Wedding dress shopping has absolutely been one of the highlights of my wedding planning experience to date!
Although I’m no expert about weddings, I had SUCH a great time shopping at Blush Bridal with a group of girlfriends that I can’t help but share my experience and tell you what I’ve learned about wedding dress hunting so far.
Blush Bridal in Yaletown (Vancouver) happened to be one of my very first stops on the dress shopping journey. Since my first visit, I’ve literally been back 4 times to see Brittany because she’s incredibly sweet, unbelievably patient, and not to mention thoughtful, relaxed, and very attentive. (If you’re headed to Blush Bridal you must ask for her!!) Brittany just has this calming and soothing energy about her and I didn’t realize in the onset just how much I’d appreciate it.
Despite all the enthusiasm that comes with your darling girlfriends and the wedding dress shopping experience – I’ve actually found the process to be quite stressful.
Choosing ONE dress for such an important and exciting day that accurately reflects your taste and style… and venue… and pricepoint…. and all the fantasies that you’ve ever have about your wedding…. is pretty much enough to make a fashion blogger/interior designer/perfectionist/bridezilla’s head spin and pop off.
It may just be a lot of self inflicted pressure, but needless to say, it’s still pressure. I’ve got only 6 more months to go before the actual date and although I haven’t 100% committed to a dress just yet (I am close I swear), I can confidently say that I have learned a lot about myself during this process.
If you’re like me and you’re getting ready to start your wedding dress shopping journey, then here’s 3 great pieces of advice that I have for you.
TRY EVERYTHING ON… EVEN IF IT’S JUST TO BE SURE:
Even though I definitely had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted when I set out to go shopping I still had an open mind and I was completely willing to try anything that anyone suggested, my friends, my sister, or Brittany included.
Being open-minded was definitely key for me because while I was completely convinced that a dress just wasn’t my style or that I didn’t like it on the hanger, time and time again I was completely surprised at how much I actually liked the dress once I tried it on.
Above anything else, trying on a number of different dresses only made me more secure in my actual decision and made me feel really good about my dress commitment. Now having had tried on all the different styles and cuts that Blush Bridal offers, I couldn’t be convinced of any other dress decision and I can tell you that I’m ecstatic about it!
DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT SAY… VENUE DOES MATTER!
A couple of months ago, Chris and I decide to change our venue. This made dress shopping all the more stressful because just as I thought I had the perfect dress for a beautiful rustic backyard wedding set on the east coast of Canada during the summer, we decided to shift gears and throw a party in Mexico in the fall.
While I was dress shopping I had a number of people say to me “Don’t worry about the venue, just wear what you want to wear!” And while I can completely appreciate that they had my absolute best interest at heart, in my mind venue DOES matter.
It just didn’t make sense to me to wear an over-the-top excessive ballgown (I did fall in love with one) at a relatively casual backyard wedding, nor did it make sense for me to wear an over-the-top excessive ballgown (yes, I’m talking about the same one) at a beach party. I’d be sweating my ass off under all of those beautiful layers and I’d probably spend the night miserably cursing myself for not choosing a gown that better suited the location.
In my opinion, your dress should suit your venue and the style of wedding your having. It should definitely reflect your personality and your own personal sense of style, but I do think that your dress should be part of the whole package and feel cohesive with the theme and location of your wedding. I’m imaging my event to have a relaxed and carefree vibe and I want to feel just as relaxed and carefree in my dress!
HONOUR YOUR BUDGET, AND BY HONOUR I MEAN SWEAR BY IT UP AND DOWN.
If you’re like me, and you want to have a nice, coordinated wedding, well then you probably also expect that the cost of each individual item can escalate pretty darn quickly. I actually had no concept of just how quickly those costs could escalate until I started really planning, sourcing, and selecting all the things that I want to include in my wedding.
Although I was adamant about sticking to my dress budget, I’m not going to lie, there was a moment when things did get a little out of hand…
That moment came when I tried on this ball gown (yes, the one I’ve referenced 3 times now) and when I did, all my friends gasped, and when I saw myself in the mirror I practically started balling, and when I walked down a pretend isle in the showroom with it on, I was ready to swipe my card and literally wear it home.
That particular dress would have been not two, not three, but FOUR times my original budget and my inner enabling squad was cheering and doing backflips in my head chanting:
“You only get to do this once!”
“It’s your day!”
“It should be exactly how you want it!”
“Don’t worry… you CAN and you WILL pay this off!”
I’m guessing I’m not alone in this experience – I’m sure many brides have similar moments. My point being that while I had a set budget, I was still really easy to get carried away in the moment. Getting married is super exciting, it’s a once in a lifetime thing, and it really is one special day. Still, I couldn’t justify blowing a bunch of money that I could’t afford. To me starting a new life and building a home with Chris after the wedding is so much more important then being saddled with a bunch of wedding debt that I’d have to pay off.
These days even though frugality isn’t necessarily a concept that’s celebrated I completely encourage you to practise it. Just know, that if you’re going to start to your wedding dress shopping journey, be prepared for moments where you might get carried away. Trust your gut and I’m sure whichever dress you choose it’ll be worth every dollar you spent and every penny you also saved.
So as I mentioned earlier in the post, I’ve only got about 6 more months to go before we get married and I’m extremely close to committing to my dress. Right now I’m ecstatic that’s it fit within my budget, it completely suits my personality and my style as well as my venue, and after trying on a ton of different options, I’m completely convinced that it’s the one for me. I can’t wait to keep you posted on more wedding planning adventures and I especially can’t wait to share my dress with you!
Please leave me your comments if you can relate to my wedding dress shopping experience. I hope you liked this post and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!