Like any retail interaction, there’s an unspoken etiquette for customers and sales people alike. We’ve covered the do's and don’ts of everyday clothes shopping, but it turns out there’s a specific set of guidelines for trying on wedding dresses. Experienced bridal gown consultants know this realm better than anyone, which is why we got the scoop straight from the source. We interviewed experts from a variety of bridal stores, including Kleinfeld’s Fashion Director, Terry Hall; two David’s Bridal consultants, Denise Lopez and Miguel Noh; and the indie dress designer and boutique owner, Kelima K.
Scroll down to find out the top 10 things your wedding dress consultant wishes you knew before you start trying on gowns.
“I find that some brides are so polite and will try on anything her consultant brings her. It’s important for the bride to be honest and vocal, as the consultant needs accurate feedback to move forward with other selections. Remember, the consultant didn’t design the dress and wants to find what feels like you, so don’t hold back!” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
?“I tell my brides up front to please be honest with me about what they do and do not like about each style. If they do not share their true feelings with me, I will not be able to help them find the dress of their dreams.” –Denise Lopez, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
“To keep from being overwhelmed by all the dresses out there, limit the amount of looking and trying on to reasonable amount. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ve probably tried too many and need to take a break, and take some time to think everything over.” –Kelima K, She Will Be Loved by Kelima K Designer
?“To the bride trying on many dresses: stop! This process is supposed to be fun and exciting, not tedious and torturous. When trying many dresses, the bride can become overwhelmed and this can lead to the bride feeling frustrated and unable to differentiate between dresses.” –Miguel Noh, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
“The makeup should be kept to a bare minimum. Lipstick should be skipped because it transfers very easily on to the dress. If the dress gets stained we have materials to clean them, but we do prefer that you keep your makeup very light.” –Denise Lopez, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
?“If you are used to wearing makeup and like how you look and feel with it, wear it! Most gowns are put on by stepping into the dress and really shouldn’t interfere with the gown. However, with that said, bridal gown shopping may not be the best day to wear red, glossy lips.” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
“If a dress is out of your price range, do not try it! More times than not I have seen brides try gowns 'just to try' and end up very disappointed and confused. Keep a realistic budget and stick with it. If you truly have flexibility and think increasing your budget may make a difference I encourage you to go for it!” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
?“I always ask if they are willing to budge on their budget. If they are very firm with their budget, then I advise them against trying on anything outside of that price range, because if she finds the gown of her dreams and it is not within her budget, it will be difficult to then step back and consider other options.” –Denise Lopez, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
The Every Girl
“Always order the size that you are today, that way you can always take in—it's very hard to take out.” –Miguel Noh, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
?“Working out can make you shed pounds, but add muscle mass, causing your measurements to get bigger in many cases. It’s best to start any diets, new workouts, or bridal boot camp in advance, and keep your size steady for the fittings to be sure your dress will fit.” –Kelima K, She Will Be Loved by Kelima K Designer
“In my opinion, it is not the best idea to bring a big group with you, especially for the first appointment. The opinions are usually all over the place and not helpful, which tends to overwhelm the bride and does not help with selection. One to two people is a good number, but no more than four is suggested.” –Denise Lopez, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
?“Choose very carefully who comes gown shopping with you and remember this is a case of less is more. More people equals more opinions and can be frustrating and counterproductive for the bride.” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
“Please start early to give yourself plenty of time. Your first appointment should be six to seven months before your wedding. If your wedding is less than four months away, it’s considered a rush order, which will incur extra costs. If it’s less than two months away, we might only have samples to offer.” –Kelima K, She Will Be Loved by Kelima K Designer
?“If the bride wants a specific style and silhouette and is shopping very close to her wedding day, it may be difficult to get the dress in time. Shopping closer to the wedding date may narrow the available selection to certain dresses, but it is possible to find the one.” –Denise Lopez, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
Grey Likes Weddings
“Proper foundational undergarments are key to an efficient and smooth bridal appointment. Regardless of a bride’s shape or size, every bride can benefit from Spanx! This makes trying on multiple gowns so much easier, as you have foundational support and the gowns slip right on!” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
“Everyone is different. While some brides shed tears, other brides laugh, sigh in relief, simply smile, or don’t do anything. The significance of finding your dress should not depend on the ability to make you cry, but the ability to make you feel beautiful. Finding the dress is like finding the right fiancé—once you know, you know.” –Miguel Noh, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
?“Every bride is different and not every bride is going to have that obvious emotional moment when she connects with her dress. Some brides approach the selection in a much more logical and methodical way, which is just as significant to her. That said, many brides do have that magical moment when she puts on the dress and it’s like a chemical reaction; she immediately tears up!” –Terry Hall, Kleinfeld Fashion Director
“We won't deter any bride from trying on dresses. However, they might have to wait—and sometimes the waiting can be long. Always make an appointment, that way we secure your spot.” –Miguel Noh, David’s Bridal Dress Consultant
Have you ever tried on wedding gowns or helped a friend or family member try them on? Do you have any do's or don'ts to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!