Everything You Need to Know About Bridal Shoes for Your Wedding

Everything You Need to Know about Bridal Shoes

Here is everything you need to know about Bridal Shoes for your big day!

 

Timing

Which came first, the wedding dress or bridal shoes? For long dresses, you should have your shoes before your final dress fitting to get the hem the right length.  Most Brides select their wedding shoes after finding the perfect dress.  I bought my shoes before my dress, they were just perfect!  There really is no exact time to get your shoes.   Continue reading

Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Top 10 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

  1. Know your budget.
    • Determine your absolute maximum (including tax) amount for your dress.  Nothing will ever compare to the gorgeous twice-your-budget dress that you know you cannot afford – so do not try it on.  It will only make finding YOUR dress that much harder.
    • I really like the dress budget as a percentage of the overall wedding budget.  10% of your budget for attire is a common starting point, but this is entirely up to you.  This keeps the dress purchase proportionate to the entire wedding.  Evaluate the entire budget and allocation to each item, this will add perspective to your spending and identify the real priorities.
  1. Most bridal salons take reservations. When you book your reservation, tell them your wedding date (if already set), state your price range of dresses, and confirm that they can work within your budget.  Typically they will pre-select dresses for you based on size and price before you ever see the inside of a fitting room.
    • Bring a trusted friend or family member to take photos (if allowed), keep you within budget, and provide an honest opinion.
    • Remember to cancel any reservations that you are not going to attend.
  1. Bring a few different style bras with you to try on dresses (at least 2).  There are different levels of padding, coverage, and adjustable straps or strapless. Leave your sports bra at home.  You might need to buy a new low back bra or full-length shapewear, starting with a good bra for fitting will make a huge difference in appearance.
  2. Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 7.13.38 PMBring at least one pair of dress shoes with you that coordinate with the location; you will wear different shoes for a fancy church wedding, outdoor garden venue, versus beach wedding.  Most likely you will buy wedding shoes after you pick the dress, these fitting shoes are to better visualize the complete outfit.
  3. Wear good panties. When I owned a Bridal store, I was horrified at the number of women that did not wear panties to try on wedding (and even Prom) dresses.  Almost as bad, do not wear panties that will bunch up or wild prints that will distract you.

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How to be a Great Bride, not a Bridezilla!

How to Be a Great Bride

  1. Remember this is your big day, not theirs. Do not expect your family and friends to spend their life-savings, an entire year’s vacation time, or post-pone major life events for your Wedding Day. Do not freak out if some one in your family or a friend gets engaged, married, has a baby, divorces, has major surgery, adopts a cat, or other life changing event – it is not a personal insult to you, they are living their life.

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Flower Girl Dress Shopping Tips

Flower girl dresses can be expensive!  Some of these darling dresses will cost as much as the grown-up bridesmaid dresses, especially at the big chain bridal shops.  If you know when and where to shop, you can get a real bargain on flower girl dresses.

Flower Girl Dress Shopping TipsFirst, it is important to know the best time to buy.  For the light-weight fabrics in light colors, you will find the best selection and prices around Easter.  Big department stores and children’s stores start reducing the price just after Easter.  The heavier fabrics and darker colors are abundant for the winter, right around Christmas.  Do not get caught up in bridal  versus holiday dress, if it is the right color and style, then be happy that you can save money.

Be careful not to buy ANY of the dresses too early, especially for the little ones.  You never know when your little flower girl is suddenly going to grow a size or two!  Far too often I witnessed a frustrated bride trying to replace the flower girl’s dress at the last minute because the dress that fit perfectly 4 months ago is way too small the week before the wedding.  And, to avoid any surprises, have everyone in the bridal party confirm fit 1 – 2 weeks before the wedding.

Adult women know all too well how important it is for a flattering fit and correct cut for our bodies.  Not to mention that women’s sizes can vary drastically from one designer to another.  Flower girls and junior bridesmaids sizes are far more uniform and more standardized cuts, which makes it so easy to shop on-line!  If you are trying to match 2 or more flower girls then you will probably have better selection of the same dress in multiple sizes from a website than a store anyway.

For a unique look and big savings, consider buying a second-hand dresses.  Check out pre-owned wedding sites like Bravo Bride for great savings on worn-once dresses.  After the wedding, you can continue the hand-me-downs by posting the dresses for resale.

There are so many ways to save money on your wedding, just remember to be creative and have fun!

Beach Bridal Budget Advice

Less than a year ago I closed my dress shop, and I am very happy to still provide guidance & assistance with dress buying. Recently, a friend call to tell me that her Daughter is getting married. And, could I offer some advice for the Wedding Gown?  Yes!

Background information first, the bride is a petite size 2 getting married on the beach, and Mom and Dad have offered to pay $800 towards the gown. Frankly, I am a firm believer that you can find a beautiful dress for under $1,000, and to pay much more than that is just absurd.

My favorite Bridal shop close to the Bride is Uptown Bridal in Chandler, Arizona. The gowns are beautiful and I have heard extremely favorable comments about the customer service. Every time I pass the store front I swoon a bit over the stunning gowns on display.

A well kept secret is pre-owned gowns. There are many websites and brick & mortar stores, and more pop-up everyday.  A quick search will find Bridal resale shops in your area, and fantastic options on-line. 

Another little known secret is to purchase a designer gown in white (or ivory, off-white, silver,etc). These may be marketed as pageant or prom gowns, but essentially are high-quality, gorgeous gowns that are significantly lower priced than a “bridal” gown. The best time to shop for these gems is in the spring when stores are fully stocked for prom, and manufacturers are cutting the largest quantity. There are some absolutely stunning gowns that are perfect for a destination wedding, such as the beach wedding example. It is really impracticable (and looks silly) to wear a large puffy dress with train for a beach ceremony!

Another item of note is the difference between “Couture” which are typically tens of thousands of dollars and traditionally one-of-a-kind, versus special orders. Think of special orders more like a dress that is not cut & sewn until you order it, but it is a selection of pre-defined fabrics and cut to a set size chart. The dress is not custom made for you in any way “custom” is it still made from the basic pattern and size chart, regardless of your exact measurements.

In fact, many bridal shops will order the next size larger to guarantee that dress can be tailored to fit you perfectly, for an extra charge. This will cover any weight gain, padded bra, or any number of changes to your original fitting because it is much easier to alter a dress down to a smaller size than to have a dress that is just too small.  Our Bride is petite and should plan for a hem.  Otherwise, ask about alterations before any gown is purchased.  If the correct dress is ordered, or better yet purchased “off-the-rack”, then very little alterations should be required.

My first search on eBay already found tons of (new) spectacular designer gowns under the $800 budget.  The wedding gown is such a huge part of your day, but that does not mean it has to be such a huge part of your BUDGET!