Perhaps none of the tasks on a girl’s wedding to-do list are more highly anticipated than finding “The Dress.” It’s likely one of the moments she’s been dreaming about all her life: stepping gingerly out of the dressing room and up onto the platform to see her white-gowned (and teary-eyed) reflection staring back at her.
Despite the undeniable magic of layered chiffon and white tulle, wedding dress shopping is best approached with at least a bit of serious strategizing. We invited Mia Antalics, owner of Garnish Boutique, to offer her tips for making this an experience to remember—for all the right reasons. Check out Mia’s advice for finding a dress as perfect as the man who will be waiting for you at the end of the aisle! (Also: Take a peek at Mia’s dreamy wedding dress boutique tour we featured last year.)
1. When you begin your search, keep in mind that it’s wise to order your gown eight months before your wedding date. Most gowns can take anywhere from four to six months to make—and alterations can take one to two months.
3. Having your hair and makeup done neatly during consultations can help you better envision your wedding day look. I also suggest bringing a comfortable strapless bra and shoes with a style similar to what you think you may wear on your wedding day.
4. Bringing friends and family members along to your consultation(s) is always fun, but I recommend limiting this to a group of one to three individuals whose opinions you deeply value and trust. Keeping this party small and intimate will allow you to more comfortably express your vision and style.
5. Most bridal gown samples are a “standard” size, labeled 10 or 12, which can equate to a street size 6 or 8—so don’t be alarmed if you measure a size larger than usual. If you need larger sample sizes, I’d suggest reaching out to your salon or boutique of choice—they may be able to accommodate your request.