Your Wedding Dress Shopping Q’s Answered

Picking out your wedding dress is a HUGE decision. It is one of the first “this is real” moments after becoming engaged. What look do I want? What do you mean there are different shades of white? How early do I need to start shopping?! BREATHE. I’ve got you covered! I’m stoked to introduce you all to this knowledgeable and fun wedding professional! She has been working in the wedding industry for five years and currently is the manager and lead sales consultant at Ashlee’s Bridal & Tux in New Ulm, MN. Everyone… meet Alexa! We’re going to take a little tour of this shabby shop and hear some tips from Alexa about buying your wedding dress.

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Q: When should I begin dress shopping?
Alexa: We recommend shopping 9-12 months before the big day and ordering 8-10 months before for a stress free experience that allows plenty of time for alterations. If this isn’t an option for you, we happily work with brides on a tighter timeline. I would also recommend limiting yourself to a few stores. It may become overwhelming and confusing if you visit too many stores.
Q: Where should I pre look for wedding dresses?
Alexa: Thank goodness for Pinterest! It’s a great resource for finding inspiration and feel free to bring in photos! Keep in mind though, Pinterest can set unrealistic expectations. Keep an open mind and don’t get your heart set on one dress you found online. The best thing to do is find a photo and we can use it as inspiration and find a dress that is similar.

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Q: If you could tell brides one thing before dress shopping, what would it be?
Alexa: Remember to find a dress that fits you and your personality and how you want to look and feel on your wedding day. I know you want to please your family but this is your time to be selfish, it’s about you! I’d also say to be open minded. It’s good to pre shop and get ideas but you would be surprised. Often times what you thought you liked from the beginning can be the opposite of what you end up with. Trust your consultant! They’ve been doing it a long time and are there to make you look your best!
Q: How many people should I bring to my appointment?
Alexa: I would suggest no more than five. Everyone means well and has your best interests at heart but too many opinions can overwhelm the bride. We want all our best friends and family there but try and keep it simple and meaningful.

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Q: How do I know when I’ve found “the dress”?
Alexa: When you start comparing every other dress to one specific dress, it’s safe to say you’ve made up your mind without even realizing it. I don’t pay attention or focus on anyone’s reactions but the bride’s and you can tell the difference when she has found “the dress” simply by her body language.  She keeps looking in the mirror, stands up taller and her face lights up. Those are the things I notice. The TV show “Say Yes to the Dress” is a fun show to watch but it turned the bridal world into a reality show. Some aspects are true but a lot is exaggerated. Not everyone has that need to cry moment. Everyone is different, so don’t feel like you need to have this big over-the-top reaction to loving a wedding dress. You’ll know which one you feel the best in!
Q: What if I’m in between dresses, how do I choose?
Alexa: Think about which dress matches your overall wedding theme. I like to help brides decide by breaking the dress into sections; what do you like about this train, neckline, belt, beading, lace pattern etc. The more you start looking at the details, the more you’ll start to realize which one has more pros.
Another great idea to help choose between two gowns is think about the “what ifs”… Take one dress out of the picture so you’re only left with one. What if you couldn’t get one particular dress, how would you feel about that? You’d be surprised how easy it is to make a decision at that point.

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Q: My dress is in! Now what?
Alexa: When your dress comes in you should try it on again with your consultant. We will help you go over the tiny details that may need tweaking; where the dress should be pulled in or straps that need adjusting. We make you aware of what needs to be adjusted. Make sure your seamstress has good experience in bridal (wedding dresses). Bridal is very different from everyday clothing. They should know exactly how that type of dress should fit you. It’s so hard to see dresses that aren’t properly fitted. Minor adjustments make a major difference! If you’re unsure of a seamstress, consult with your bridal shop.
Q: What are your thoughts on traditional wedding attire? Does everything have to match or are there any rules?
Alexa: No! Old trends are out the window. If you want to do it and it’s your style—do it! We can help your visions come to life. Bridesmaid’s dresses can be long and short and different colors. There aren’t rules for moms either; it’s whatever they feel most comfortable in. Some brides have specific requests and when in doubt, ask the bride! The point is, you make the rules.

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Q: And finally, what is your favorite thing about working in the bridal industry:
Alexa: The happiness. It’s such a happy time and I like hearing the stories and getting to know my clients. Seeing everything come together is awesome! And of course, the sparkles. I truly care about my brides and would do anything to make them happy. You get to be the fairy godmother. You get to be a part of something that means so much to them.

Well there you have it! Good luck dress shopping, brides! Hopefully you are now equipped with the knowledge to make it an amazing experience! Thanks so much to Alexa for sharing!

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