When it comes to the wedding planning tasks, one of the most rewarding experiences is searching for your wedding gown! But during this process, there might be a few things that are surprising to you. We’ve compiled the 5 things no one will tell you about your wedding gown so that you’re prepared for what to expect.
The clothing worn by the couple getting married can help set the tone for the entire event, so selecting your outfit will be one of the most important decisions to be made. After all, the clothes that we wear help to influence how we feel---and you will want to feel your best on the big day. (Especially for those special photo albums!)
If you’re opting for a wedding gown, take time to make your decision because this will be a crucial element and significant investment. In fact, the Knot Real Weddings Study found that the average wedding dress cost was $1,900 in 2022. (Up from $1,800 from the year before.) Since shopping for a wedding dress is a new experience, there might be some things that surprise you. Read on to find out what they are!
5 Things That Might Surprise You About Your Wedding Dress
Here are 5 things no one will tell you about your wedding gown:
1. You might not get an overwhelmingly emotional feeling when you find The One. In our experience, some brides will find a dress that they feel absolutely beautiful in. They start to envision wearing it on their big day, but then become hesitant to commit because of underwhelming emotion. So, is it the one? The reality is that you might find the right gown without a tear dropping from your eye or those of your guests. And that’s ok! Depending on how you personally handle big milestones like this one, your emotion might look different. Whether it’s subtle butterflies in your stomach, or simply feeling like the best version of yourself, you’re going to know once you’ve found it. Once you get the feeling, don’t question it. Just like you trusted your instincts when selecting your life partner, do the same thing with your wedding attire.
2. After you ‘say yes to the dress’, you will probably second guess your decision---at least once! There is often a waiting period between when you purchase the gown and when you start the alterations process. In fact, unless you’re buying off the rack (when you take the gown home that day), it’s recommended to purchase your dress 6-9 months prior to the big day. During this waiting period, you’ll make plenty of other wedding-related decisions (as well as question the decisions that you’ve made.) Because of the length of time, you might spend time reviewing the photos of your final choice and your top runners. You might forget some of the fine details about the dress, or the way that it made you feel. It’s likely that you’ll experience a moment (or a few) where you second guess if you made the right decision. This is normal and to be expected because of everything this gown symbolizes about your future life. Allow yourself to recognize the feeling, and then move forward. Ask a member of your bridal party to remind you of what you liked so much about it, or re-play a video that shows you twirling in the gown. This will help reinforce your decision and make you feel more comfortable before the big day. Trust that when you put it on during alterations, and on the wedding day, you will know that you made the right decision.
3. Once you purchase your gown, when you go pick it up, there will not be alterations done. It will probably surprise you that once you try it on for the first time, it will probably not feel like it’s your dress. Even though the dress is ordered in your size, there will still be alterations required. Don’t go in and expect that the dress is going to fit you like a glove. It’s going to require work to help make it fit, so be patient with the process.
4. Alterations can be pricey. Make sure this is planned for in your budget! This is an example of a budget line-item that many don’t plan for, and it can be a (sometimes hefty) surprise fee. Most alterations begin 6-8 weeks before the wedding day. Keep this timeframe for payment in mind, because it will come fairly close to the big day. Depending on the material, structure of the dress, and alterations needed, you’re going to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars, regardless of where you are located in the United States. And once you start to add customizations like a bustle or a built in bra, the price will increase.
According to Shelley Brown, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor at The Knot says that there are many variables that will impact the price of alterations, “As a general rule, handmade gowns are pricier than manufactured ones. The overall craftsmanship that goes into creating a gown also affects its price. For instance, styles with certain embellishments (think: lots of beading, appliqués, crystals or embroidery) tend to be more expensive than simpler designs, due to the time and labor it takes to make them. Some high-end fabrics may also be rarer and more difficult to source than others, which can also impact the price of a gown.”
5. Picking out accessories might be harder than you think. When you watch TV shows of brides picking out their gowns, the stylist often puts on a veil and/or headpiece. It’s important that you know that you don’t have to ‘say yes to the accessory’ on the same day that you choose your gown. However, it’s important that you give yourself ample time to pick out the right accessories. From the jewelry to the shoes and veil or alternative headpiece, there are a few important decisions to be made. We recommend picking these things out in time for your first alterations appointment so that you can try everything on together.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the 5 things no one will tell you about your wedding gown. Now you’ll be prepared if these happen to you!
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Monique + Jesus in Dallas, Texas, Naomi + Arthur in Los Angeles, California, and Rachel + Rafael in Orlando, Florida]
The Joy Team