14. Put it to Test – Wear It Sitting, Raising Your Hands, Walking and Moving Your Sides: Remember that you’re going to dance in your wedding gown, so you have to see whether the dress you’re trying will be all-round comfortable. You’ll walk down the aisle, stand through the time you’ll say your vows, and at other times. Most brides, on their wedding day, discovered they could not function comfortably in their “perfect wedding dress”.
Some dresses are very comfortable when worn for a few minutes and show their true colours later. So, when shopping for “the one”, check out how comfortable the wedding gown is – put it to the test. You may not notice anything until try doing some normal things you’ll do on your big day.
HINT: For every dress you try-on, test walking around in it, sit down, breath in and out, move your body left/ right/ bend forward and backwards.
15. Pretty Up, Please: To get a good picture of how a dress would look on you, it’s best to mimic what you intend to look like on the D-day. So, go shopping with a bit of makeup and your hair did, similar to a bridal hairstyle or look-alike of the hair you plan to wear. Don’t forget to add a bridal-like earring.
Not that it’s bad to go shopping for a wedding gown without prepping your face and hair, but the wedding-day-look will make you get a better judgement.
16. Speak their Lingo: You’ll quickly understand, be understood and better helped at the shops, if you ask for what you want in the language and terminology of the wedding dress Industry. Know the names of wedding dress silhouettes/ styles, and names of different parts of a wedding gown.
17. Arrive Very Clean and Smell Good: This is a bonus tip. Sometimes, some brides are the reasons they are turned down from trying on wedding gowns at the stores. Dress stores refuse people with smelly armpits and sweaty body to try-on clothes that they’re selling. This is more so when it’s a white outfit (such as a wedding gown).
Therefore, look good and smell nice when going to the bridal shops. Before leaving your house, have a good bath, spray on a nice smelling body spray or perfume
HINT: On the days you go wedding gown shopping, avoid anything that will make you sweat so that you’ll be allowed to try the outfits. To avoid sweating before you get to the bridal store, leave early (morning, preferably), take a chartered taxi or uber, or find one with a few passengers (if you’re not going in a personal car). If you can only get bus transportation in your area, avoid buses that are not a direct stop.
You’ll sweat if you hop through 5 bus stops and transfer from one bus to another before you get to the bridal store. After your dress fittings, you can choose to return home in any type of transportation.
Here’s What Usually Happens At Many Nigerian Wedding Gown Shops…
See if you can relate to this…
If you’ve started shopping for your wedding dress and shopping right in Naija, you may have had one or more attendants get angry at you for still not picking a dress after sampling dress number 3 or 4 or more.
Also, you may have realized that every dress looks great on the mannequin and on the model in the magazine/catalogue, but not so great on you when you try them on. So, you are excited to try some more outfits until you reach “the one” made just for your body.
Many Nigerian wedding gown shops get annoyed when a bride-to-be has tried on a couple of wedding gowns and still has not found “the one”. Others simply don’t allow too many dress trials for fear of the dresses getting stained from brides-to-be who may not buy.
At some bridal stores here, attendants first ask if you’re sure you’ll buy the gown if allowed to try it on. They’ll quickly say no when you reply that you’ll only buy if it looks good on your body. In some shops, some wedding dresses are strictly not-to-be-tried BUT still for sale. Most bridal stores would ask you ‘what exactly are you looking for? or What kind/ style of wedding dress are you looking for?’
If you’re like most brides, you came expecting them to show you arrays of dresses in styles and cuts, and allow you to try as many as possible until you find “the perfect dress”. Since you’ve just realized that things are different here in Nigeria, you’re wondering how you can possibly get around this to finding that perfect-fit wedding gown you’ll say yes to.
After getting the same no-more-try treatment from a couple more shops, you’re discouraged and wonder ‘how is a bride going to find a dress style and cut that fits her without trying on many samples?’. Girl, have you experienced something like the one described above? Comment to let me know.
Now, Your Wedding Dress Shopping Just Got Easier
That you read this far means you now know how to figure out, in advance, the wedding gown shapes, cuts and styles that are likely to look good on you – so that you can find a perfect dress in not so many try-ons. If you follow the above tips and advice, the entire process of finding and choosing the perfect wedding gown will be faster, no matter where you buy it from (abroad or here in Nigeria).
Also, you’ll be guaranteed a pleasant experience at the bridal shops, and ultimately find “the one” wedding dress without needing to try-on 100 different ones.
Did I miss any wedding gown shopping tip? Add it in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your bridal fashion shopping experience (in Nigerian or abroad) – comment below.
Photo credit: Wedding Photography by Obi