Aside from settling on your guest list and sending out Save the Dates, choosing your wedding dress is one of the first steps in your wedding planning experience. We’ve blogged our fair share of pretty dresses, there’s no doubt about that! But we’ve never really discussed the actual process of finding your perfect dress. So, we brought in the lovely Marie of Posh Bridal Couture, to give y’all some top tips on shopping for a wedding dress! Take it away, Marie!

Schedule your first appointment. We recommend starting your search as soon as you get engaged! Custom order dresses typically take 6-9 months to arrive so starting a serious search 12 months prior to your date is the perfect timeframe.

What to bring to your first appointment. Nothing… except a couple of your biggest supporters (ie mother, sister, etc) and an open mind! A seasoned consultant will know exactly what style will look best on you. Trusting her to pull dresses will make for a stress-free, relaxed appointment and ultimate lead you to your dress.

The process. Our first appointment includes a time to chat about all things regarding the brides wedding – flowers, colors, location, etc. Once that is complete, we try on about 6-8 dresses and discuss likes and dislikes. Any dresses the bride has made a connection with, she will try on again and accessorize. Ultimately, that will narrow down to the dress! Brides are never planning on finding the dress at your first appointment but it happens in the majority of our appointments.

Choosing a style for your body type. There are several different dress styles that are available. First the most popular style is the A-line (flares out gently to create an A shape) which looks great on every body type. Next is the ball gown (fitted bodice with large skirt) and it looks best on tall girls as well as girls who are heavier on the bottom. Another favorite is the Fit & Flare (fitted through bodice and hips and then a gradual flare out). This style fits great on anybody with curves our trying to create curves. It does not work well on brides with a larger waistline. Finally, the Sheath (a straight cut that hugs curves) is a classic, simple style that works great on tall and thin girls. Ultimately we are believers in wearing a dress that makes you feel confident. It’s not always about matching up the “perfect” style for your body but instead about what you feel good in.

What to budget for a dress. The standard is set at 10% of the budget however we believe each bride has a place in their wedding budget they want to focus on. Some spend larger amounts on photography, the band, etc. It really is truly what the bride feels comfortable with.

Designers for ranging budgets. I am very particular in the designers I carry and have exclusivity on a majority of them. We start out with great designers like Casablanca & Allure Bridals which range from $700–$1,500. Some of our middle designers include Stephen Birnbaum, Matthew Christopher and Nicole Miller which range from $1,800–$6,000. Our high end designers include Badgley Mischka, Ian Stuart and Jorge Manuel with prices ranging from $4,500–$13,000.

Don’t forget about alterations! Alterations range in pricing depending on the experience of your seamstress and the fabrics/details of the dress. Prices can range from $200–$600.

Getting fitted. The bride’s first fitting is typically 3 months prior to the wedding date. Most alterations are completed in 2-3 appointments. If the dress needs major alterations, more appointments would be necessary.

Thanks so much, Marie! You can check out her Minnesota-based boutique right here. Also, don’t forget to take a peek at the rest of this gorgeous Fall wedding!

Wedding Dress + Tips: Posh Bridal | Photography: Canary Grey Photography | Event Coordinating: Lizzie Anne | Floral Design: Colleen’s Flower Cellar | Hair Fascinator: Bethany Lorelle | Hair + Makeup: Julie Swenson Beauty | Bride’s Orange Coat: Vintage | Bride’s Shoes: Ruche | Groom’s Suit: Men’s Warehouse

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