If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent one too many Friday nights watching TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons with a glass of wine and a fistful of tissues. Thousands of brides — approximately 17,000 a year, to get specific — strut through Kleinfeld’s doors in search of their perfect dress, which is why when had a few questions about potential shopping pitfalls, we took them straight to Kleinfeld’s Fashion Director Terry Hall. Here is his expert take on what not to do on your wedding dress journey.
1. Don’t Shop Before You’ve Set the Date
“Whenever a bride comes in and she doesn’t have the date and the venue, we really don’t know where to begin because we don’t know what the time frame is, and it really is all about the time frame,” Hall says. “Many designers take four to even eight months to make a gown,” he elaborates, so if you’re not sure what timeline you’re working with, consultants won’t know what dresses to show you.
2. Don’t Bring Too Many People
“More people equals more opinions and most of the time you’re not always going to agree so it’s really important that the bride chooses only those whose opinions she really values,” Hall suggests.
3. Don’t Forget to Factor Alterations Into Your Budget
To keep expectations in check, be sure to set a budget that includes alteration costs. “Alterations can be several hundred dollars and if there are any changes that need to be made to the dress, those all have costs involved and really can significantly add to the budget,” Hall explains.
4. Don’t Forsake Trendy Dresses
“Oftentimes I hear brides say, ‘I love this dress, but I know it’s kind of a hot trend right now so I think I should wear something a bit more classic because what am I going to say about this picture in 20 years?’ What I say to that is: ‘You’re not getting married 20 years from now, you’re getting married right now.’ It’s not about whether or not that dress is timeless or not, it’s about that day, and that picture should be frozen in time,” Hall notes.
5. Don’t Get Camera Happy
“I understand brides want to take pictures of their dress, and a lot of times family members or friends can’t make it to the appointment. But I always discourage them from taking photos, mainly because most of the photos today are taken with a cell phone and oftentimes the way the dress photographs, isn’t the way it really looks in person. So the person that’s receiving the photo on the other end is seeing something different than what the bride is seeing, and she may not get the answer that she wants. Also, I’ve seen emailed pictures of the dress accidentally be posted, or shared with people that weren’t supposed to see it,” Hall warns. “When it’s absolutely necessary, I encourage them to either Facetime or Skype in real time, because you can actually speak to any of the differences, and those images aren’t going to be saved.”
See More: FAQ for Wedding Gown Shopping