Ah, the dress.  Is it fun to dress like a princess for a day or more painful to go through the process of finding “the one.”  After all, you thought finding “the one” stopped when you found your partner to marry, right!?  We are lucky to have Carine, owner of Carine’s Bridal Atelier in Washington, DC, with us to give a few tips for finding that perfect dress.  They really don’t come more knowledgeable and experienced than Carine.  I just watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress yesterday afternoon and I really wish that those brides were able to read these tips!  I think each one of them broke every single one of Carine’s suggestions, and needless to say, their dress shopping was a disaster!  (But, it made for good TV, right?!)  On that note, take it away, Carine:

washington-dc-bride-kori-lynn-photographyPhoto Credit:  Korie Lynn Photography

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

  1. It’s always best to have the venue for the ceremony and reception before trying on dresses. By doing so, you already have the look, mood, and feel for the wedding. It will help the dress process go a little easier when you know what will or will not work with the venue.

  3. Don’t wait until the last minute! Generally, a custom gown takes about 16 weeks to create.  That doesn’t include the time for alterations which can take up to eight weeks.  Together that’s about 24 weeks and you always want to allow a little bit of cushion time in between.  (This is important especially if you’re purchasing your gown during the holidays, because of the holiday vacation.)

  5. Bring ideas with you. Bring pictures!  Bring pictures of what you like and don’t like to your consultant.  It’s always nice to have a visual to refer to.

  7. Don’t bring an entourage. I understand EVERYONE wants to come with you when you try on your gown, but only bring the ones whom opinions that you trust.  Sometimes, a big peanut gallery may really overwhelm and discourage you.

  9. Try on everything and have fun! With all the stress of planning a wedding, don’t let the dress be a part of that!  It’s all about enjoying the process.  You don’t know whether or not it looks good if you don’t try it on!  Try on everything!  You may not find “the dress” on the first try, but don’t let that discourage you.  Remember it’s your day to shine!


Thank you so much, Carine!  Such great advice on shopping for your wedding dress.  If you are in the market for a gorgeous gown, be sure to make an appointment at Carine’s Bridal Atelier.  They carry all of the top wedding dress designers like Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa and so many more.  A definite must-stop on the wedding dress search!

Looking for more?  Visit our fashion inspiration gallery, or look for more bridal boutiques in DC, MD and VA.

Photo Credit:  Korie Lynn Photography

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