One of the most nerve-wracking experiences for some young women is dress shopping for a big event. And yet, it is often one of the most exciting! Once you start shopping for a dress, the whole thing begins to feel real. We’ve compiled a few tips to help prepare you for dress shopping without losing your mind.
Timing is Everything
Your dress can take anywhere from six to eight months to be made if you order a custom gown. Some really extravagant gowns can even take up to a year to be made. So, if you have your heart set on a custom gown, you’ll want to begin shopping a year in advance.
If you aren’t looking for something very specific, you’ll want to begin dress shopping eight to ten months prior to your event date. Come and see us at the Quinceanera expos for some inspiration! Even if you get lucky and find the dress you want on your first day of shopping, you will still need some time for alterations. On average, dress alterations take about 6 weeks, but you’ll want to account for more time if you need your dress altered drastically.
On another note about timing- to avoid the extra hassle of being in a dress shop packed with people, choose a less popular day and time for your appointment.
Do Your Research
You don’t want to show up at a dress shop without at least a vague idea of what type of dress you want. Use our 6 Tips For Finding the Perfect dress to research what styles you prefer in advance. You’ll need to have some ideas of where to get started so that you can rule out various styles and colors.
Budget For It
Before you even step foot in a dress salon, you need to know exactly how much you plan on spending. Your dress budget will help the dress consultants pull their best dress choices for you. Knowing your budget will also help you avoid heartbreak over a falling in love with a dress you can’t afford! If you can’t afford it, do NOT try it on.
You’ll avoid a lot of hassles if you can schedule your dress shopping appointments in advance. Some salons don’t even allow walk-ins. By calling ahead and speaking with someone about your desired style and budget, the shop can prepare for your appointment. Many will pull dresses for you to start with when you get there. This definitely expedites the process because you can get started as soon as you arrive!
It Doesn’t Take a Village
You probably have some friends and family members in mind that you would like to take shopping with you. It is important to have a few people with you whose honest opinions you can trust. That being said, the more people you have, the larger your headache will be. Don’t make the mistake of bringing your entire party or court. Just choose a few of your closest friends and family members. We would suggest no more than 5 or 6 people. This will also help out the dress salon, as most of them do not have very large seating areas. You may also want to check with the salon when you call ahead to make sure it’s okay to bring people with you. Of course, don’t forget that no matter how many opinions you hear, your thoughts are the most important.
Your dress shopping experience should be one of your favorite event planning memories! Don’t let all the details stress you out. Use our Dress Shopping Worksheet to keep all your dress questions and choices in order!