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Get Ready To Shop For Your Wedding Day!

Now that bella has prepared you to get beautiful for your big day, I'm going to help you shop! Yay! You may have twelve months or three months to shop, so hopefully we can help. Here is a checklist and preview of what is to come on FabSugar for wedding season.


To see my Fab wedding shopping guide,

  • First things first: determine your wedding style and budget. Close your eyes and try to picture your big day. Is the ceremony ethereal outside on a beach? Or more formal inside an amazing church? Or is it something in between? You'll want a wedding gown that fits in your picture. So, something light and airy if you'll be beachside; something lush and sophisticated if you'll be in a church. And remember: the season doesn't have to determine your dress - you can always wear a bolero or shawl for warmth and style! And it's good to know your budget, so you don't go ga ga over a dress totally out of your price range!
  • Once you've decided on your ceremony style and budget, you'll need inspiration. Go out and buy all of the weddings magazines on the stand and start ripping away! Create a wedding dress file, I suggest something special like this See Jane Work Boon Accordion File, $24. This file will also come in handy later in life, I promise.
  • Here are some of the overarching dress styles: Retro, Classic, Short, Modern, Color, and More To Love (for those ladies with big bosoms or loveable junk in the trunk!). I will show you more of these dress styles in depth later, but for starters here's a style collage:
  • (Clockwise from top left: Retro (Elizabeth Fillmore), Classic (Romona Keveza), Short (Monique Lhuillier), Modern (Elizabeth Fillmore), Color (Peter Langner), More to Love (Watters)

  • While you are gathering your gown file, ask your wedding planner or married friends for suggestions of dress salons near you. Also peruse online wedding sites like Wedding Channel and Brides.
  • It's important to dress to shop. You want to wear loose fitting clothes that are easy to get in and out of; and bring comfortable shoes with the heel height you plan to wear on the big day. Throw a strapless bra into your purse and try to wear pretty underthings - you will be standing around in them in front of your shopping buddies and salesperson.
  • When you are actually gown shopping, once you are assigned a salesperson, go through your tear sheets with them and point out what you like about dresses and special details you love. When you try on dresses, continue to point out your likes and dislikes.
  • Keep an eye out for quality! In a high-quality gown every detail should have a perfect finish - no bead or string should be unraveled. Natural fabrics like silk are pricier than synthetics, but the benefits are they let your skin breathe and don't trap sweat. A-line gowns fall smoothly and prevent panty lines; this is also the best shape for fuller figures. If you do have budget constraints, skip beading and fancy details and focus on a fine fabric and a good fit - you can always dress yourself up with jewelry and beauty!
  • The finishing touches. Take into account the following elements surrounding your look: alterations, headpiece/veil, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, bag, a cover up and the groom's ensemble. Oh! And the bridesmaids! There will be more on this in weeks to come so stay tuned.
Join The Conversation
nycgirl nycgirl 10 years
A tip I learned when dress shopping: anything under $3000 will likely be synthetic fabric. This was a huge reason for me rethink my dress budget in a big way! Sample sizes (here in NYC) are usually 4 or 6. Sometimes 8. You'll often buy a dress of a larger size than you normally wear just because of the patterns. I tried on so many beautiful and decadent gowns! In the end I went with a Richard Glasgow ballgown and can't wait to wear it!! My question to everyone: what are you going to do with your gown after your wedding?
JKe895 JKe895 10 years
You picked some beautiful women for those pictures above Fab! They're all amazingly classic ladies! This is a great post and thanks for sharing all the info!
lea88 lea88 10 years
nice dresses......
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
A lot of the dress stores I went to had huge, heavy duty electric clamps for fitting the dress. And at all the good stores, they will know how to pin it and still show off the style. It's not all that distracting, actually.
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 10 years
Most stores carry a variety of dresses. Usually, they can pin and clip the dress back enough to give you a good idea of how the dress will fit you. Also, I know some designers size their dresses to european sizes. while i was a street size 10, I had to buy a 16 (and had to talk the store down from an 18--the 16 fit with zero alterations aside from taking the hem up)
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
How do you deal with going to a dress store, wanting to try on a dress, and them saying, "I'm sorry. We only have this dress in a sample size 16." If you are a 4, that doesn't really give you an idea of how it's going to look. Please tell me that other wedding dress stores carry a variety of sizes.
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 10 years
I have to give some props to the designer of my wedding dress, Amsale. All of her dresses are gorgeous. I would have bought 10 of her dresses if i could have worn them all!!! They can be a bit pricey, but my dress was worth every penny!
Beauty Beauty 10 years
This is amazing Fab!
Maggie-Mae Maggie-Mae 10 years
I LOVE that Audrey Hepburn picture, she is just so gorgeous
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