5 things to remember when wedding dress shopping:

-Local trunk shows – most dress shops will offer trunk shows which showcase exclusive gowns from designers they currently carry in store. During those trunk shows the gowns are discounted!

-Finding a dress that is outside of your comfort zone – be open minded when going into dress shopping. Try on different silhouettes, different fabrics and different necklines. Allow yourself to be confident going outside of your comfort zone, and trust your bridal stylist.

-Dresses can sometimes take 6-8 months or longer to come into your store, so plan accordingly to avoid rush fees, and try to avoid the stress of time-crunched alterations.

-Make sure you eat and are hydrated before a fitting. Getting in an out of dresses is a lot of work, so make sure you don’t arrive hungry.

-Be mindful that a stylist will most likely be helping you in and out of your dresses, so don’t be surprised if they are in the fitting room with you while you are in your undies.

5 Things to consider when picking the dress:

-Budget – keep in mind that there will be alterations after purchasing your dress. Alterations can cost a few hundred dollars depending on what you need done, so be sure to factor in that additional cost when purchasing your dress. For example: a bustle, hemming, or cups sewn-in may be necessary.

-Make sure your dress is cohesive to your venue, design and concept. Be sure your dress works with the setting of your venue. You wouldn’t wear an art deco gown while getting married on the beach. Also, keep the weather in mind, you wouldn’t want to wear a long sleeve gown in July in California – trust us.

-The entourage’s opinions – we know you have a wonderful group who’s opinions matter to you, but, try to limit your group so you don’t become overwhelmed with opinions! The most important thing to remember… it’s your dress, your opinion is the most important.

-Once you are in a dress you really like, try sitting in it, and of course, dancing in it. Walk around in your dress to make sure you’re comfortable, and to see how much the dress weighs (yes, wedding gowns can be HEAVY). Practice walking around with a veil on as well, if you are considering wearing one on the big day.

Dress fitting tips:

-Wear the shape-wear or undergarments you plan on wearing to your appointments. Try nude and seamless undergarments and possibly bring cups or a sticky bra.

-Bring your wedding shoes and make sure your heel height works with your alterations/hemming.

-Can you sit comfortably and walk around in your dress?

-Come to your appointments with your hair and make up done. A full face of glam and an updo aren’t necessary, but make sure you are looking your best so you have an idea of what you will look like on your big day! It helps pull the full look together.

-Review necessary alterations, and consider your budget to determine what alterations you absolutely need. Hemming and bustle are typically the most important, and of course making sure the dress fits you correctly, and the way you want it to.

Dress research and where to look for current trends:

-Dress Shop research – not all dress shops are the same! Some shops exclusively carry one designer, some are consignment, others are by appointment only, or strictly plus size, etc. They are all different, so make sure when you are booking appointments you know what kind of store you are going to, and what to expect.

-You can find trends and new styles on The Knot, wedding magazines, and of course everyone’s favorites, Pinterest and Instagram! Be sure to have some images of dresses you like so that your stylist can pull designs that you want to try.

-Do some research on the stores you are going to be visiting. They typically have an FAQ section so you know what to expect, along with what designers they carry, and the price points of their dresses.

-New York Fashion Week is huge! Designers are always showcasing upcoming trends on the runways during bridal fashion week. Typically those designs will be released in the following year.

-Hollywood and red carpet events are a great place to look for an upcoming trend. You can always find out what designers celebrities are wearing. Grace and White carries ‘the Gabrielle’, by Leanne Marshall, which was seen on Julianne Hough on Dancing With the Stars, and on Shaun Robinson on the Oscar red carpet.

Well, there you have it, advice, from yours truly!

Lastly, we are of course biased, but we can’t give enough credit to Grace + White Bridal. They are the only bridal boutique in the area that exclusively offers private appointments. You will have the entire shop to yourself, not to mention a custom playlist, bottle of bubbly, and free roam of the space for you and your entourage. The experience is like no other, and we couldn’t recommend them more! Happy shopping!

Photography: The Delauras