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5 Brides Share Their Top Dress Shopping Tips

  |   By Alison McGill

Where do you start and how do you know when you’ve found the one? Wedding gown shopping is one of the best shopping experiences and the most intense. With so many styles, fabrics and colours (yes, there are many options besides traditional white) to choose from, you can certainly get a little swept up in the drama of it all. I chose to go the custom route, knowing my good friend Canadian designer Joeffer Caoc would create the perfect dress for me. One sketch and he had it—a sleek, knee-length v-neck dress made from ivory sequin palettes and georgette that was perfect for my mid-winter intimate wedding. I asked a few recent brides (and brides-to-be) around the Weddingbells office to share their dress shopping advice. They’ve got some savvy insight for you to keep in mind as you hunt for your dream dress.

“Try on everything! You’ll be amazed at how each dress changes your body shape, your emotions and your overall bridal style. It sounds cliché, but the moment I put on “the” dress I knew it was the one. There I was swishing about in the change room, imagining myself walking down the aisle. My friend Trista, who came along to hold my hand, also knew it was the one I stepped out of the dressing room; apparently I was giggling a lot. This dress made me happy, I felt pretty and it suited me and my style.”—Jennifer Haskett, art director.

“Trust your instincts, do not buy a dress just because everyone tells you it looks great on you -- your gut will tell you when it is the right one. I tried on a dress as a joke, thinking it was never in a million years a dress I would buy, but as soon as I saw it on myself in the mirror I knew it was the one. It was also the first dress I tried on, I tried on about 50 more for comparison, and kept going back to the original dress. I’m glad I did, because on my wedding day it was perfect!”—Kristen Sykes, production manager.

“Try on all different styles and shapes that remotely intrigue you. Be open-minded then narrow it down super quick to your top two and show that friend of yours that knows and understands your style. I knew my dress was the one because as soon as I looked in the mirror I got this overwhelming feeling of pure excitement and confidence. As I looked around to get my BFF’s opinion she had tears streaming down her face and said “Done!”—Deidre Marinelli, senior national accounts manager.

“The best tip I’ve been given that I now share is to make sure to try on every silhouette the store has available to find the perfect shape. Even though I thought a ball gown wasn't really my style, I still tried it on just to make sure. Also, what I ended up walking out of the store with and what I thought I’d walk down the aisle in, ended up being completely different, which was a pleasant surprise. I knew I had the right dress because I felt really comfortable in it and I didn’t want to take it off.—Sabina Babayan, acting advertising systems manager.

“Book an appointment and give yourself ample browsing/fitting room time. Most of all, keep an open mind. A strapless dress was never on my wedding dress radar until I slipped one on and realized just how transformative they can be (it’s all about the neck and shoulders, people!) I tried on about eight different dresses in total but kept coming back to option three. It had Sarah Elizabeth Casselman written all over it. Even surrounded by yards of ivory matte satin I still looked (and felt) like me. It was at that moment that I realized ‘wow, I’m getting married.’”—Sarah Casselman, senior editor, fashion news, FASHION (our sister magazine!).

This article was originally published on Sep 02, 2011
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