Here’s how to be prepared for the first bridal appointment.
By Lisa Dukart
Shopping for a wedding dress is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. No matter how manicured her Pinterest board is or how many friends’ appointments she’s been to, it’s different when the bride is actually trying on dresses.
Pattie Lamantia, owner of The Wedding Shoppe in Wayne, Pa., says having a budget in mind is one of the most important things to bring to a first appointment.
“Some type of idea—it doesn’t have to be an exact price range,” she says. “We like to respect their budget. It gets a little uncomfortable for everybody,” especially when they come in without an idea in mind.
Most bridal salons have a range of accessories, including shoes, which brides-to-be are welcome to borrow during their appointment. But if a bride has a specific pair of shoes in mind for the wedding day, she should bring them.
Brides should also bring ideas and photos of gowns they’ve browsed, but keep an open mind about silhouette. Most consultants will put brides in a range of styles—ball gown, fit and flare, strapless—to get an idea of what really suits their style.
What goes underneath the dress is equally important, so brides will want appropriate undergarments. Shapewear might seem like an obvious choice, but Lamantia doesn’t recommend it for the first appointment. Consultants will steer brides in the right direction, once they’ve chosen a dress. Instead, brides should wear a good strapless bra, even if they don’t plan on buying a strapless dress.
Also consider hairstyles. Brides planning on wearing their hair up should emulate that.
“Even if it’s only in a clip, put it up,” Lamantia recommends.
And don’t load on the makeup, but don’t skip it, either. Lots of makeup can stain or damage dresses, so if you’re accustomed to lots of foundation, consider going a bit lighter.
Last, skip the squad. Brides should be surrounded by a few people whose opinions they truly value as they search for the perfect dress.