5 Tips to Know When Helping the Bride Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress
You’re about to enter a whole new world, a world of wedding dresses that is, and this world can be as magical as it can be overwhelming. Our goal is to make sure the bride and her bridesmaids are prepared for everything that comes their way. Here we have 5 tips bridesmaids should know to make the wedding dress shopping experience both effortless and fun.
- Prepare Yourself and the Bride
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you are a part of the bridal party because the bride trusts you to keep things in order and her mind at ease. Before even getting to the bridal boutiques (and the fun that is getting dressed up in gowns) prepare yourself and the bride by doing your research and understanding what is involved. Since this is a stressful time for her, you may want to check-in and ask her questions to get a better idea of what her expectations and preferences are. You may find she hasn’t considered some of these questions in her planning, and she will be thankful you went to such depths in your research to help her prepare. Consider the following:
- What is her budget?
- Has she started her search early enough (9-12 months in advance)?
- Has she looked online (and at our Calla Blanche’s collections) for inspiration?
- Has she looked at celebrity weddings for inspiration?
- Is it a destination wedding, and could that impact the style of the dress?
- What dress style best suits her body type?
- Which shoes and undergarments does she intend on wearing on her wedding day?
- What are the bride’s preferences in style? (Vintage, sexy, modern, etc.)
- Should the season be considered when choosing the wedding dress?
- What is the venue of the wedding and should that be considered for the style of the dress?
- What is the theme and mood of the wedding?
- Is she the type to be up and about the whole night (consider for dress style/length)?
- What is the scenery/ambiance for the wedding photos?
- What are 3 adjectives she would use to describe the wedding and wedding dress?
- Is she considering a color other than white?
- Does she want embellishments on her dress?
All of these questions will help the bride to narrow down what her dream dress will look like and what will work best for her wedding. It may seem like a lot of questions, however asking these ahead of time will give the bridal stylist a better understanding of what she is looking for, in addition to helping her start the thinking process on the wedding as a whole. Make sure to write it all down and keep it in mind when you attend each shopping trip. If you’re not the maid of honor, share it with her and the rest of the bridal party, everyone should be on the same page to give the bride united feedback.
- Come Prepared with More Questions/Know what Questions to Ask
You’ve asked the bride all the questions she needs to answer, but you should also have a list of questions for the bridal stylist. Ultimately, your goal is to make this day perfect, so that the wedding day is everything she wanted and more. Have these questions on hand:
- Can the dress be altered?
- Does this bridal salon have an in-house tailor?
- How should this dress be treated on the day of the wedding? Can it be steamed?
- What is the best way to transport the gown?
- Can the dress have a bustle added if necessary and if necessary, how should you bustle it?
For those who don’t know, a bustle is a feature that is added to wedding gowns with long trains, it allows the train to be gathered so the gown is easier to maneuver in once the ceremony is over. These questions are great to ask before the perfect dress is selected. The last thing you want to do is have the bride fall in love with a dress that won’t fit her or won’t survive the actual day of the wedding.
- Understand Wedding Dress Terminology
You want to be well educated on wedding dress terminology to be helpful in this process. You’ll need to know more than ‘bustle’ to be able to give the bride feedback on each dress. Make sure to use language that is going to mean something to her when she’s making her final decision. To stop yourself from saying yes to every dress, here are some wedding dress terms to research and keep in mind:
- Body Types: Pear, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Apple, Straight,
- Silhouettes: A-line, Ballgown, Mermaid, Sheath, Empire, Tea Length
- Neckline: Bateau/Boat/Sabrina, Halter, Scoop, Square, One-Shoulder, Asymmetrical, Off the Shoulder, Sweetheart, V-neck, Queen Ann, Jewel, Strapless/Straight Across, High Neck
- Fabrics: Brocade, Charmeuse, Chiffon, Crepe, Jersey, Illusion Netting, Georgette, Dupioni/Shantaung, Organza, Satin, Silk, Tulle, Taffeta, English Net, Lace
- Dress Lengths: Ankle, Ballerina, Floor, Knee, Royal
- Train Lengths: Cathedral, Chapel, Court, Royal, Sweep
- Sleeves: Butterfly, Cap, Flutter, Juliet, Long, Three-Fourths
- Style Key Words: Chic, Bohemian, Classy, Romantic, Vintage, Elegant, Modern, Fun, Glamorous, Sassy
To say it is a lot to familiarize yourself with may be an understatement. Start your research as early as possible so you can give educated feedback and be someone the bride can count on throughout the process.
- Make sure the Bridal Party is on the Same Page and Ready to Roll
Everyone needs to be there for their bride, and not have their own underlying agendas. Make sure everyone has an understanding of what the bride wants and what she is looking for. Be uplifting; remember, it is possible to be helpful and constructive without being mean. Try not to pressure the bride into buy outside of her means, better yet, make sure she sticks to trying on dresses within her budget. To have the bride equipped for her day, ensure she has heels and proper undergarments, as well as hair, makeup, and jewelry similar to her wedding day. Have fully charged phones and cameras to take loads of pictures and videos of each dress, capture all angles, in motion, and have her dance and sit as well. Having the bride make all of these movements will give her a taste of how comfortable each dress will be on her wedding day.
- Understand what this Process Calls for
You and the rest of the team want to ensure the bride finds the perfect wedding dress. Unfortunately, that could happen during her first appointment or her fifth. Know that you may be in for a bit of a roller coaster of emotions and do your best to keep spirits high. Each appointment will typically take a few hours. It’s not like trying on clothes at your favorite store at the mall; each dress takes time to get in and out of. Consider bringing snacks, drinks, and maybe some music to keep the energy high; call in ahead to ask about what the salon allows.
In order to help the bride choose the perfect wedding dress, do the research as if it is your wedding because that’s what you would want from her. To stay on top of everything that is expected of the bridesmaid, check out our post on The Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid.
Photo by Maria Lindsey Multimedia Creator
Photo by Luis Becerra