Once the engagement has been announced and the congratulations received, many brides-to-be turn their attention to the centerpiece of their wedding day: The Dress.
While it can be exhilarating, wedding dress shopping is fraught with difficulties, and no bride needs more stress in her life. But by following these suggestions, the savvy bride can also be a sane bride.
We sat down and spoke with Caryn Kayton, longtime owner of Caryn’s Bridals, Formals & Tuxedos, to pick her brain about the common errors that make dress shopping difficult. She opened her salon over 30 years ago and has helped thousands of brides find their perfect dress right in Downtown Farmville. Here are her top 5 don’ts for picking the perfect dress.
#5- Don’t be shy about trying different styles
While it’s good to know your style and even more important to be comfortable in your dress, sometimes branching out a little bit can be beneficial. “Come in with an idea of the styles you like,” says Caryn, “but realize that style may not be it for you.” If you think you love a sweetheart neckline, throw on a square neck or a halter just to be sure. The results may surprise you.
#4- Don’t rush it
Wedding dresses can take up to eight months to make. Alterations add even more time, so start early! A year from your wedding date is not too far out to start looking for your dress, according to Caryn. “It’s important to have enough time to look for a dress comfortably and enjoy the process,” she continues. “You don’t want your dress to be one more thing to worry about.”
#3- Don’t walk in
While most shops will do what they can to accommodate a walk-in bride, having an appointment set in advance is key to a good experience. “Making an appointment is important,” Caryn tells us. “Salons need to have enough staff to be able to help everyone.” With scheduled appointments Caryn’s Bridals provides each bride with an attentive, dedicated staff member helping her choose the best dress for the wedding day. But a walk-in bride can’t always be accommodated. So while salons will do their best, make a plan and an appointment in order to enjoy a personalized shopping experience.
#2- Don’t ignore your budget
It’s a rare bride who can shop without concern for cost, and knowing what you’re comfortable spending (and sticking to it) is key to a good shopping experience. “At Caryn’s, we are always very respectful of the budget,” explains Caryn. It’s important to know what the budget is before coming into the shop. A little leeway is one thing, but if your budget is $1,000, don’t try on a $5,000 dress just for fun—you don’t want to find out that the $5,000 dress is the one you can’t live without.
#1- Don’t bring the entire entourage
While it can be tempting to bring all your best friends with you, large groups often only lead to confusion and frustration as too many opinions (and personalities) compete. “Only bring one, possibly two, people to the appointment,” advises Caryn. Choose a friend or family member who knows you well and will support your decision, not argue for their vision. The appointment is not the time for the party, says Caryn, so save the girl-group for the bachelorette shindig and keep your dress decision between yourself and a trusted companion.
Be sure to visit Caryn’s website for more great wedding-dress buying advice and to create a wish list of your favorite styles.