How to Avoid a Wedding Dress Disaster

A bride wearing a long-sleeved lace wedding dress.

Shopping for a wedding gown is probably the most stressful yet exciting part of the wedding planning process. Many women dream about their wedding day before even getting engaged and want their dresses to be perfect, but sometimes brides-to-be make a few mistakes while shopping for and even after receiving the dress. Here are some helpful tips to avoid all the wrong turns when it comes to your wedding dress.

Give Yourself Enough Time for Dress Alterations

A bride wearing an off-the-shoulder wedding dress and holding a large bouquet.

Ordering the dress should be at the top of the list of things to do when starting your wedding planning. When searching for the dress, brides have to make certain there’s enough time to get a custom gown. If purchasing a wedding dress in a standard boutique, there’s an incredibly high chance that you will need alterations and, therefore, a custom order. Length is typically a bare minimum when it comes to necessary changes, but don’t forget about color, extra beading or lace, and other adjustments you may want to make to reach your vision.

Usually, custom dresses take at least six weeks to design and make. Waiting until the last minute to order a custom wedding dress is not a good idea. It’s not uncommon for a dress to go through a couple rounds of alterations, especially if you are making a handful of changes to the original design. You want to plan for enough time to change any potential mistakes that aren’t on your end, as well.

While it’s recommended (and certainly tempting) to start dress shopping immediately after a proposal, keep in mind that the quicker you shop and buy a dress, the less chances you’ll have to explore other options. Purchasing a dress too early can mean you might find a gown later that you like more. If you don’t want to fall into this trap, it’s best to stop looking at dresses online and in-person after you’ve already decided on one.

Shop with a Budget and Reasonable Expectations

A bride wearing a wedding dress with a long veil.

Shopping for a wedding dress takes time; the process cannot be rushed. Brides must be able to explore all options and be free to consider different types of dresses. One thing you need to remember when shopping for a wedding gown: do not try on dresses you cannot afford. Even though there is a lot of excitement during the dress shopping process, take your time and stick to your budget. Don’t become so overwhelmed and excited that you forget how much you can actually spend.

Another thing to keep in mind: some brides think they can lose lots of weight in a short period of time without having to adjust the size of the dress. Remember to choose the dress you feel most beautiful and comfortable in without having to follow an extreme diet to fit into it. Don’t purchase a dress in a smaller size thinking that you will be able to fit into it by the time the order arrives. Go with the advice of the sales assistants and purchase the dress in a size that you currently wear. If you order with enough time before the wedding, it will be possible to make adjustments, if need be.

Prepare an Emergency Kit for the Big Day

A bride wearing a strapless dress and standing by a river.

In order to avoid a dress disaster on your wedding day, you need to have an emergency kit specifically for your dress on hand. Just in case something spills or tears, a well stocked kit will be able to fix the problem. Let’s hope nothing happens to the dress on the day of the wedding, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared! Keep safety pins, a thread and needle, fabric tape, and stain remover with one of your bridesmaids so you’re well prepared for any dress emergency.

Avoiding a wedding dress disaster can be a challenge, but following a few simple steps can help. As a bride, you should be thinking about taking your time to choose the right dress that you are comfortable in. Maintaining a strict budget will help you make up your mind faster about certain dresses, especially if they are out of your price range. Use your time wisely when shopping to avoid doing everything at the last minute and spending more money than you planned.

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