Gown Shopping Misconceptions and the Practice of Being You (Part One)

Finding a perfect wedding gown is really quite simple.  Did I really just write that?  Combine the mood of the bride and the energy of the occasion with the expertise of the bridal consultant in a room full of amazing and intricate dresses that you will be wearing just once and that should equal exciting and uncomplicated.   Multiply this scenario with choice overload; too many opinions; recorded wedding messages from outside sources playing over and over in your head.  That’s when finding “the one” becomes a challenge.  I must admit, entering a bridal salon to a sea of white elegance classified into individual styles can seem a bit overwhelming.   There are tulle dresses on the left; pick ups straight ahead; destination styles on the right; some with sleeves right over there; lace dresses around the corner; couture dresses over here.  All this after you have spent hours, maybe days, looking at styles on the internet.  How do you narrow it down?  Add that to all of the voices advising the bride on what they “should” do and you may get swallowed up, but only when you stop listening to yourself.

When it comes to wedding gown selection, every personality is unique.  All cliché’s do not work for all.  There is no universal “sign” or formula that can be applied to every bride.  Every bride does not just “know” when it’s the “right one”.  Every mom does not cry.  Every family member present for the process does not always agree on the same style, and everyone does not need to gain approval before making their choice (although it would be convenient.)  The truth is we have different tastes.

The following are a few hasty ideas that I experience over and over again that I cannot help but to disagree with.  While there is no black and white answer, there is certain truth that each bride that walks in to our salon, deserves the support to be herself.  Our bridal consultants try to communicate the importance of this not only to the bride but also those that come to assist with the gown selection all in the spirit of honoring and supporting the bride’s unique and individual qualities.

Misconception # 1: You know it’s the right one when you cry.

It is true that we see a lot of tears.  It is also true that a certain moment or dress triggers this emotion.  It is not true that it happens to everyone.  We all have different ways of handling different situations.  Some people cry at graduations, hallmark cards, baseball games, funerals.  Some people don’t.  We are all made unique (how amazing is that?).  Some people arrive at decisions and some people know right away.  We all know people who dive right into a cold pool and we all know people who put their toes in to feel the water.  There are even some people that don’t go in the water at all.  Some people feel emotion when trying on wedding gowns.  Others do not.  Embrace your personality and how you are wired and be yourself.

Misconception # 2:  Everyone present should agree.

It is easiest to choose a bridal gown when everyone present has the same taste and agrees on the same style.  This, obviously, cannot always happen.  What happens when mom and daughter come in to the showroom and it is obvious that they have two different tastes?  What would be ideal to happen is that the mom recognizes how happy a particular style makes her daughter feel and the difference in tastes pales in comparison to what her baby girl is feeling.  Sometimes, onlookers get wrapped up in thinking that it is there job to make the choice for the bride, help her so strongly so she does not make a bad choice.  The truth is that the job of the “support” team, meaning those the bride has chosen to be a part of the process, is to honor the bride and her experience.  If she likes a style, support her opinion and be a true friend.

Misconception # 3:  I have to try on every dress in the store.

It is not important to try on every dress, but it is important to nail down your style.  On my occasional shopping visits to Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx, I am sometimes drawn to a gorgeous top that I absolutely love.  Years of experience has taught me that the style is great… for someone else.  I must refocus and remember that there are styles for everyone.  We all have different bodies.  There are certain cuts that work better for certain bodies and there is no point in trying to make myself look good in this style when I know that style will make me look and feel better.  This is especially true in bridal wear. We are all unique.  There are thousands of beautiful dresses.  What is the body that suits you?  Being unsure is okay.  Usually it becomes apparent by trying three different bodies, as guided through the knowledge of a good bridal consultant.  From there you can eliminate and cater to what direction works best.  Stick with the good feeling styles and enjoy the ride.

I will have more misconceptions posted in our blog next week.

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