As with everything wedding-related, there are etiquette rules for wedding dress shopping. Bridal consultants love to work with brides who understand and adhere to the basic rules of wedding shopping.  This allows them to plan your shopping appointment better and give you the best experience for your time. Hence, the success of your shopping trip is closely linked to how well you prepare for your shopping experience.

The bridal consultants at Best for Bride have helped hundreds of brides find their dream wedding dress, and are experts on this subject. Here, they tell us all about the wedding shopping rules that you should know before you begin the hunt for your wedding dress.

Know what you want

Wedding dress shopping can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, unless you know what you want. Avoid getting confused on your shopping trip, by doing some research before you go shopping. Start by looking online or in bridal magazines to identify wedding dress silhouettes and styles that flatter you, and shortlist your favorite dress features. When you have a general idea of what your wedding dress should be like, your consultant will be able to direct you towards the right gowns easily. Plus, she’ll also appreciate clear inputs so she doesn’t have to haul a bunch of gowns that you won’t like!

Book an appointment before you visit

Most wedding salons are appointment-only. Even if the salon you visit can accommodate you without an appointment, it is beneficial for both parties when you have one. When you book an appointment, the boutique assigns you a bridal consultant who will dedicate time and effort to your service during the specified time. This will help you avoid a long wait, especially during rush hours. Your consultant will also be prepared for your visit and focus on you when you book your appointment in advance.

Discuss the budget upfront

It is sensible to plan your wedding dress budget prior to your shopping appointment. This budget should also account for additional expenses like alterations, accessories and delivery charges. Tell your consultant the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your dress, so she can pick dresses for you to try on accordingly. Avoid looking at dresses that are above your budget, so you do not fall in love with a dress that you cannot afford.

Limit your entourage

Give due thought to who should accompany you when you go wedding dress shopping. Limit the party to two or three close friends or relatives, who can positively contribute to your shopping experience. Too many people can lead to too many opinions, and this can often cause confusion and chaos. You may jeopardize your chances of making the right decision when there are differing opinions. So, only invite those who share your taste in fashion, are supportive and can give honest and constructive opinions.

Take along the essentials

Your bridal consultant will help you in and out of dresses. So, wear decent underwear to avoid any embarrassment. Although many bridal boutiques will have spare undergarments for you to wear if you don’t bring your own, it is always better to be prepared with your own. If possible, wear shoes with the same heel height as you intend to use for your wedding. Also take along any accessories you plan to wear for your wedding, to make sure you pick a gown that looks good with it.

Keep your makeup light

Although you will be trying on floor samples, take care to avoid staining your dress with makeup. Keep your makeup light and make sure it has set before you go dress shopping. Remember that your bridal salesperson will have to get the stains out of the dress, if your lipstick or mascara transfers to the dress. So, stay away from that red, glossy lipstick on the day you go shopping, to avoid an accident.

Ask before you click pictures

Not all bridal boutiques allow brides to shoot pictures of the different dresses they try on. This is usually to prevent copying the designs and styles, if you decide to make your own dress elsewhere. So, don’t click any pictures of yourself in the dresses without first confirming that it is alright.

Be honest about what you feel about a dress

Bridal consultants don’t know you personally, and rely on your inputs and feedback to pick dresses for you to try on. In your attempt to be polite, don’t be reluctant to share your feedback about a dress that you aren’t happy with. Share your true feelings and tell your bridal consultant what you like or do not like in a dress. By comparing your feedback on the different dresses you have tried, your consultant will be able to narrow down choices to ones that you may actually end up buying.

Shop with an open mind

Although you should have an idea of how your wedding dress should be, don’t be too particular about every detail. Remember that your gown should not only fit your budget, it should be practical, pretty and flatter your figure. So, be flexible and try out different options, including ones that you hadn’t originally considered. Some dresses look better when worn than they do on a hanger. Your bridal consultant has the expertise to recognize such dresses. So, if she suggests a dress that doesn’t have hanger-appeal, don’t reject it immediately. Try it on, and you may actually like it! Shop with an open mind and you can improve your chances of finding your dream dress sooner.

Author Bio: Best for Bride, with over ten years of experience in the bridal fashion industry, is one of Canada’s premier bridal destinations. Apart from an impressive wedding dress collection, this bridal chain also features bridesmaids collections, dresses for the rest of the wedding party and for special occasions. For more details on the collections they carry and the services they offer, visit the Best for Bride website.