Wedding gown shopping can often go wrong if you do not know a few things that led some brides to later hate the dream dress they loved (and bought) from the bridal shop. That always happens. One of the biggest wedding mistakes newlywed brides confessed to making was either over-spending on their bridal gowns or buying a dress that later turned out not-okay (waste of money!). In this post, you will discover the 5 important things to know in advance, and look out for – before and when buying for your wedding gown. Read on.
Here are our 5 tips for buying the right wedding-gown without overspending, whether you’re buying from Nigeria or abroad:
1. Set Aside a Budget for Your Bridal Gown and Lingerie
First, set a spending limit (aka budget) for the entire wedding. Breakdown your entire wedding budget to set a limit for the wedding fashion, by setting aside some money for your white and trad wedding attire. Don’t forget to budget for your bridal lingerie and also remember your bridal beauty needs (your wedding day updo).
The budget also for your groom’s fashion (that includes his suit and entire wedding outfit – trad and white). It’s easy to think of only the wedding gown, and later run out of cash when you remember the other wedding day fashion things.
Although there’s a guide for suggestions on the percentage allocation of your wedding budget that should be spent on the bridal fashion, there are no hard and fast rules about exactly how much you should spend on your wedding attire. With that said, wedding planners advice brides to spend the most money on the things they personally consider as their top priority. So, if your top priority is to buy a designer wedding gown, do so.
If you have a fixed wedding budget and no other source of cash, if you spend big in one area such as wedding fashion, you’ll want and reduce expenses elsewhere. Once you splurge on your most important wedding thing(s), balance things out by spending less on your low priority wedding things.
Just don’t make it all about you. Remember to take good care of your guests (meaning: good and enough food, good music and an airy venue).
- RELATED: How to Breakdown Your Wedding Budget (for Easy Management)
- Wedding Pre-Planning Quiz for Couples to Flesh OUt Your Priorities
2. Budget for Wedding Gown Amendment (Just In Case)
Remember to budget for the wedding gown amendment. Wedding dress designers have always said that every wedding dress is designed to be altered after purchase so that it perfectly fits the bride’s body. What you see on the model’s body in a catalogue looks the way it does because the dress had been amended to hug/ shape her body. Therefore, if you want your own wedding gown to look better, you are expected to have a tailor amend it for you.
Like you, most brides, you want to look almost or like one of the girls they saw in the wedding dress catalogue, wearing the gown you chose. The truth is that in 90% of the time, the only way to achieve that is to hem and tuck the dress here and there, to fit perfectly.
Guess what? World-class, couture bridal gown designers do that. That’s why a couture design wedding gown takes several months (and so many fitting and alterations) to be aisle-ready. They first sew the dress and later ‘modify’ it to fit your exact body curves.
Now you know why expensive couture or custom-made designer wedding dresses take as long as six (6) months (from the order date) to get completed.
MORE HELPFUL WEDDING GOWN BUYING GUIDES:
- How to Choose the Right Wedding Gown Train
- The Best Wedding Gown Sleeves for Your Type of Figure
- The Best Wedding Gown Neckline for Your Body
3. Picture Your “It” Dress on You
Stop, before you head into a bridal shop. First, get an idea of what the perfect wedding gown for you is. Imagine yourself wearing it. For a minute, forget about how much the gown will cost. Just picture yourself in your dream wedding dress. What would the perfect dress look like?
- SEE: Latest Wedding Gown Styles Seen on Real Brides (Pictures)
- Best Wedding Gown Styles for Your Figure
Would it be a long wedding gown or a short one? What wedding gown style would it be? Do you like a simple design or an elaborate style? Which part of the wedding gown do you like to have the most details and design? How do you want to look at your perfect wedding dress – like a princess? casual? (just name it!)
What are the best places to start getting ideas about the perfect wedding dress, before stepping into any bridal shop?
We recommend you start searching for wedding gown ideas by browsing websites that feature real Nigerian weddings (such as here, NaijaGlamWedding, BellaNaija, Pinterest, Instagram). Save or bookmark your favourite wedding dress pictures.
Also, check paper-print magazines that feature real Nigerian weddings. Tear-off and clip pictures of the wedding gowns and styles you like.
Later, compare to select the best 5 styles for you. After that, you can go to the shops to search for similar styles to try on. However, keep an open mind to also try other styles suggested by the bridal shop attendant – you never know.
4. Picture the Wedding Venue
A common mistake some brides make is to buy their wedding gown before they choose a venue. Don’t do that. Imagine that you bought a wedding dress with a super-long train and later chose an open-field, grassy venue. That dress is going to sweep a lot of dirt from the sandy ground and become visibly dirty before your wedding ends.
If your wedding reception venue is a grassy, open field and you wore a designer wedding gown with a very long train, it would definitely get stained and dirty. So, look for a wedding gown style and train length that will be suitable for your wedding venue.
5. Do Your Homework
Before buying a wedding gown, make some effort to know the styles and dress cuts in the market , and what you like. Get into the details of what you like for each part of a wedding dress – overall dress shape/ silhouettes, neckline, sleeve style, train length and train style. Don’t set out to go buying a wedding gown without doing your homework.
Also, know the name of what to ask for or what a bridal shop attendant means when they use a wedding gown lingo while trying to find what will work for you.
Doing those will save you time and money in the bridal stores. You also will be less likely to get talked into something that isn’t you or that’s out of your price range.
Conclusion: Tips for Buying Wedding Gown You Won’t Regret
The excitement and emotions of getting-married-soon and trying on different wedding gowns have a blinding effect on brides. Little wonder why wedding dress shopping is where most Nigerian brides start from when planning weddings. Hopefully, the above tips help you avoid the common mistakes women make when buying their bridal gowns.
By the way, this article is part of our ‘wedding gown shopping 101′ series and was drawn from real-life brides I-wish-I-knew-before-shopping-for-wedding-dress. Be sure to read the other helpful wedding shopping and planning articles.
Did I miss any other must-know-before-buying a wedding gown? Have you already started shopping for your dream dress? If so, which of the above things have you already put to use?