Think Say Yes to the Dress has taught you practically everything you need to know about shopping for a wedding dress? Think again! From what time of day to book your appointment to sneaky ways to save on a full price gown, here are six tips you probably haven't seen on TV.
1. Comfort breeds confidence
Despite how killer your friends and family (and yourself!) think you look in a particular dress, if you don't feel like your natural self in it, then it's not the one, says Nicole Staple, co-founder of Brideside and a recent bride herself. "I almost chose a gown that was stunning, but ultimately was too statue-esque and better suited for standing in one place rather than moving, bending and sitting," she describes.
2. Most dresses look really bad on the hanger
Wedding dresses have a ton of detail that can totally weigh down a gown, making it sag on a hanger, points out bridal expert and editorial director of You & Me TV, Anne Chertoff. "Unlike shopping for a shirt or daytime dress, you won't really know what a wedding dress will look like on you until you actually try it on." Her advice? "Keep an open mind and trust the consultant when she says the dress looks better on the body than it does on the hanger."
3. The best time to book an appointment is on a weekday morning
That is, if you can swing it. "Most bridal salons are completely booked with appointments on the weekends, which doesn't allow for yours to go over the set time," explains Lelia Rice, Assistant Store Manager and Marketing Coordinator at Caryn's Bridals, Formals & Tuxedos. "Scheduling an appointment on a weekday morning will ensure you have a more personalized experience and will help you to not feel rushed." Plus, your appointment will actually start on time and that's always good.
4. Bridal sizes run much smaller than street wear
Before you freak out in the dressing room and refuse to try on any gowns until you drop 10 pounds, remember that bridal sizes run about two sizes smaller than street clothes, notes Rice.
5. You should always dance before you buy
When you finally find the dress that you love, Ilana Stern, CEO of Weddington Way, recommends dancing like there's no tomorrow! "Both because you've finally found your gown and because being able to dance comfortably in it is a key criteria for the perfect wedding dress."
6. You can barter on prices
Turns out, bartering for a wedding dress isn't so taboo after all! If you live in a state with a high sales tax like New York or are having a destination wedding, Shala Moradi, creative director for Faviana, a special occasion and bridal company, suggests asking the salon owner to ship the dress out of state to save some money. Depending on how expensive your gown is to begin with, not paying tax can really make a huge difference in the overall price.