Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Dress Shopping: Exposed

In the past few weeks I’ve been traipsing around Manhattan in search of a wedding dress. It’s been… exhausting. And I’ve finally narrowed down my decision to two dresses. More on THE dress(es) later. But first, I want to expose the process and share some tips on things I’d wish I’d known before making dress appointments…
What to Wear
You would think it doesn’t matter what you wear to an appointment at which you’ll be undressing. (I did!) But it does matter…Wear a strapless bra and granny panties or booty shorts. You’ll be standing in a fitting room in your skivvies, being dressed and undressed by a sales associate, perhaps surrounded by friends, family members and future in-laws. Dress comfortably and modestly. Gap Body makes great strapless bras and I love Hanky Panky boyshorts. My friend Alex swears by any undergarments made by Commando
When to Book
Plan appointments for about 10 months pre-wedding if you have the time. Dress shopping now for our August nuptials is just fine. Apparently you need to place an order at least six months before your wedding date (if not shopping off the rack of course). One of my top two dress picks requires three to four months - for shipping and handling? I have no idea :) 
Book appointments back-to-back if possible. Find out how much time each store allots for you. Then factor in travel time. But make appointments for the same day if doable. (See one store’s selection while your top picks from the previous store are still fresh in your mind.)
Who to Bring
This is obviously a personal preference. Personally I’m happy to bring along anyone close to me who’s interested in joining. And of course my peeps have amazing taste :) I really value my loved ones’ opinions, but of course ultimately I need to know in my heart of hearts what I’m most comfortable in.
What Not to Expect
Champagne. A super relaxed environment. That “candy shop” feeling.
A – I don’t even like champagne, but I was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t offered at a single bridal boutique.
B – It’s a shame, but with the exception of Lovely Bridal Shop, I felt rushed at every store I visited. Kleinfeld Bridal, once a wedding dress institution and Mecca, is now a theme park. It may have been the on-site filming of "reality" show Say Yes to the Dress that cheapened the experience for me. (Some friends of mine had really great experiences at Kleinfeld.) But Kleinfeld was a complete waste of time for me. The film crew was really distracting and actually served as a reminder of the sham that wedding dress markups really are. There was even an actual souvenir shop to boot. And my sales associate, although incredibly friendly, was clueless.
C – Don’t expect that “kid in a candy shop” feeling. In most stores you can’t even choose the dresses you’d like to try, let alone see their whole selections. Just hope you get a good sales associate who can really read your style.
P.S. I visited (in alphabetical order) Bergdorf GoodmanGabriella, Kleinfeld, Lovely, Mark Ingram, Pronovias and Saks
P.P.S. A coworker recently recommended RK Bridal – which is an awesome concept. It’s a self-proclaimed “no frills” store with a warehouse style. Pick your own dresses to try off the rack – just be willing to put up with a crowd. (Sounds like a sample sale to me, which of course can be well worth the chaos!)


  1. Thanks for your kind information, It's Really helpful for the couples going to be get married.

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