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Five Secrets Of Selecting The Perfect Wedding Gown

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding is selecting that perfect gown, the one that will dazzle your fiancee, your friends and your family. Although your mind may be made up and your heart set on a particular style prior to going shopping, be sure to try on several different styles.

Your bridal consultant should not just be helpful and friendly, she should be knowledgeable and a good listener. Tell her what you’re looking for. If you have pictures show them to her. Tell her where your wedding will be and when it will take place. All these things will help her determine which gowns in her store will best fit what you’re looking for.

If your bridal consultant is pushy, insists you don’t know what you want – but she does, or tries to get you to buy every dress you try on — run out of the store. Purchasing your gown should be a fun experience.

Also realize that all gowns look great on the size 6 models in the pictures. Your body shape and size will make a difference on what style gown looks best on you. Be open to the suggestions of your bridal consultant. Oh and by the way – sizes for bridal gowns is different that the sizes you find at the mall or on ready to wear clothes. Wedding gowns use “European” sizing and run from one to two sizes small. That means if you usually wear a size 8 you’ll probably be a size 10 in your bridal gown.

Be careful not to bring too many friends with you. Usually mom, grandma and a friend is plenty. When you have too many people giving their opinions it can be confusing and frustrating. Remember it’s your day, it’s your dress, and it’s your decision – if you love it, that’s what really counts.

You can never buy your wedding dress to early, but it’s very easy to wait too long.

You may think that a bridal consultant is trying to pressure you when they encourage you to purchase your gown months in advance. Average time to order a dress is 12 – 17 weeks. Let me explain the process.

Almost all wedding gowns are manufactured in China. When a bridal shop sells a dress they call the manufacturer with the order. Most manufacturers accumulate orders through Friday. The orders are usually faxed or sometimes emailed to the actual manufacturing plant in China. The dress is then put into the production schedule. The cutting, sewing, embroidery, beading etc. is then done. This process can take several weeks.

Once the dress is completed at the manufacturing plant in China it is packaged and shipped by container to the U.S. When it arrives in the U.S. it must clear customs. This part of the process can take place quickly or take several days. (Sometimes the custom officials take extra time to inspect shipments looking for contraband, and other illegal items that are not allowed in the country.) After the dress clears customs it is shipped to the manufacturer’s warehouse, it is checked in and then repackaged ready to ship to the bridal shop. Dresses are usually shipped regular UPS which can take 3-7 days depending on the distance from the warehouse to the bridal shop.

One more thing to take into consideration is Chinese New Year. This is a 15 day celebration in China and the dress manufacturers close down for it. That can mean an additional 2 weeks for delivery of your dress.

In our last newsletter we talked about how long it takes to actually make your dress, 12 – 17 weeks. Now we’ll discuss some other advantages to ordering early.

Most bridal manufacturers actually come out with new styles 2 times each year, Spring and Fall. That also means that they discontinue dress styles 2 times a year. The bridal shop never knows which dresses will be discontinued and which will be held over to the next season.

If you put off ordering your dress it could be discontinued when you actually decide to buy. This could be a big disappointment for you.

By ordering your dress early you provide adequate time for alterations and for any other problems that could arise.

Alterations are usually done 6 – 8 weeks prior to the wedding. It is always best to schedule your appointment with the seamstress well in advance. This means 12-17 weeks for ordering the dress and another 6-8 weeks for alterations. So you can see that 5-6 months prior to the wedding is not too early to order.

Mistakes happen, fortunately in the bridal industry they are few and far between. Sometimes the manufacturer can make an error, anything from the wrong color fabric to sending the wrong size dress. Sometimes the bridal shop can make an error in ordering. This isn’t to scare you. Both the manufacturer and the bridal shop are very careful with each detail and use several checks to make sure there isn’t any error. But on the remote chance something doesn’t go exactly as planned it is so much better to have ordered you dress well in advance so if a correction needs to be made there will be time.

Piece of mind. Knowing that your dress is ordered and you can get on with other aspects of your wedding is a big relief. Your stress level will go way down once this is taken care of.

So the advice is: When you find the “Perfect Dress” buy it. Period…End of story…Stop looking. But it that day! And especially if the gown is on a sale rack or is a one-of-a-kind sample.


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