We see a lot of brides each year, and also a lot of the roadblocks that make the process of getting a wedding gown a lot more difficult and stressful than it needs to be! Here’s our list of the six most common problems we notice brides dealing with when it comes to the dress of their dreams, and some advice on how to deal with these issues when they come up or how to avoid them entirely!
- Rushing into buying a gown.
Many brides often rush to buy their wedding gown due to pressure from sales staff. We can’t advise against this enough! A wedding gown is a significant purchase, both sentimentally and financially, and takes time and much thought to process. Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither is a wedding gown! A common theme we see in the industry is brides buying from companies with big lead times, resulting in a fear that if they don’t get in quick, they will miss out. The poor girls are left feeling under pressure and rushed, with unnecessary worry of having to pay extra for a rush service/delivery if they leave it too late. This should never be the case. Taking your time is important to ensure you are getting exactly what you want from your gown and bridal experience – if you are feeling pressured to buy, then you’re probably not in the right place!
2. Too many cooks in the kitchen.
While it is an exciting time for a bride to choose her gown and she often wants to share it with all her nearest and dearest, having too many opinions can often be confusing. Not only that, but the bride will lose her voice amidst all the other opinions and lose sight of how she feels about the gowns she is trying. We can’t count the number of times a bride will request a follow up appointment on her own after coming in with too many people at her initial appointment. You really need to take the time to think about what you really want, rather than what other people want for you. After all, it’s your gown, and you’ll be the one wearing it!
3. Not having a realistic budget.
If you want a gown with all the bells and whistles on it, or if you have come in with inspiration images of your dream gown in mind knowing that the original goes for $15k+, don’t expect a locally made, hand-crafted gown to go for only a few thousand dollars. Masterfully creating a bespoke gown takes much time and expertise. You’re not only paying for the materials used or the knowledge – you are paying to receive a gown that both fits you like a glove and acts as an embodiment of your style and personality. Having a bridal gown custom made is a journey, one that you will most likely carry with you and remember for the rest of your life. Setting a realistic expectation for your budget is necessary to ensure you are able to get exactly what you want from your wedding gown.
4. Not thinking of the practical elements of the day.
Your wedding environment is of utmost importance when considering the design elements of your gown. Too many brides don’t think about the practicalities of the day to ensure they are comfortable and the gown is able to work for them in their wedding’s setting. E.g. for a beach wedding, it is probably not practical to have a gown with a full skirt and long train such as our Reina gown, however, the Reina gown would be perfect in a church setting. It’s also important to get a good gauge on what to expect weather-wise around your wedding date so that you can select a gown that will match. You don’t want to feel smothered in too much fabric if it is expected to be hot, or have materials that are coarse and irritate your skin. It’s also crucial to try sitting in your gown – you don’t want to be uncomfortable during your wedding dinner or constantly rearranging yourself if the dress isn’t fitting you how it should.
Another important element to consider here is the shoes – the shoes you step out in need to be worn for most of the day (you may be able to kick them off under the table, if you’re lucky!) so they need to be somewhat comfortable! It is so important to think of the type of heel and terrain you will be walking on. You don’t want to be sinking into grass with your stiletto – you won’t last the distance if you’re sinking into the ground and your shoes will be ruined. Heel stoppers can sometimes help with that, or a block heel would be the answer. If you are taking photos on a mountain, take a pair of boots or something you can navigate the uneven surfaces in. Your partner and photographer will thank you for it! Also, if your shoes have jewels with claw settings or sparkles, be careful as they can often snag and attack your dress.
5. Making the assumption that a gown will suit you before trying it on.
If a bride comes to us wanting a dress that we know isn’t going to flatter her, we won’t make it. There are certain things that simply don’t suit certain body shapes. Of course, you can make styles in different sizes, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Judging a gown by how it looks on Pinterest and on a model who has most likely been photoshopped will not tell you how you will look in a gown. It’s important to have an open mind and factor in your physique. Yes, you might lose weight for your wedding but your body shape will remain the same. We all carry our weight in different areas and some styles don’t work for every shape. Don’t torture yourself – own it! There is a limitless number of stunning designs for every body type, so there is no way you will miss out or be left with something you don’t like. Your designer should be more than happy to recommend options for your wedding by taking your ideas and tailoring them to suit you. We want you to look and feel like your fabulous self, and when you are comfortable, you are confident – and confidence always shows!
6. Forgetting about alteration costs.
Brides often make the mistake of confusing an ordered gown with a bespoke gown. A bespoke gown is made to your exact measurements and specifications for you, with you present for the essential fittings. You will never need to have alterations made for a bespoke gown as the gown is crafted to fit you perfectly. An ordered gown, however, is ordered in the size closest to you (from your measurements or assumed size) and often needs to be altered to fit you once it arrives in store. The size ordered for you is usually a best-guess by the person helping you, and once the gown arrives, a majority of boutiques do not offer alterations and the bride has to seek help elsewhere. This can cause significant stress as the boutique is not accountable for the additional work on your gown, nor are the extra costs to have it fitted. Alterations can be hugely costly and even getting an estimate from your bridal consultant can be misleading, as they often have no idea at the technicality of the work involved. Being prepared for this issue in advance, however, goes a long way toward reducing the stress involved.
7. Buying a wedding gown online.
It saddens us when we see a bride who has faced crushing disappointment after buying a gown online and receiving a dress that isn’t remotely like the photograph advertised. How can one quantify the time, money and stress that often arises when an online wedding gown goes awry? An online dress can take weeks and sometimes months to arrive, when it finally does and it’s not what the bride anticipated there is frequently little time remaining until the big day which limits the options available to seek a remedy. The selection, purchase, and creation of a wedding gown should be exciting and stress free – regretfully, online wedding gowns rarely, if ever, reflect these emotions when they arrive. Some believe the gown can be fixed with a few alterations, however, this is commonly an incorrect assumption and can be a costly additional expense (as mentioned earlier). Whilst it is amusing to others to see the before and afters, the devastation online gown shopping can evoke is something that should be avoided at all costs. As most of us are usually quite comfortable with purchasing garments online, the perception of buying a wedding gown is thought to be a similar process. This is far from the truth as in reality, wedding gowns are so much more complex in technicality (fit, structure, and quality). So many factors need to be considered to ensure the most significant gown you will ever wear is absolutely perfect. Unfortunately with an online wedding gown, these factors cannot be crosschecked beforehand as the buyer is often deceived by an immaculately photoshopped image and an attractive price. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.