honor are flying in from across the country, my mom is road-tripping it in today and I’m so excited!!!!

These past three months have given me plenty of time to talk with brides who have ‘gone before’ regarding what to expect and here is some of the best advice I’ve received. If any of my lovely readers have anything else to weigh in with, I’d love to hear it!

1. Have a plan.

This one was no problem for me. I’m a planner by nature. Therefore, I have selected boutiques according to location, allocated time for food/coffee breaks before and in between and allowed plenty of time for driving between the boutique.  If you don’t stop me soon, I’ll have a printed itinerary with mileage and time allotments per line item. Intervention, please!

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Source: Nordstrom

2. Know what you want. But be flexible once you start trying on.

I’ve watched enough episodes of Say Yes to the Dress to know that there’s nothing more difficult for a bridal boutique to deal with than a bride who has NO CLUE what she wants. Secondly, the brides who come in saying, “I’ll NEVER buy a ____ style dress!”? … Sometimes that’s exactly the style that suits her the best. So, I’m optimistic going into the weekend. I have printed out several pictures of the style(s) I’m leaning toward. But I’m willing to try on even the kinds that I’d never thought I’d see myself in if that’s what the experts are saying. I’m also bringing pictures of my venue so that the boutiques know the feel of my ceremony/reception. It matters. Ever seen a princess-poof gown… on the beach?  Or a Vegas showgirl cleavage-popper… in a stodgy church? OY. NO.  And don’t forget the temps/time of year!

NOT. the. one.

3. Opinions are many. Stick to your gut. 

Yes, you are bringing along your entourage to weigh in as you try on gowns. They will have opinions. Their opinions will not always match your own. But listen with an open heart to each of your ladies and their thoughts without being bullheaded. Remember that they love you and there’s no need to be hurt if they simply despise the gigantic butterfly applique across your butt! But at the end of the day, it’s your dress. If you want to rock that bejeweled flying insect, do it, girl.

4. Know your budget.

Do not allow a boutique to show you anything even one penny over your budget. Because it would simply suck to fall for a dress, have the big weepy moment of finding the one and pop the bubbly… only to realize it’s way out of your price range. Also, don’t forget about the additional costs for alterations, added accessories, veil, etc. They need to be factored into your budget, so consider lowering the price point of your dress to accommodate.

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5. IGNORE THE SIZES

This one was mentioned by nearly everyone I spoke to. Apparently, bridal gowns are sized about four sizes smaller than street sizes. Meaning, at my 5’9″ height and very respectable weight of 145-150, I’ll most likely be a bridal 14 or 16. OUCH. And the bridal industry can kiss my CrossFit-ting “she does squats” ass. Overwhelmingly, the advice was to request that they not tell me the size I’m trying on. Just ask to bring me what fits.

I do. Size my dress accordingly.

So, my friends… what other advice do you have for me going into the next two days of wedding dress mania? Share your hints, tips and hilarious stories!

UPDATE: Winter Storm Hercules, you are a big jerk. My Maid of Honor’s flight may be delayed or cancelled because of you. Not a happy Peach!!  Cross your fingers she makes it in, y’all. :( 

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Wedding Dress Mania – The Prequel

11 Responses

  1. I could hardly sleep last night! Squeeeee! So excited!!!

    Netstr January 2, 2014 at 10:45 am #
    • I could NOT fall asleep!!!! Get your ass here, woman! :)

      50Peach January 2, 2014 at 11:06 am #
  2. First of all, you seem to have a GREAT handle on what the next two days are going to be like. I have just a few things to add, take em or leave em! :-)

    1. Wear quality, neutral toned undergarments bc your consultant will absolutely be seeing them. I don’t imagine that you need to wear Spanx, but I love them, so I wore them to every appointment. Also, bring heels. I know you are tall, but sample size dresses are so long, and you won’t be tripping all over the place if you have a little heel on.

    2. Regarding size. I agree with you about not knowing the size – however, be aware that as you get to “plus sizes” – especially if they try to put you in a size 16 – the proportions will be off. For example, I tried on a plus size dress at Davids Bridal (to accommodate my hips), but the cups were so big, I could have wore them as a hat! That kind of alteration is ridic expensive. I ultimately didn’t pick that dress, but when I pointed out how out of proportion the cups were to my small chest, she said, “Oh, I’ve never noticed that.” Now, granted that was at DB, but it was eye opening. A similar thing happened at Kleinfelds. Just look at the proportions, is my point.

    3. You may not have that weepy “this is my dress” moment. I didn’t. For the months and months of shopping, I kept asking myself, “Why aren’t you CRYING?!?” I clearly watch too much SYTTD. When I finally picked my gown, I had been shopping for 7 months. I liked my gown, but I didn’t love it until my wedding day. I feel just fine with that.

    4. Dress shopping can be overwhelming. Even though most places tell you “no pictures”, try to sneak some. It’s difficult to remember every dress you try on. Eventually, it all blurs into a Sea Of White.

    Lastly, good luck and HAVE FUN!
    And tell us how it goes!

    MoxieBride January 2, 2014 at 11:26 am #
    • I didn’t even THINK about the underthings to wear! Thank you!! And I’m relieved to know that you didn’t have the big cry moment, in case I don’t. SYTTD is a tough litmus test! :) Duly noted for the pictures and proportions. Thank you sooooo much, sweets!! I will have FUN and report back! xox

      50Peach January 2, 2014 at 11:37 am #
  3. My biggest piece of advice is to totally ignore everything people say to you about having a “moment” where you just know that this dress is THE ONE. You know the moment. The one where the bride-to-be, her mother, her sisters, her friends, the bridal consultant and every damn person in the store gets teary because there is no other dress in the entire world that will be as absolutely perfect as this one. Ignore that.

    You may have that moment. You may not. I didn’t. I tried on a dress and I liked it, so I bought it. If I had left the store and gone somewhere else I probably would have found another dress I liked and bought that instead. It doesn’t make you a bad bride, or any less in love with your fiance because you don’t stare into the mirror through weepy eyes and declare without a shadow of a doubt that THIS is the dress you will wear on the most important day of your life. It’s ok to look in to the mirror, decide you like the dress, buy it, and then go have lunch. It’s important, but at the end of the day, it’s just a dress. It helped me to remember that.

    Oh and I second what MoxieBride said about heels. I didn’t bring heels when I went dress shopping, and I wish I had, just to get an idea of what the dress would look like in shoes at least similar to the height I would wear at the wedding.

    Sam Merel January 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm #
    • Excellent words of wisdom, Sam! Thank you sooooo much. It IS just a dress. :)

      One note though, is that I most likely will not wear heels. Flats, yes. So I’m hoping barefoot try-ons are okay in my case.

      50Peach January 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm #
  4. Maybe you saw this on my blog but I tried over 60 dresses … yes, 60 … with a combo of people. First my best friends, then with FMIL, then with hubby, then with my own mom, then with my best friend again …. I finally found my dress when I was by myself. At the goodwill. There were no tears but my heart started racing and I just said YEP THAT’S IT. So, your number 3 – stick to your gut – yes yes yes.

    I will echo Renee about the undergarments and the heels (or whatever shoes you plan to wear. I also want to suggest doing your makeup and hair a bit. My first appointment I tried on dresses with no makeup and my hair in a clip and bare feet. Guess what? I didn’t think I looked “bridal” in any of those gowns. No sh*t.

    Mindy January 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm #
    • Haha, yes I remember your 60 dress escapade and my hat is off to you! I am not hell-bent on finding IT this coming weekend. If it happens, it happens. If not, I still have a good deal of time to keep looking! And yep, I’ll glam it up a bit and def at least blow out my hair pretty that morning so that I feel pretty. Thank you thank you thank you!!! You’re the bestest. xo

      50Peach January 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm #
  5. As I am reading this, I’m laughing. I went against most of it. I wanted a slimming fitted dress- more of a vintage feel… I only wanted to spend 4-500. I ended up with a Cinderella $1000 ball gown. And I would t have traded it for the world. You never know what you’re going to fall in love with when you put something ON. Have fun. Big hugs.

    Carrie January 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm #
    • Hahaha, I love that, Carrie!! And I bet you were gorgeous! I’d love to see pictures! :) xox

      50Peach January 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm #
  6. But I was also 19. I’d choose differently now.

    Carrie January 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

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