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Wedding Gowns: What To Know Before You Buy

Every bride dreams of that magical moment when she tries on her wedding gown for the first time. Unfortunately, that dream can quickly go awry if she is not prepared for what lies ahead. There are several important factors all brides should know before stepping out to find that perfect dress.

First, it is never too early to start shopping. Most wedding gowns are made-to-order, meaning, they can very well take up to six months to get from the designer to the store. If the wedding is in less than six months, visit a local bridal boutique and give them the time frame upfront. Many shops work directly with designers and can either rush ship, sell the sample right off the rack or check the designer’s warehouse inventory to decrease the wait time. That said, start early and avoid the hurdles if possible.

Next, set a gown budget and stick to it. Wedding gowns are expensive and can run from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars. It is highly advised to not try on gowns that are over budget, doing so is recipe for disappointment. When setting the budget keep in mind many bridal shops work with brides and allow a deposit for special orders cutting upfront costs in half. The remaining balance becomes due when the gown arrives in the shop. Check around as some shops offer layaway plans as well.

Do not forget to include alterations in the overall gown budget. Bridal alterations are more than simple tailoring; lace, hand sewn bead-work and delicate materials all contribute to the high cost of bridal alterations. Brides should be prepared to spend between $300 and $800 on their alterations. Again, the materials and fit will determine the final cost.

Most importantly, have fun! Every bride deserves an enchanted experience that she can treasure for a lifetime. Being prepared will allow the bride to enjoy her “yes to the dress” moment.


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