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Brides have all heard the same worn-out wedding-dress shopping advice: Stick to your budget, start early, have an “open mind” ... the list goes on. How about some news you can actually use? Here, Erin Phraner, a bride-to-be and the founder of colorful blog and YouTube channel Hey EEP!, shares seven eye-opening tricks she recently learned through her own dress-shopping experience. Keep these in mind and you’ll crown your winning gown in no time!
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Schedule a beauty trial with a potential vendor or master your own fast face and bridal bun pre-appointment. It’s hard to feel gorgeous in “the” dress if you step into it feeling sloppy.
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If you’re planning to wear Spanx or a corset on your wedding day, why go dress hunting without ’em? Bits held nicely in place equals instant comfort! You’ll get a truer image of how the dress might look day-of if you come prepared.
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Make a Private Pinterest Board for Each Appointment
Look up which designers the salon carries before heading to your appointment. Save the dresses of theirs you love to a private Pinterest board along with any “dream dress” images for inspiration; your consultant will thank you later!
Bonus tip: Call ahead if there’s something specific you’re dying to see. A top-notch salon will do their best to borrow a gown you’ve been eyeing if they already carry the designer.
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Take (or Sneak!) iPhone Photos During Your Appointment
It’s likely the first photos of your bridal look will reach the outside world via cellphone snap, especially if you’ve created a #hashtag for your special day. If it doesn’t photograph well, maybe rethink it. Sometimes a gown looks WAY better in person ... but is that worth it?
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Keep Your Wedding Colors in Mind (or Be Open to Revisions)
If you’re planning to feature bright whites and cool colors on your wedding day, a very warm-toned ivory dress may not be for you. Similarly, if you’re set on a sunny blush, gold, or yellow wedding, dresses with cold undertones could totally clash. If you’re obsessed with a particular gown that doesn’t suit the scheme, just switch up your hues, honey!
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If you’re trying to coordinate multiple schedules for a dress-shopping excursion, weekends are the most convenient option; meaning salons are booked solid! Try a weekday appointment, when shops aren’t as busy. On average you’ll get 30 more minutes of try-on time. That’s, like, five extra gowns!
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Fabric affects the mood of a gown more than shape, so form an opinion about what you do and do not like in broad strokes: stiff and structural, soft and romantic, all about lace, unconventional silks (like matelassé)—the list goes on! This gives you and the consultant a more helpful guide to work with than just saying “ball gowns” or “mermaids.” Also, it encourages you to experiment with different styles within your textile(s) of choice; you never know which shape will look FAB on you!