Shopping for a wedding dress can be a daunting task.
When my daughter became engaged, finding her wedding dress was one of the first things she did. Depending on the dress you choose, it can take up to nine months to order it and have it altered, so she started her search about nine months before the wedding. This process was made even more complex since she was living in Chicago, I was living in Los Angeles, and the wedding and her future in-laws were in Seattle!
Her first trip to shop for a gown was in Seattle with her future mother-in-law. This let her determine what style of dress looked best on her. She already knew what time of year she was getting married and where, so that helped determine what type of dress would be appropriate.
Then she told me that she wanted to buy her dress in Los Angeles with me. I had no idea where to go for a wedding dress since I hadn’t lived there for that long, so before she flew to LA for her dress hunting trip with me, I researched about thirty places to buy wedding dresses. I visited each store and looked at the dresses they had, to get a feeling for whether they might have dresses she would like. By the time she arrived, I was armed with a list of stores to visit, ranked by the order we were going to visit them.
I wanted a high-end store first where she would be fawned over and made to feel like a princess. This store was in a ritzy part of town and had dresses in her price range and some dresses that I thought she would like. She did find one she was seriously considering. So we said we would keep it in mind.
Then it was off to the second store. Secretly, this is the store in which I felt she would find her dress. The trip to this store did not get off to a good start. We arrived and the electricity was off for the whole block and we had to enter through the alley, where they had one small door open which led into the cement-floor storage area. My daughter tried to talk me into skipping this store and going on to the next store on the list, but I said we were here and we should look. So we went in and each looked through row after long row of dresses hanging on the racks in the stock area with only a dim light from the open door to light the area. She tried on the first dress and looked in the mirror they had propped on the open door. No. She then put on the second dress and the lights came on and we moved into the sales area with all the dresses we had picked out. When we saw that second dress on her, we knew that was the one! I became all emotional over it. (When the mother of the bride gets all emotional over a dress, that is a dead give-away that you have found the right dress!). To be sure, she tried on the rest of the dresses, but we kept coming back to #2. We decided that was the one and bought it on the spot and carried it out with us since it did not need any alterations! (Note to brides: Do NOT expect that to happen when you buy a dress. I have no idea how we got so lucky!) And no one else had ever tried it on – it had just come into the store the day before!
For tips to help you buy your dress, the following articles has lots of good tips.