Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can feel intimidating, but it can also be one of the most fun experiences you’ll ever have!
At Treasury On The Plaza, a Florida destination wedding venue, we aim to ensure your wedding planning process is as seamless and enjoyable as possible. We’ve gathered advice from some of our favorite local bridal industry experts to help you look in the mirror on your wedding day and see the bride you always dreamt you would be.
Set Your Wedding Dress Budget
Wedding dresses come in a variety of different price points, from lucky thrift store finds to multi-million-dollar gowns fit for a celebrity. So the first step in finding a wedding dress that feels right to you is setting your budget.
According to Brides.com, brides are spending an average of around $2,439 on wedding dresses, but you don’t have to stick to this number if you don’t want to! Decide how your wedding dress fits into your top wedding priorities, then set your budget from there.
If there is anyone who may want to contribute toward the purchase of your wedding gown, make sure to have a conversation with them about the budget prior to starting the process of wedding dress shopping.
Find Your Style
There are hundreds of styles of wedding dresses, so you’ll have to do a bit of work to find the one that’s right for you.
Before trying on any gowns, doing research is key.
First, consider the theme or aesthetic of your wedding, as this can help narrow down your options. If you don’t have a specific theme, use your wedding venue for inspiration!
For example, for a wedding at The Treasury on the Plaza, you may want to search for dresses with keywords like glamorous, art deco, black-tie, etc. If your wedding venue has a blog or social media feed, use it to find out what styles other brides are wearing. Pinterest and TikTok are other great options to get inspired.
“Do your research! Instagram, Pinterest, and even TikTok…brides today have so many outlets to discover different designers. Find a designer you love, then find the closest boutique to you that carries their collection. It’s likely they will have other designers you’ll love as well, as every bridal boutique has its own unique style,” says Laney Maddox, Store Manager of Love, A Bridal Boutique.
Notice what styles, trends, and themes you seem to be drawn to. Are you saving mostly blinged-out ball gowns or modern minimalist dresses? This could mean you have narrowed down your style!
Book Appointments With Bridal Boutiques
Now that you know your style, it’s time to start booking your wedding dress shopping appointments. Each boutique has a unique selection of dresses.
Not all bridal shops are created equal. Look for ones that offer a variety of wedding dress styles you like in your budget. Pay attention to their level of customer service and reviews. Inquire on how they handle alterations or how they can help package your dress if you are having a destination wedding.
Carefully Consider Who to Bring With You to Your Appointments
Wedding dress shopping can be one of the most memorable parts of the wedding planning process. To ensure that those memories are happy ones—not filled with stress or feelings of overwhelm—make sure to pause and think about who you want by your side before you invite your whole crew.
“Choosing who will be joining you during your wedding dress shopping experience should not be taken lightly,” offers Bri Marbias, bridal stylist at The Bridal Finery in Winter Park, Florida. “We first recommend confirming with the different bridal boutiques you plan on shopping at as to how many guests you are able to have with you; each store has its own rules and restrictions.
“Before jumping right in and sending out the shopping invites, brides should think very carefully about who really needs to be there. Brides should ask themselves a few questions, such as: Are they contributing to the cost of the dress? Do they understand my vision? Will they make this experience a positive one? With so many memorable moments during the wedding planning process, leave the bridal dress shopping for the most important family or friends.”
On the day of your appointment, talk to your bridal consultant about your wedding venue, theme, and style preferences.
While your personal style is a fantastic guide in helping you find the wedding dress of your dreams, don’t limit yourself to just what looks good in the photos you saw on Instagram or Pinterest. Sometimes, dresses that aren’t our favorites on the hanger end up looking fantastic in the mirror!
Trust Your Gut and Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
For some brides, finding a wedding dress can be a challenging process, especially if you’re having a tough time deciding between different styles.
If you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, sometimes it’s best to call it a day and reevaluate later. Oftentimes, it isn’t until after you leave that you realize there’s a certain dress you just can’t stop thinking about.
There is nothing wrong with straying away from your original plan. The most important thing is to make sure that you feel confident in your choice. As they always say, when you find the right one, you’ll know.
Remember, It’s Your Wedding Day
Finding a wedding dress that checks all the boxes can come with a lot of pressure.
Sometimes it comes from the need to make family or friends happy or internal pressure to find “the one.” Above all, remember that this is your wedding, and the attire you choose should make you feel confident and beautiful on your big day. Some brides fall in love with the first wedding dress they try on. Some brides spend months searching for a dress. You will be facing an uphill battle if you are trying to plan a wedding that pleases everyone around you.
Every bride has her own unique style. Give yourself permission to put the spotlight on yourself when dress shopping. If you want to buy the first dress you try on, do it! It is your day after all.
Do your research, be open to surprises, and permit yourself to stand in the spotlight. If you do those three things, finding a wedding dress will feel like finding your soulmate.
The Team at the Treasury Venue Collection is here to help you take the next step in your wedding journey. Our events team can connect you with expert wedding vendors in Florida who can help you, no matter which stage of the planning process you are in. If you are on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue, click here to see more images of our spaces to see if they fit your vision, and then contact us for a venue tour!