One of my favorite engaged moments was dress shopping without a doubt. But oh, what an adventure it is as you dive into the racks of gorgeous gowns! We’re in luck m’dears, for Lovely Bride SF is here to share their tips for finding that special dress. Josh Gruetzmacher snapped chic styles at their San Fran shop and with One True Love Vintage Rentals, the whole place is a dream. Gather up their advice and soak up all the pretty right this way!
Shop Early Enough
Typically, it can take between 7-9 months from when a bride orders her dress until it’s ready to walk down the aisle! While many of our designers can rush a dress order, it does add extra costs to the dress. With 7-9 months, you have a really comfortable timeline, and can eliminate any stress (and extra fees) in making sure your dress is ready and in perfect condition for the big day.
Set Your Budget
Before hitting the stores, it’s best to set a budget and know what you’re able to spend on your dress. While at your appointment, be upfront and clear with your stylist what your budget is. The stylist can then show you dresses that fall within your budget, that way you don’t fall in love with a dress that you can’t afford. We would hate for a bride to find her dream dress, then become disappointed that it’s out of her budget. Don’t forget the additional costs on top of the dress itself, such as alterations, accessories like veils and jewelry, as well as shoes and undergarments. These additions alone can cost an extra few hundred dollars, which many brides don’t initially think about.
While shopping, come prepared! Bring the undergarments you’ll be wearing, or at the very least, wear a nude strapless bra and nude underwear (no hot-pink undies, please!). Have a Pinterest board ready to show the stylist; we love to see your inspiration! Come with some makeup on. While you don’t have to have a full face of makeup, having some makeup on can help you envision the entire look.
Shop with a Small Entourage
We always encourage a bride to come in with only her closest and most trustworthy confidants! In fact, our largest salon only accommodates four guests. When there are too many people in the party, the appointment can lose focus, and too many opinions can get in the way of what you, the bride, really feels. We advise brides to bring those who knows her style the best, and will be supportive of her opinions and choice!
We love brides who come in with a vision of their big day, and have an idea of what styles they like. But we also love when brides come in open-minded about styles they might not necessarily see themselves in! You may surprise yourself and find a silhouette or style you did not originally consider to be the most flattering on you. And often times, trying on different styles can also help confirm a style you do NOT like, which is all part of the process!
Trust Your Stylist
On the same note, don’t be close-minded to your stylist’s suggestions. Even if you don’t initially love it on the hanger, you may end up falling in love with it! Our stylists dress multiple brides a day, and have seen our dresses on multiple bodies and body types, and have a good idea of what can be flattering on a bride.
Go During Off-Peak Hours
The weekends are our busiest days, and we’re often running from one bride to another. On the other hand, weekdays are quieter, and we are able to spend more quality time with the brides. If you can come on a weekday, you’ll be able to get more personal attention from the stylist.
Trust Your Instincts
Lastly, always trust your instincts! Ask yourself, can you see yourself walking down the aisle in the dress? If you have to be convinced to love a dress, that dress probably isn’t for you. You know best what feels right for you – no matter what anyone else thinks. After all, it’s your wedding, and it will be YOU wearing the dress!
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Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Floral Design: Studio Mondine | Hair And Makeup : Katie Nash Beauty | Location: Lovely Bride SF | Styling And Props: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Wedding Gowns: Lovely Bride SF