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Dress Shopping: Where to Find Your Dream Dress

September 14, 2015 by The Marquardt Ranch

It’s easy to sit back and dream of your future wedding dress when you’re not engaged.  You know exactly how much beading you want and what length veil will look best and just how much you’re willing to spend.  You pin dresses to that secret board on Pinterest and flip dreamily through all the wedding magazines in the grocery store aisles.  In your dream world, dress designers have already created your perfect dress.  They’ve flown in the best fabrics, spent hours laboring over the smallest details and made it all in your price range.  The unengaged, non wedding planning you is a custom bride. She gets what she wants on her watch.

Unfortunately, as you’ve come to realize over the past few weeks or months of wedding planning, this is not the case. Rarely will a budget allow for a custom dress and rarely will you walk out of a bridal salon with a dress that fit every dream you’ve had since you were 12.  But that’s one of the most exciting parts of buying your wedding dress!  It’s an unexpected adventure where you’re the star!

Where should you begin? Well, if you kept up with last week’s post and your lifelong dreams, you already have some ideas in mind. That’s good, but like we said last week, don’t forget to bring your open mind along with you to your dress appointments.  Now, it’s time to book those appointments and find that dress. Where should you start?  The list below indicates a few bridal salon options.  One may be better for you than others, so we suggest starting there.  However, don’t rule out any option just yet.  You may choose the first dress you try on or it may take you 3 stores, 2 glasses of champagne and the last dress you ever thought you’d buy.  Remember your open mind and start with one of these salon options:

  1. Large Bridal Department Store:
    1. Pro: These stores sell everything from wedding gowns to bridesmaid dresses to shoes and veils.
    2. Pro: They have the largest selection by far and plenty of employees to boot
    3. Pro: They will have a variety of price points
    4. Con: This can be an overwhelming experience if you haven’t narrowed down your styles yet
    5. Con: It will be harder to find a unique dress among the myriad of options
  2. Large Boutique Bridal Salon:
    1. Pro: These salons are often found amongst one another in a downtown bridal district, so you can easily move from one to the next if something doesn’t work out.
    2. Pro: Attentive service due to the smaller nature
    3. Con: This could be a more expensive option because of limited dresses and more “designer” labels
  3. Small Boutique Bridal Shop:
    1. Pro: It’s usually just you, your entourage and a consultant in these shops for your appointment
    2. Pro: Limited selection narrows down your choices and won’t overwhelm you.
    3. Con: Limited selection narrows your price point to dress ratio
    4. Con: Less alteration options

No matter where you go to find your dress, make the most of every appointment.  Do your hair, make up and wear an outfit that makes you feel special.  You’ll love each moment of this once in a lifetime experience!

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