Tips For Dress Shopping

Tips For Dress Shopping
 Expert_tips_advice_corridor_wedding_professionals_blog_postThe Expert Advice & Tips is an interview series with local wedding professionals. We talk about trends, ideas and advice to make wedding planning easier for the couple.

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Every bride wants an amazing wedding dress. Finding that perfect dress is a special milestone in wedding planning. Elegant Repeats and Elegant Bridal has 24 years of experience helping brides reach that milestone while not breaking the bank.

“Our goal is to meet the bride’s budget, not exceed it,” says Dayna Harrington, co-owner of the dress boutique. Their approach is to be helpful, not pushy. Dayna wants brides to feel at ease and come in under their budget. “If they don’t find the dress, we want the bride to leave having had a good experience.”

When dress shopping, “bring a notebook, ask questions,” suggests Dayna. The bride doesn’t need to know about bridal dresses beforehand, “our job is to educate them.”

What the bride should have in mind, though, is her budget and her basic theme. “Know your budget, be realistic. Don’t try on $1,000 dresses if you can only afford to spend $500.” Also, will the wedding be outdoors in the hot summer or will it be a formal church wedding in the winter? Knowing these things can help when selecting dresses to try on.

wedding dresses by elegant repeats and bridal

Images provided by Elegant Repeats and Bridal

By offering a wide range of both new and preowned dresses from $99 to $1200, Elegant Repeats and Elegant Bridal helps brides in many budgets. According to Dayna, their average bride spends about $400 on her dress.

It’s important to try on different styles of dresses, too. Brides may see one style that they fall in love with in a magazine photo, but it can look completely different once the bride tries it on. “We ask that they be open minded” about styles, says Dayna.

The biggest trend Dayna sees right now is the simple, informal “destination” bridal dresses, with about half of her brides asking for this style. Choosing bridesmaid dresses in white or ivory is a great budget option for those wanting a simple gown.

The question Dayna gets asked the most is about timelines and when to order dresses. “Ideally, the bride should order five months before her wedding to have time for alterations.” Magazines tell the bride they need to order a year before the wedding, but it doesn’t really take that long. “That is just added stress they don’t need.”

Elegant Repeats and Elegant Bridal can help brides who are on a short deadline, too. We have helped brides get dresses even the same day, says Dayna.

wedding gown and dresses elegant repeats bridal

Images provided by Elegant Repeats and Bridal

A question mothers of the bride and groom ask is what’s appropriate for them to wear. “If the bride is okay with it, anything goes.” Yes to black dresses, even, she says. Don’t worry about rules, do what makes you happy.

DIY verses leaving it to the professional:
Use caution if purchasing online, do your research and use reputable dealers, advises Dayna. Some websites may show a picture of one dress, but then sell you a knock-off with poor quality and sizing.

A’s to my Q’s:
Electric Slide or the Chicken Dance? Electric Slide
To have an unforgettable wedding, sometimes you have to: Go with the flow!
You should never get married without: Your best friend.

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About Becky Appleby

Becky's clients rely on her easy creativity to make them look good, while her attention to details give them one less thing to worry about. She's a freelance writer and blogger for businesses at For over 15 years, she has also run Appleby Photography, photographing hundreds of weddings and creating gorgeous albums for her brides. Visit her websites to learn more.