Whether you're planning your own wedding, or you've just binge-watched Say Yes to the Dress, you know that the hunt for "the one" is emotional, stressful, and well, just plain difficult. But, as the saying goes "knowledge is power" and knowing a thing or two before you delve into shopping for your wedding gown will save you stress, sleep, and oh yeah, money too.
So, we enlisted the help of Abby Larson, the founder of wedding site Style Me Pretty. Having helped countless brides with their own big days, Larson is just the expert to help break down the mistakes worth avoiding when you're on the hunt for the perfect dress. Armed with Abby's advice, you'll feel all the more prepared to take on the task of saying "I do" to the perfect dress.
Check out Abby Larson's advice below, then shop wedding dresses that will stand the test of time!
There's no denying that weddings are expensive, and Larson notes that when it comes to picking your dress, little add-ons can creep up on you. "Not sticking to a budget—even in small ways, here and there—can easily spiral into spending WAY more than you ever thought." And while it may not be an obvious side effect, going over budget doesn't just affect your wedding day, according to Larson, "it's something that could truly affect the first years of marriage."
Pinterest and wedding sites like Style Me Pretty are packed with stunning shots of gowns meant to provide inspiration, but it's easy to be disappointed when a dress looks totally different in real life than it did on the internet. It's smart to go in with a general idea of style and cut, but be open to trying on things that might be a few degrees in the other direction," Larson recommends. "Give yourself room to fall in love with a gown that complements your unique body and look."
Give yourself room to fall in love with a gown that complements your unique body and look.
Planning ahead is key to pulling off a successful wedding, but plan too far in advance, and you might come to regret it. Larson recommends, "try to book your venue before you buy your dress." Why? Since venues come in so many shapes and sizes (and so do dresses, of course), "your gown will look even more beautiful if it fits within the style."
You trust your friends to weigh in on plenty of important decisions, but when it comes to picking a dress, you may want to keep your crew small, says Larson. "Buying your dress is truly a personal decision and you shouldn't let your friends rain on your parade OR convince you to buy something that you aren't 100% on." She recommends sticking to two or three people whose opinions you trust, "and don't be afraid to ask them for honest but gentle feedback."
Make sure you trust, love, and respect the people that you've asked to come along.
If you've ever winced looking through vintage wedding photos, it's overtly obvious, there are certain bridal trends that just don't age well, which is why Larson suggests that you steer clear of overt trends if you need reassurance that you'll still love your look years down the road."
Shop Wedding Dresses
This simple, dainty dress feels elegant with a twist.
Delicate lace is a timeless choice to say "I do" to.
This sheer, tiered dress is a little bit rock 'n' roll, while still so elegant.
Want more bridal advice? Here is what your wedding dress consultant wishes you knew!
Opening Image: Style Me Pretty/Q Avenue Photo