how to get started with buying a wedding dress shopping

Odalys Mendez Photography

I’ve never been a girly girl. During elementary school, my biggest source of pride was being the center for the 4th grade all-boys football team. Since then, I’ve evolved into enjoying mani-pedis on occasion and bearing with heels for a fancy date (or wedges for improved walkability). The most I have ever spent on dress clothes was on a $100 cute black pencil dress from Bebe. That being said, the thrifty boyish me found the idea of buying a wedding dress exciting and intimidating. Yet, somehow I did find the one dress to rule them all (saving the reveal pics for after the big day). Since the process was about as easy as fumbling through the karaoke version of Gangam Style, I will share my best 5 Yoda-like lessons I gained along the way.

1. Learn the style terms to level the dress playing field Wedding dresses have their own lingo for necklines, hemlines and shirt fits. Pinterest has awesome pictures and infographics that will visually guide you so you can point your wedding consultant in the right direction.

2. Know what looks good on you As I poured through magazines looking at page after page of gorgeous options, I was pretty confused as to what to try on my first time out. Evaluating your closet for your fave necklines (mine is sweetheart), and best looking party dresses can help you get a feel for what you like. However, I would have never know how horrible ball gowns look on my short frame until I was swallowed up by one. If you’re curious about a style, try it on!

3. Go for an experience! This is one of the few times in your life that you’re allowed to be vain. I was a little nervous about getting a dress at a salon but quality staff can provide you with a luxury experience. The salon I purchased my dress at had runways and cameras for viewing both the front and back of your dress as well as full bridal changing suites. I popped a few of my special ladies in my car to give me honest advice (and sneak pics of course) and after I said yes to the dress, we brunched it up. Making your dress buying into an outing with those you love is totally worth it.

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My second choice dress from Jasmine Galleria in Lombard

4. Go with your bridal “gut” I had plenty of times when the dresses I tried looked good but they didn’t make me feel like a bride. When I did find my one, there was a feeling of not wanting to take it off. It made me feel beautiful, calm, grown up and ready to take on this wedding! My only regret is that my mom wasn’t there when I found it.

5. And finally…a funny tip from my bridal consultant! Pretend like you are going to the doctor and the DMV for your ID pic. Wear cute underwear and make sure to do your make up and hair for the full effect. Ain’t nothing less bride-ish than frumpy hair and granny panties! I can’t wait to share my final choice with everyone next July, but for now, just know my silk sweetheart neckline mermaid dress is patiently awaiting it’s big debut.

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