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First Dress Shopping Appt..Any advice?

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
Alright ladies, my first dress shopping appointment is on Sunday. Does anyone have any advice for me? Should I wear Spanx? I know they will probably be helping me in and out of the dress. I am slightly self conscious, but I'm not sure I plan to wear Spanx to the wedding. I also don't currently own Spanx, so I would have to go buy some.

Hopefully they don't mind that I am bringing 5 people. I know that's a lot, but I'm bringing my mom, my sisters, future MIL and future SIL. I want them all to have a part in this and I trust their opinions. I already have some ideas of what I want, but I really have no idea what anything will look like on me. So, I'm going to keep an open mind.

So any advice for a first timer?
 

SMC

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
2,035
I just bought my dress a few weeks ago! I went to at least 5 places and tried on at least 20 dresses before deciding.

My advice (which you may have heard before):
1. Set a budget and tell your salesperson when making the appointment. Don't try on dresses that are way out of your price range unless you can be very objective about it.
2. Bring or wear a strapless bra (spanx aren't necessary as usually the samples are size 10 and they need to pin the dress to you).
3. Look to buy off-the-rack or samples for discounts.
4. Ask for an idea regarding how much alterations cost - some dresses are easier to alter than others.
5. Try on many different styles. I went in thinking I didn't want strapless but it turned out strapless dresses with sweetheart necklines looked best on me.
6. If you do end up liking a dress, ask the salesperson to write down all the info. You can look it up online to compare prices later. Also gives you a reference point to refer to when you come back.
7. Take pictures of yourself in the dresses you like (front and back pictures).

Happy shopping!
 

recordaras

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
371
If you would feel more comfortable in spanx, I'd go for it (one of the places gave me a big hoop skirt to put on before the consultant came in to help me with the dresses, but in a couple of others it was just me in my undies). And also don't forget a strapless bra! Although in all honesty to me bridal consultants are kind of like doctors - I'm sure they've seen it all and could care less about any real or perceived imperfections we have.
For me personally, the first time was the "start to narrow it down" appointment. I asked to bring me a gown in one of each styles and go from there. That way you are able to eliminate the non-flattering versions, but also get a chance to see for yourself how they look on you (so no wondering "Hey, maybe that tulle ballgown really would have been great on me?.."). I also asked for a variety of fabrics - lace, satin, with beading, without beading and so on, also to get a feel of what I liked *on me* and what I didn't like at all.

Also make sure you know their tricks, so you don't get pushed into buying something before you're ready! All the "If you don't order today, it won't get here before your wedding", "If you don't order now, it might not be here when you come back", "But your mom loves it, and you should listen to her" etc.
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
Sortmon, first of all your puppy is absolutely adorable!! Second, thanks for all the advice. I will definitely bring a strapless bra. I was wanting to wear Spanx just for coverage rather than fit so that I'm not completely exposed.

Recordaras, thanks for the advice about their "tricks". My wedding is a year away, so I know that they should be able to order anything in plenty of time.

Right now I am just going to David's Bridal. I know a lot of people don't have good experiences there. But, I am only setting a budget of around $500 for a dress and they have the widest selection for my price range. If I don't find anything I like at David's, then I will branch out to the smaller boutiques and see what I can find on sale. The prices of dresses is just ridiculous in my opinion. I went to a bridal show a couple months ago with my mom and saw a dress on display that was gorgeous. The lady from the boutique talked to us about it (it cost $1800) and about the "budget" options they had that started at $1200. :roll: I want a killer dress of course, but I would much rather spend that money on something else for the wedding, like photography.
 

madelise

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
5,294
MAYFLOWERS!!! :wavey: I missed seeing you around PS!!! HOW ARE YOU! Give a big update please!!!


David's Bridal is FINE. I loved going there. You just need to go during a weekday, day-time or something, when they're not so busy. Or make an appointment. I love that they let you take photos to bring home and think about. Most places don't allow photography.

Have you heard of Jasmine's Bridal? They're huge on the WeddingBee. They make replica dresses and seem to do the biggest bang for your buck. Downside is, you have to order it months and months in advance.. Plus side is, you get a fabulous gown for an affordable price, custom made to your body measurements. I'm most probably going to be using them, with DB as a back-up plan… cus like Sortmon's #4 suggests, alterations can cost a lot too. I have a weird shaped body.

When you go to DB, though, *try your best not to give them your phone number and/or email*. Give a fake #. Anything. They call. so. flipping. often. that it turned me off about them. :angryfire: Actually, most of the bridal shops will call a billion times. It's really really annoying. Create a Google Voice phone number or something just to handle all this stuff.
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
6,006
I actually had two fantastic experiences at David's Bridal and that's also where I got my dress! We also had a great experience there when shopping with my sister, who ended up purchasing elsewhere. But it definitely is key to have an appointment because if you do, you have a designated assistant instead of getting the person trying to cover all the walk-ins. David's will give you a long-line strapless bra to put on, as well as a slip/underskirt thingy for any of the non-trumpet gowns, so I don't know if Spanx will be necessary. And they totally won't mind 5 people...just give them a heads up and expect that you'll have to move chairs around!

Everyone else gave excellent advice! Just wanted to say good luck, have FUN, and come back with PICTURES!!! :D
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,748
try on every shape and style dress imaginable. The one you think will flatter your body least? try it on. Not at all your style? try it on. Something you had NEVER imagined? try it on. Everyone i ever here talking about their dress experience is that the dress they never thought they wanted was the one they ended up loving
 

recordaras

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
371
MayFlowers|1382196997|3540659 said:
Sortmon, first of all your puppy is absolutely adorable!! Second, thanks for all the advice. I will definitely bring a strapless bra. I was wanting to wear Spanx just for coverage rather than fit so that I'm not completely exposed.

Recordaras, thanks for the advice about their "tricks". My wedding is a year away, so I know that they should be able to order anything in plenty of time.

Right now I am just going to David's Bridal. I know a lot of people don't have good experiences there. But, I am only setting a budget of around $500 for a dress and they have the widest selection for my price range. If I don't find anything I like at David's, then I will branch out to the smaller boutiques and see what I can find on sale. The prices of dresses is just ridiculous in my opinion. I went to a bridal show a couple months ago with my mom and saw a dress on display that was gorgeous. The lady from the boutique talked to us about it (it cost $1800) and about the "budget" options they had that started at $1200. :roll: I want a killer dress of course, but I would much rather spend that money on something else for the wedding, like photography.
I completely agree with you about the prices. Another option is buying a sample gown - right now with the 2014 collections coming in I think there should be some awesome deals! I plan on going the sample dress route myself, and have even been considering preowned (although I understand that's not everyone's cup of tea).
Oh, and just in case you or your fiance are military - you could also take a look at Brides Across America.
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
Thanks everyone for all the advice! I went today and arrived a little early so that I could look through the racks myself, since I wasn't quite sure they would let me do that. The consultant was great and had me pick out dresses first and then after I had tried those on, she started pulling dresses for me. I had made an appointment and it seems that Sundays must be a lot less popular than Saturdays as I only saw one or two other brides there trying on dresses. It worked out great.

I brought my own strapless bra, but she offered me a long strapless bra. I was glad she did because it made me feel more comfortable in terms of being exposed and it fit better than the strapless bra that I owned (which is a few years old).

I did end up picking a dress tonight!! It was about $100 over budget, but it was absolutely perfect. I saw it hanging outside another dressing room and took a look at the tag. I made a comment about how gorgeous it was, but that it was over my budget. Then after I had tried on two dresses, my mom said she would be fine with me trying it on, and stretching the budget, because she agreed that it was beautiful. It was just perfect. I tried on about some more dresses that were similar to it and a couple different styles, but I just couldn't get it out of my mind.

It fit perfect and I could have taken that dress home with me (after they cleaned and steamed it), but I decided to order a new one since I wasn't sure how many people had tried on that dress before. So, I just feel more comfortable ordering it, especially since there was no price difference.

I will have to post a picture of it once I upload pics to my computer.

ETA: If anyone else is reading this for advice, take a bottle of water. Someone I know suggested that to me and I am so glad I took one. By the third dress, I was already thirsty
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
madelise, not much to update here. I am starting Grad School in a couple weeks, but I am only taking one class at a time for now. I will see how it goes before I decide to take two classes next semester. My puppy is growing crazy fast and is too big for his own good.

In terms of the wedding, I have booked the ceremony and reception venues, DJ, photographer, caterer, ceremony musician and minister. Now that I have a dress, it's really just the small things that need to be done. I'm still trying to convince FI to pick a date for engagement pictures. It came with our photographer's package, but FI HATES having his picture taken. So, he's pretty reluctant to volunteer for pictures, even if it is only an hour or so. I'm happy with the way things are shaping up so far.

How are you doing? How are your wedding plans going?
 

madelise

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
5,294
YAY YOU FOUND IT! YOU SAID YES TO THE DRESS!! :appl:

Whoohoo!! Do we get to know which dress? :naughty: We promise to not tell the groom.
Do you want to already order the dress, or do you want to hang on and maybe visit a few more other shops first?
The perk of DB dresses is that they'll almost always be available.



MayFlowers said:
madelise, not much to update here. I am starting Grad School in a couple weeks, but I am only taking one class at a time for now. I will see how it goes before I decide to take two classes next semester. My puppy is growing crazy fast and is too big for his own good.

In terms of the wedding, I have booked the ceremony and reception venues, DJ, photographer, caterer, ceremony musician and minister. Now that I have a dress, it's really just the small things that need to be done. I'm still trying to convince FI to pick a date for engagement pictures. It came with our photographer's package, but FI HATES having his picture taken. So, he's pretty reluctant to volunteer for pictures, even if it is only an hour or so. I'm happy with the way things are shaping up so far.

How are you doing? How are your wedding plans going?
GRAD SCHOOL?!! FOR WHAT! I know you've been teaching… when did you decide to go back to school? What about teaching? D'aww puppy… mine is an old man and I keep hoping that he stops aging.

When is your wedding? You seem to have everything all ready to go! Let your FI know that the engagement pics are his "practice session" so that he can feel more comfortable getting his pictures taken on the wedding day. It helps HIM and it helps the PHOTOGRAPHER understand how to work with him. FI hates taking pictures, too… and rightfully so! He looks like a criminal in most his photos! He has the most beautiful smile, but he freaks out in front of the camera. He hated hated hated the photoshoot that I made him do last year, but after seeing the photos, he warmed up to the idea. He didn't complain one bit during this year's photoshoot…! Which ended up being my engagement shoot, sort of. A good photographer will make him comfortable. Esp after meeting already once. Having him look at YOU instead of the camera is a good trick.

I'm okay. Just got engaged, but I've already done so much! I'm ahead of schedule, but that's good bc I'm nervous grad school's going to get worse shortly. We went to see two venues today. I'm always just sick-to-the-pits over the prices of stuff… that's pretty much it.
 

audball

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
4,946
I totally missed all the action! Congrats on finding your dress MF! I can't wait to see it :))

I had positive experiences at David's. They do call/email A LOT, but it's not the end of the world. They let me have FI help me with getting in and out of the dresses, so I avoided that awkwardness, but they did provide a long line and slip so it wouldn't have mattered if they didn't.

So so so excited to see what you picked!!
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
madelise|1382327104|3541448 said:
YAY YOU FOUND IT! YOU SAID YES TO THE DRESS!! :appl:

Whoohoo!! Do we get to know which dress? :naughty: We promise to not tell the groom.
Do you want to already order the dress, or do you want to hang on and maybe visit a few more other shops first?
The perk of DB dresses is that they'll almost always be available.


GRAD SCHOOL?!! FOR WHAT! I know you've been teaching… when did you decide to go back to school? What about teaching? D'aww puppy… mine is an old man and I keep hoping that he stops aging.

When is your wedding? You seem to have everything all ready to go! Let your FI know that the engagement pics are his "practice session" so that he can feel more comfortable getting his pictures taken on the wedding day. It helps HIM and it helps the PHOTOGRAPHER understand how to work with him. FI hates taking pictures, too… and rightfully so! He looks like a criminal in most his photos! He has the most beautiful smile, but he freaks out in front of the camera. He hated hated hated the photoshoot that I made him do last year, but after seeing the photos, he warmed up to the idea. He didn't complain one bit during this year's photoshoot…! Which ended up being my engagement shoot, sort of. A good photographer will make him comfortable. Esp after meeting already once. Having him look at YOU instead of the camera is a good trick.

I'm okay. Just got engaged, but I've already done so much! I'm ahead of schedule, but that's good bc I'm nervous grad school's going to get worse shortly. We went to see two venues today. I'm always just sick-to-the-pits over the prices of stuff… that's pretty much it.
So sorry it took me almost a week to reply! I'm just so busy during the week I don't have much free time.

Anyways, I'm going to try to upload a picture of it this week. I am so in love with it. We did go ahead and order it. Afterwards, I wondered if we should have waited for it to go on sale more, but my mom quickly talked me out of that! I'm trying to talk FI into the engagement pictures still. I think we might have to wait until Spring now anyways. FI never smiles in pictures either. The pretty fall colors are still here, and will probably be here for a couple weeks. But, it's starting to get cold and I don't know how many dates the photographer has left in those couple of weeks. I had been hoping that we could get them done in time to put them on our Save the Dates, but if we do them in spring, I don't think we will.

We are getting married next October. The prices make me sick too. Thankfully, my parents are helping a ton. I was trying to stay within the budget that they gave me. But, venue prices are crazy and even though we are only having about 75 people, there are still several things FI and I will be paying for.

As for grad school, I'm going to get my Master's in Reading and Writing Instruction. Every teacher where I live is required by the state to get their Master's within the first 10 years of teaching. Since you get a pretty good raise once you finish, I'm going to go ahead and get it done. Plus, I figure it will be much easier to go back to school now before we have kids.

How much longer do you have in grad school? Aren't you going for Speech Pathology? I thought about that at one point, but couldn't find a good program close to me and I really didn't want to do a long distance relationship with FI. Plus, in my county, speech pathologists make the same as a classroom teacher. I'm happy with regular classroom teaching for now, but eventually I would like to become a Reading Recovery teacher or do something else other than being in a regular classroom.
 

MayFlowers

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
936
I can't bring myself to post a picture of myself in it before the actual wedding. So here are the stock pics. But I absolutely love it and for those of us who aren't super thin, it's very flattering to curvy girls like myself.

screen_shot_2013-10-28_at_1.png

screen_shot_2013-10-28_at_2.png
 

iluvshinythings

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
825
Your dress is beautiful!
 

audball

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
4,946
Beautiful dress, MF! I can't wait to see it on you after the wedding!
 
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