I love bringing you guys fresh new tips and inspiration as you plan your dream weddings - but I can't do it all on my own! There are some things better left to the experts : ) So I asked THE local gown expert, Beth Clark, owner at Williamsville's Bridal Chateau, to weigh in with some things you should consider while shopping for your wedding gown!
Check out her very insightful and helpful tips below!
Whether you are a fashionista or only run to the store when you need something, one thing is for sure, unless you've been engaged before, this is the first time you've shopped for a wedding dress. This is something that can be equally thrilling and terrifying for most women. Shopping for a wedding gown is unlike any other retail shopping trip you've made before. We've got some tips for you to help ease you in to the world of wedding dresses!
1) Does anyone remember even planning a wedding without the aide of Pinterest? It can be your best and worst enemy. It's a treasure trove of wedding style ideas, do it yourself projects, and a great resource! One thing though is it can be deceiving when it comes to wedding gowns. Most content on Pinterest never gets deleted, so you may fall in love with a gown that is no longer available. It also offers up many pretty pictures, but there often isn't much information on the actual dress itself. Often times brides bring in pictures of gowns that cost $10,000 and up or often they were a style made only for the runway, and is not in production.
At Bridal Chateau we understand that Pinterest is a coveted resource. You can link to our boards to find wedding inspiration or peruse through our collections of wedding gown boards. For us, we use this media as a platform to display a preview of our selections to our brides. It's the easiest way for us to update what we have in store. We delete styles as they are sold off the rack and add new dresses as they arrive. While it doesn't include every gown in the store, we want our brides to connect with us and make sure their wedding style and our store align.
Check out some of our boards such as Bridal Gowns, Curvy Couture, and Under $1000 Bridal Gowns. Each dress is price coded with $$$, so you can shop within your budget comfortably and know what to expect when you come into our salon.
2) Research your salons before going out! Find out if they prefer you to make an appointment, if there is a limitation on the number of guests you can bring, how long they book their appointments for, should you bring anything specific with you (undergarments, shoes, etc.), or what their price points are.
Every salon may have their own 'feel', and you may want to make sure you mesh with their style to get the fullest experience. There may be a Boho style shop, the couture shop, the budget conscious shop, etc.
Also finding out their median price point may help a lot. We range from $600-$3000, but a median of our styles are in that $1200-$1500 price range. While we focus on bringing in some amazing designs for our $1000 and under selection, it still may not the bulk of our selection.
Don't be fooled by Big Box stores or online sites that claim they will save you money on a gown. You'd be amazed at the amount of construction and the quality of our beading and fabrics that you can get at the same price or even LESS. Our salon is set up by price, so you are in control of where you are comfortable shopping in, as well as the availability to look and see what a higher price point will give you. We will always be respectful of your wishes!
(you can book your bridal appointment right through Bridal Chateau's website!)
3) Listen to your gut! Every bride is different, so it's no surprise that each will shop differently. Don't get caught up in a range of emotions and derail off your normal path, it usually only leads to disappointment or regret. If you prefer to shop alone, maybe bring one or two trusted people with you, don't feel you have to bring the entourage that you see on Say Yes to the Dress. Skip the row of people waiting to rank the gown with homemade score cards because it's YOUR wedding. Just like how we all have our own unique style, not everyone is going to fall in love the same dress you will. You may want your mom or Maid of Honor with you, but if you know they your styles clash and they won't keep your best interest at heart, then maybe it's best to bring them along to an accessory appointment after your gown has already been established. They can still be involved and help you create your 'look', just not derail your vision all together.
If you hate shopping, then it's OK to say yes at the first salon if you have found The One. You do go shopping to FIND a wedding dress, don't be surprised when it happens. On the other end, if you are an analyzer, then maybe you should go home and take some time on it. Don't get caught up in the moment and purchase a dress when your heart and mind aren't in the same place.
The dress sets the tone for your wedding day. It's a great thing to get done early, as it will pave the way for the rest of your wedding details to fall into place. There are no right and no wrong's when it comes to your wedding style. The day is reflective of you and your significant other. Want to wear a short dress? Change dresses? Wear a black dress? It's all up to you! Your wedding gown may be the single most self-reflective garment you will ever purchase.
Stay true to yourself. Happy Shopping!
- Beth Clark, Bridal Chateau, 1687 Wherle Drive, Williamsville NY