As a follow-up to my last post about my David's Bridal dress shopping experience, this post is going to be all about what to bring, expect, and avoid at a bridal consultation. I've watched countless Say Yes to the Dress episodes over the years, and in some ways, it's not that far off...just less cameras, drama, and generally less staff helping you out!
What to Expect
* Depending on when the consultation is, the store can be very busy, so you should expect to have to be patient at times. It's not really all that much to ask for since there are so many beautiful dresses to look at while you wait. Even when you're in the fitting rooms, they provide iPads so you can browse through their inventory at your leisure. I brought a list of dresses that I had picked out from the website, and I am so glad I did because it provided my consultant with a clear idea of the style of dress I was looking for.
* Expect to be stripping down in front of your consultant! Those dresses are not exactly easy to get into, so don't think for one second that you'll be shimmying into them all on your own! The consultants do this for a living, so don't worry...they see half naked bodies all the time and yours won't faze them in the least.
What to Bring
* Since you'll be getting half naked for your appointment, I would really recommend that you don't wear the wrong kind of underwear. What I mean by that is, you're going to want to either wear or bring a pair of undies that are discreet enough to hide underneath your dress. If you're wearing bright pink undies and you're trying on a light, form-fitting dress, you are probably going to be able to see your underwear and it will inevitably distract from your perception of the dress.
* Make sure someone in your group brings a camera to take pictures of every dress you try on! I only tried on 6 dresses, but I can imagine after 10+, things would start to get confusing, so it's always good to have pictures to look at later when you're making the final decision.
* I brought my wedding shoes with me to my appointment, but I didn't end up wearing them. Instead, I used a pair that they had in the store, which worked out better because they were much easier to get on and off between dresses (mine have tiny little ankle straps). In any case, I would recommend bringing your bridal shoes with you anyway, just so you can get a better idea of how they will look with your dress.
What to Avoid
* Wedding dress shopping is a very significant moment in a woman's life, and certainly a special event worth sharing with friends and family. However, that being said, it's important to not lose sight of what you want from your dress! Having the love and support of family and friends is absolutely wonderful, don't get me wrong, but if you've brought 10+ people with you for the appointment, it might get a bit overwhelming with so many opinions swirling around. At the end of the day, it's all about what you are comfortable with, so don't feel too badly if you can't invite every woman in your address book!
* If you have a price point, stick to it as much as you can. Wedding dresses can be VERY expensive, so if your budget is $900, don't bother trying on that $1500 dress unless you are fully prepared to hang it right back up afterwards!
* Be considerate! Your consultant is there to help you, and your group is there to support you...but you can't be a bridezilla! If your bridal consultation is scheduled for an hour and a half, don't be difficult and stretch it out over your allotted time. Not only are you making your consultant late for her next appointment, but you're also forcing the next bride to wait until you're finished. General rule of thumb: be considerate and avoid excessive demands.
*Finally, avoid feeling guilty if you don't buy a dress. Finding the right wedding dress is a very big decision, so it really shouldn't be rushed. Even if you think you've found the right one, sometimes it's a good idea to step away from the situation and give yourself some time to think it over. Just because you don't make a purchase during your appointment, doesn't mean you won't ever buy a dress. It will all come in time, and you will find the perfect dress!