Houghton via @loho_bride
After deciding that bridal stores needed a serious shake-up, Christy Baird founded LOHO Bride, an acronym for "league of her own." With locations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, LOHO Bride offers an experience for women who don't identify with mainstream bridal looks. Every month, Christy will lend her expertise on high-fashion bridal designers and trends and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest industry news.
When the time comes to plan your walk down the aisle, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the details. There's a lot that goes into pulling off the perfect wedding, but nothing is quite as important as finding the right dress. But, saying I do to the gown you've dreamed of can be relatively pain-free (we promise) if you're armed with the right information.
Below is a thorough breakdown of everything you need to know about wedding dress shopping. From when to start your search, to who you should actually bring along, consider this your go-to guide. To make the whole experience just a little bit easier, you can even pin the handy graphic for later.
Check out everything you need to know below!
In order to ensure you're not rushed with your decision-making, we recommend that you begin dress shopping 9 to 12 months in advance of your wedding date, purchasing 8 to 10 months in advance of your wedding date. This is the ideal, not the absolute.
Draw inspiration from Pinterest and all the magazines and blogs your heart desires, but keep an open mind, and try to not oversaturate yourself. Content overload can cause confusion and create the feeling that the grass is always greener. Once you choose your gown, try to unfollow other designers on Instagram and relax on the pinning.
Learn about your shape first
All the images that you pull might get you excited to get your dress shopping on, but trying on various silhouettes is going to get you a lot further. We recommend trying a wide variety of shapes during your first appointment, even if they're ones that you're positive "aren't you." Once you find that a certain cut does wonders for your body, make sure to tell your stylist right away to keep focus.
Wear nude undergarments
It's so simple, yet so many girls show up in black or neon underwear. Please try to remember to wear nude bottoms and either nipple covers or a backless bra so that there aren't ugly straps in your photos; It's distracting, and it's hard to visualize when these are in the way.
Take photos… and videos!
In addition to photos in all the best angles, we find that video has been incredibly helpful to our brides in order to gauge the movement of the gown.
Bring your friends for round two
We can't help but want to share our dress experiences with our loved ones, but coming solo for your first appointment tends to be more productive. The trick is to pick your favorites out in advance so that only your top contenders are being discussed with your group during the second round. This tames the strong opinions since you've already made it clear that you liked them.
Do your homework
Being that most bridal shops are by appointment only, we really appreciate brides who do their research on what designers we carry, the price range offered, and which sample sizes are carried. Many times you can tell by the designers listed if the store is going to be in your vein (or fit the bill!).
Utilize trunk shows
Many brides get confused about what trunk shows are and mix them up with sample sales. Trunk Shows are a chance for brides to see fresh off the runway collections and styles that might not hit the racks of their local bridal shops. For the fashion savvy bride, this is the perfect chance to see more editorial pieces. The icing on the cake? Limited discounts are offered if you purchase that weekend.
Shop Wedding Dress
Off-the-shoulder feels oh-so-romantic.
Ruffle details are perfect for a boho wedding.
Sometimes, simple is the best way to go.
Say I do to this feminine look.
A perfect dress for a more formal wedding.
This designer dress is one to remember.
Show a little skin with this strapless style.
Lace will never go out of style.
This design is ideal for a more non-traditional bride.
Want more advice for your big day? These are the wedding dress trends you need to know in 2017!