Hey, I’m Alecca! I’m a wedding photographer, but I actually started in the wedding industry when I was just 15 years old. When it comes to wedding dress shopping, I would say I’m an expert. Here’s why. My mom owned a bridal boutique so as soon as I legally could work, that’s what she had me do! I started with working with bridesmaids, worked with brides, and now I get to photograph couples on their wedding days! So, to say I know the wedding industry would be an understatement. Which is why I load my blog with all around helpful wedding tips!
For most brides, wedding dress shopping is one of the most looked forward to and fun parts of wedding planning. I mean, who doesn’t love getting to play dress up in beautiful wedding dresses surrounded by their best friends?
Before I became a wedding photographer, I actually worked in a bridal store! Yep, I’m talking Say Yes to the Dress style job. In working there, I definitely saw all of the things to do and not to do before a bridal appointment. Before you book all of your bridal gown appointments, let me share a little advice from my time working there:
Firstly, come in with an open mind. I cannot tell you how many brides show up to their appointment with one specific wedding dress style in mind and end up walking out with a dress that’s a completely different style. So, give yourself room to try all kinds of different styles – even if it’s something you thought you would never like or look good in! The worst thing that could happen is you don’t like the style after all, right?
At the same time, if you walk in the the dress shop with absolutely no idea of what types of gowns you’re drawn too, it can get overwhelming. So before you go wedding dress shopping, do a little research. Scroll Pinterest and even make a board of the styles you’re drawn to. Then, when you get to the store, feel free to show your consultant the styles you like! They’ll pull similar styles to help you find the wedding dress of your dreams!
One of the biggest mistakes brides make when dress shopping is not considering their wedding venue. If you’re having a classy, elegant wedding, a boho wedding dress would look a little out of place, right? In the same way, having a classy wedding dress for a barn wedding also might not quite fit your wedding theme. And while your venue and theme shouldn’t be a deal breaker in preventing you from having the dress of your dreams, you definitely should at least keep it in mind as you try on wedding dresses.
Another important thing to do before wedding dress shopping is creating a budget. Contrary to what you’ve seen on TV, most bridal stores don’t offer you discounts if your dream dress is crazy out of your budget. That’s just not how it works. So talk over budget and make sure you know the limit on what you’re comfortable spending on a dress. Then, tell your consultant so they don’t pull dresses that are completely out of your budget. If you don’t try it on in the first place, you will be way less likely to fall in love with a dress you can’t afford!
Lastly, there are a couple practical things to think of before you go wedding dress shopping.
Being someone who knows multiple sides of the wedding industry, I love helping my couples plan their dream weddings. Here are more resources with TONS of wedding tips to help you out!
Of course, going to the right bridal shop truly makes all the difference. Be sure to go somewhere that cares about you – not just commission. Also, pro tip: Please do yourself a favor and DO NOT go to David’s Bridal. I kid you not, so many brides have terrible experiences there. In fact, several of my brides have had dresses rip from there. You deserve better, my friend!
Meet Alecca Synclair - the lead photographer, visionary, CEO, coffee-runner, and basically everything else behind the ASP team! As someone who has over seven years of experience in the wedding industry, I have seen first hand the pain points of planning a wedding. Which is why I truly pour my heart into this blog - so that you can have someone in your corner helping you wedding plan! As an Iowa, Texas, and destination wedding photographer, I would love to capture your day intentionally. I believe your photos are are a way to keep your most precious memories forever. So, if you vibe with my work and think we'd be a good fit, reach out! I would be SO honored to document your big day.