When the shoe fits, and you feel like a Princess - this is the moment you’ve always dreamt of! One of the most exciting and important moments is also most often the most stressful and dreaded element during Wedding planning. We want to help ensure that you enjoy the ENTIRE process of Wedding Dress Shopping and hope these tips help the process.
In an ideal scenario, we suggest you follow these suggested dates:
8 MONTHS BEFORE: Find & purchase the ONE
Why so early you may ask? Most dresses come from Europe and are custom ordered. As a result they take a long time to arrive to the Bridal Shop and they do get delayed.
The dress you pick really helps depict your wedding theme, your bridesmaid dresses, your colour palette, the florals and all the little details. The sooner you know this the better, the rest all falls into place.
1 MONTH BEFORE: Final Fitting
Your final fitting should be as close to the Wedding Date as possible to ensure the dress fits like a glove.
You may have 2-3 fittings to get it right, so ensure that you work this timeline out backwards with your Bridal Shop team to allow yourself with enough time to get it done.
Remember to bring all the accessories to try on with your dress in advance. That’s jewellery, shoes, undergarments, hair accessories. It’s better to know if they work or not.
1 WEEK BEFORE: Pick up the Dress
We suggest you do this sooner rather than the day before, in case you stumble upon any challenges or want to make any further changes. Having time and the ease of knowing its perfect is worth hiding your dress in your parents closet before the big day.
In a rushed scenario, which happens!
BE OPEN & HONEST
Contact the Bridal Shops in advance and let them know your timeline, they can confirm that/if they have off the rack options for you.
OFF THE RACK
Your options will be slightly more restricted as the Bridal Shop won’t have the ability to likely order in the dress for you.
Trust your consultants they know how this works and have done it many times before, they can and will find you the perfect dress that can be altered to be a perfect match. Stay open minded.
Not only for tight timelines, but also tight budgets. These are a great way of finding off the rack “last season” styles for an affordable price! They are typically hosted by designer, so use social media and watch the shops online (mailing lists) to see their upcoming announcements and trunk show schedules.
TIPS & TRICKS
Really think about who and how many people you will be bringing with you when you try on dresses. Less is more, especially if you get overwhelmed shopping. Are you really open to so many opinions? We often recommend that you keep the group tight during your initial shopping day(s). Once you’ve landed on the dress(es) you can plan a day to invite more people (bridal party, extended family) to enjoy the experience with you and help make or see the final selection.
LESS IS MORE
Don’t try on a million dresses. We can promise you that there are a TON of beautiful dresses that will look STUNNING on you, you don’t want your mind to wonder. When you find the ONE follow your gut and lock it in. The more dresses you try on, the more questions and confusions you’ll have. It is often shared after the fact, that Bride’s regret trying on so many dresses and that it ultimately caused unneeded stress.
What’s the magic number - well there isn’t one, but once you are in the double digits, maybe start re-evaluation your system.
You know your body best. Do your research in advance, many shops have online catalogues now. Come prepared to your appointments with top picks and shapes/styles that you feel will flatter you best.
Focus your energy during the appointment on finding and establishing what shape is best for YOU. Once you figure this out, you’ll have limited the options dramatically, which will help with not feeling so overwhelmed and confused.
Trust your consultant, they do this for a living. They know how to flatter different body types and can offer great recommendations. Be open minded, you may end up in a dress completely the opposite of what you though you wanted.
The dress you say YES to should make you feel the MOST beautiful inside and out. You should be confident your significant other will LOVE it as much as you do, and ultimately that is all that matters!
it should fit like a glove, it should feel right and comfortable. Remember you are wearing this for 12+ hours, you need to be able to sit, walk, dance, hug, go to the bathroom!
You HATE lace, or you don’t want to wear traditional solid white, that’s completely okay! Be unique. Your dress and how you look on your wedding day should be a perfect reflection of YOU, after all that’s who your partner wants to marry.
Take lots and lots of cell phone photos at your fitting. You’ll appreciate having these to look back on during the planning process and also to get you overly excited for the big day.
This also helps you to see how you will photograph in the dress and as much as its important that you look AMAZING in person, you also want it to photograph as well!
Take photos with your hair up and down. You’ll appreciate it when you’re making your Hair and Make-up decisions later.
Ask questions to help you save money. Are you a petite - can you possible wear a “shorter” length style, save a ton of money on alterations? Make sure you have your shoes with you before ordering tho! Ask to see sale items, or can you buy off the rack? Is a certain shade of white or a designer discontinued?
Plan a fun brunch in between your shopping or after! It’s a full celebration day, have bubbly and be sure to make it fun.
HAVE A BUDGET
Be strict, and make sure you are upfront about this number. DO NOT try on dresses outside of your budget range, we promise once you do you can’t go back! There are options in EVERY budget, don’t be discouraged. Also, don’t be stuck on designers - no one knows “who” you’re wearing, it may not be worth the price tag.
Ask your selected Bridal Shop once you’ve picked your dress if they take “cash” or IF you get your bridesmaid dresses will they extend a deal. Often times they will!
Here are a few of our favourite Bridal Shops in Toronto. Now, each of these places are unique and may or may not be your style, but its a great place to start. Check out their options online, and their social media. Get a sense of the designers they stock and even feel free to call to ensure they have options in your budget. The teams at these shops will take great care of you and make you fee exceptionally special.
In no particular order:
Diva Bridal Boutique: https://www.divaboutique.ca
Lovers Land: https://www.loversland.com
Felichia Bridal: http://www.felichia.com
Sash & Bustle: http://www.sashandbustle.com
Avenue 22 Bridal: https://www.avenue22.ca
The Bride’s Project: http://thebridesproject.com
Pre-loved with a Charitable flare! Definitely a creative and meaningful avenue. Highly recommend for veils too.
Online and affordable veil shop from the USA - great quality and styles
Your veil does NOT have to be the same designer as your dress, many styles can mix and match
You likely won’t wear your veil for the entire evening - so don’t get too caught up on it
Once you Say Yes to the Dress, the real fun begins! We hope you have the best time shopping with your besties and important ladies in your life! If you stumble upon other AMAZING shop experiences, don’t hesitate to share, we are always looking to get the word out and support small business!