You're engaged! Pop the bubbles! It's time to shop.
When it comes to shopping for your wedding dress, there are so many factors that can cause unwanted stress. After over 10 years in the industry and countless fittings, I wanted to share my top tips and tricks for navigating the stormy waters of bridal appointments. Read on to prepare for that "oh so big" first appointment.
1. The right kind of research
If your secret Pinterest wedding dress board has hundreds of photos, it's time to put down the phone!
Having a range of ideas you like is an important first step, but there comes a point when endless scrolling and "pinning" can lead to idea overload. Too many options and trends can be overwhelming, leaving you confused and unsure of where to start.
When it comes to finding the right dress, it's all about how you want to look and feel. I ask my brides two questions at the start of their dress journey, "how do you envision yourself on your wedding day?" Glamorous, rustic, timeless, modern, show-stopping, comfortable? This description will help guide you down the right path regarding fabrications and style.
Secondly, "have you ever worn a dress that made you feel incredible?" Maybe it was a boned bodice that improved your posture or a soft-layered chiffon shape that was just so comfortable you danced the night away. Pinpointing what was so great about that look is a way to edit out options that won’t work for you and guide you in the right direction.
2. The entourage
I'm going to say something controversial, you do not need a large entourage with you to dress shop. In fact, you need just the opposite. Being relaxed and having a clear head is vital for your first dress appointment. The bride's voice can get lost in a large group of opinions. This is your time, your show, not your girlfriend's chance to air her grievances with strapless dresses. All the focus needs to be on you. Shopping by yourself gives you free rein to experiment and explore without unwanted judgement from the pack.
I recommend bringing Mom or your MOH back for a second appointment to confidently show them your favorites, but keep the first appointment just for yourself.
3. Avoid the rush
We've all been there, that post-work, I left 10 minutes too late and now I'm a hot mess rush. This is fine in other circumstances but not when you're shopping for a wedding dress. Forcing yourself into a lace bodice after running through the Hong Kong heat, is not the way to kickoff wedding dress shopping. I want you to be selfish and put this special time aside for you.
Slip out of work early, ignore those emails and schedule a relaxing foot massage before your appointment. Treat yo self!
4. A touch of rouge
A touch of makeup goes a long way when you are standing in front of a mirror in a wedding dress. I cannot count the times I have heard brides say, “I should have put on some makeup for this appointment”. Whether it's a touch of blush or full on glam, you do you. We are our own harshest critics and the last thing we need is to start judging ourselves under the showroom lighting.
5. The right underwear
Neon pink hip huggers bunching through a silk bias-cut gown will distract you from what the dress really looks like. The right undergarments are the foundation to every outfit.
Think nude, smoothing, and invisible.
6. Play dress up!
You may have been dreaming about getting married in a 10-layered tulle ball gown since, well, forever. Yet after trying on your dream dress you are underwhelmed. It just doesn’t compliment your amazing curves. Where do you go from here? It is important to step outside the box for this first appointment. Dresses look very different on the hanger and in editorial photos than on the body. I encourage my brides to use this time to explore different shapes and fabrications. Do not be afraid to play, you may surprise yourself.
7. Snap that selfie
Going against one of the many rules of dress shopping here in Hong Kong, it is vital to take photos and videos of yourself in different styles. The truth is we live in a world fueled by images. Seeing the dress from different angles helps give you a better idea of what it looks like and how it photographs. Another plus, reviewing the photos a few days after your appointment with fresh eyes will help you cement your decision.
8. The other big question
Hidden costs, timelines, alterations, and customization. You may be surprised to find endless restrictions, limitations and unseen costs when it comes to ordering your dream dress - sometimes at the end of the process. Make sure to speak up! There is nothing more heartbreaking than a bride falling in love with a dress out of her price range or timeline.
One of the many reasons why I started Christina Devine was to give my brides a transparent process, the freedom to customize, and peace of mind when it comes to costs. The idea of a bride not being able to make changes for a gown to truly work for her does not reflect the significance of the dress nor the occasion, let alone the price tag. Running around town trying to find someone to alter your dress one week before your wedding is stress that no bride needs!
Luxury is so much more than incredible fabrics and craftsmanship. Luxury is having all the details taken care of for you.
Book your first appointment to explore our collection, learn more about our customization options or begin your fully bespoke design journey.