Amidst fairy tale wishes and the most exciting time of her life, a bride is asked to do something monumental, scary and really hard: she’s asked to commit to just one perfect wedding gown. Perhaps you’ve read some wedding dress shopping advice before: try on many different gowns, don’t take every person you know with you when you shop, and don’t expect the first pick to be the best. But, what about the real, practical things that you might not think about during your search? Here are a few from-the-trenches advice from Kate Linde Bridal, a wedding dress distributor in the DC area, to help make your experience a total success!

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Photo courtesy of Kate Linde Bridal

The Real Budget

You may know that you can do quite a bit of research before ever stepping foot into a bridal shop to find out the range of gown prices and how they will fit into your budget. Have you taken into account the less obvious costs though? Many brides forget to budget for alterations, shipping, bustling, pressing and accessories. Make sure you’re paying attention to these as you shop and choose the best value for you.

Your Friends

There are certain years of our lives when it feels like every person we know is getting married. If you find yourself awash in bridal shower invitations, and discover that your wardrobe includes more bridesmaid gowns than weekends in a year, you’ll need to be particularly sensitive to the friends around you when you choose your own dress. Make sure you don’t duplicate or closely mimic your best friend’s gown, and that you don’t unintentionally detract from the attention that she also deserves. Compare notes and choose your own dress based on what makes you look and feel the best.

Your Grand Entrance

Are you planning to descend down a romantic spiral staircase into the arms of your awaiting prince charming? It may seem a stretch to many, but there are brides who choose their venues with that one special moment in mind. The wrong gown choice could lead to disaster. If you’d rather your grand entrance video not go viral, make sure that you take it into account what you plan to do in the gown, bustled and unbustled, and make a choice that is both beautiful and wise.

Use Your Consultant as an Expert Resource

Speaking of bustles…be up front with your bridal consultant if you’re planning to be a dancing machine on the wedding night. There is nothing worse than a broken bustle while your favorite song is playing. Your consultant is not only up to speed on all of the latest trends; she also has the benefit of hundreds of brides’ first-hand experiences. She can offer you an alternative to that chapel-length train that might be more conducive to your mad moves on the dance floor. Experts help you think outside of the box, so invest some time in imagining your perfect evening, and communicate that during your gown shopping. Help your boutique help you.

On that Note

Many couples spend a great deal of time and money on learning to dance, and having their first steps choreographed. Make sure that whatever perfect gown you choose will also be perfect for taking that first turn as newlyweds.  While you’re at it, plan to rehearse your dance at least once in a gown that is similar to your wedding dress, and definitely in the shoes you will wear to your reception. Make the moment you’ve worked so hard for a magical one.

Savvy brides know that choosing a wedding gown can be complicated, and that the selection they make will have more than a small impact on their wedding bliss. Be prepared for your search, and you’ll be sure to find your perfect match.

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Photos courtesy of Kate Linde Bridal

Thank you so much, Kate! If you are looking for a unique wedding dress that is sure to fit you just right, you won’t want to miss Kate Linde Bridal‘s collection of Eastern European wedding dress designers.

There are some fabulous wedding dress boutiques in the Washington, DC area, so use the vendor guide to look around. And, if you need even more help with bridal dress shopping in the DC area or anywhere else, be sure to read up!

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