How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress : Tips To Find Yours

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Eek! I found my dress!! It’s a Sottero and Midgley, of Maggie Sottero designs. Obviously I can’t show you now…B reads the blog! But I am so excited to share all the details of my experience to find the perfect dress, and show you all the close runner ups.

I first discovered Maggie Sottero in a few bridal groups on FB, and fell in love with her whole line. The thing I love the most, is that Maggie Sottero offers 3 different lines for any type of budget bride. Rebecca Ingram is a line for budget brides who are looking for the perfect dress without spending tons of money. They have such beautiful and affordable dresses, and are still really great quality. Then they have their Maggie Sottero line, which is what I originally fell in love with. This line keeps up with all the trends, but still can stick to the classics as well. Sottero and Midgley is their couture line and are so beautiful and unique as well. And it’s also the line I ended up getting my dress from.

I got my Sottero and Midgley dress from Panache Bridal in Pasadena last month. Ok confession…I had 3 wedding dress fittings/try ons. I was so so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find “the one”. I put a lot of pressure on myself trying to find the best dress. But let me remind you, you already found “the one” in your partner, and that’s the most important thing. As special as your wedding dress is going to be, make sure you aren’t stressing yourself out about choosing the perfect dress, just find a dress you love that’s perfect for you.

Here are some of my tips to help make it a bit easier to be happy with the dress you choose.

Don’t force it!
Take your time

I made sure that the first time I went to try on dresses, it was just to start figuring out what I loved. You can find tons of beautiful dresses on Pinterest, but until you start trying them on yourself, you’re not going to know what you love. I have heard over and over of brides who have “dress regret” and end up trying to sell their first pick because they fell out of love with it, and I didn’t want to be that bride. So, be sure you really love it. Don’t force yourself to pick a dress on day one. Don’t let the salesperson, friends, or family guilt you into picking one on your first appointment, if you really are not feeling it. I was finding that I loved Maggie Sottero styles the most, so I knew which direction, just didn’t know which dress. Which brings me to my next piece of advice…

Sleep on It

If you have any doubts, go home and sleep on it. See how you’re feeling the next day. It’s better to take your time, than to have to try to get out of a dress you already ordered. I had a top 5 for the Maggie Sottero gowns, so I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to pick just one…I took some time, and knew which one I was in love with!

Bring Only Your Best Girls

This might be the hardest one, depending on your friends and family, but you are going to want people there who are going to help you when you need it, and support you when you need it too. If you bring all 6 bridesmaids, 3 aunts and both your mother and mother in law, it’s probably going to get a bit overwhelming. There are so many different opinions and personalities, and if you’ve ever seen “Say Yes to the Dress”, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If it’s a MUST that you have everyone there, try going ahead of time and picking your top ones out, or even find your dress and take them out to try on all different dresses just for the experience.

I had all of my sisters (4) and mom at my fitting, and I made sure to warn them that I was going to take my time and didn’t want to feel rushed. So if someone couldn’t stay for several hours, I wanted to make sure they could get home without me having to just grab a dress quickly. (We went out of town to try on dresses, so if we were in town, it wouldn’t have been an issue). Just discuss with your girls what you want from them, and make sure it’s a good time. I definitely needed my sisters and moms opinion, so I’m glad they were able to make it. I never felt pushed or rushed, so it ended up being a great experience.

Do Your Hair & Makeup

I didn’t do this for my “fun fitting”, but when I went to try on my Maggie Sottero gowns, knowing I was probably going to walk out the door with a dress (ordered), I wanted to dress up a bit so I could start to get the feel for my wedding day. You don’t have to throw on a full face of makeup and get your hair done…(pretty sure the bridal salons would beg you not to!)…but throw on some mascara and colored lip gloss, curl your hair and try on those gowns. Making yourself up will allow you to feel pretty and more confident trying on these gowns.

Have An Idea In Mind

This was a big one for me. I could’ve picked any style of gown and probably loved it. I had no idea what kind of gown I wanted. Ball gowns are beautiful, but I loved fitted just the same. So I was completely open. However, it’s hard to go to a salon and say “I want everything”.  You can definitely try on one style of each, but be sure you can answer some questions. I knew I didn’t want a plain dress, or short, etc. The more you know what you do want, and what you don’t want, the easier it will be to find your perfect gown. With that being said…

Be Open to All Types of Gowns

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard brides say “I wanted a Ball Gown, but when I tried them on, it swallowed me up.” Or “I wanted a simple fitted gown, but they made me try on a ball gown and I fell in love.” Etc. Go try on things you never would’ve picked yourself. I had my mom and sisters pick dresses they wanted to see me in as well, and found some I loved that I never would have tried. So keep an open mind!

Wear Nude/White Undergarments

(and be sure they’re modest)

Ok, I knew this one, and I wore a white bra and white underwear for my first fitting…but…I wasn’t thinking that someone would be dressing me, and I wore a thong. I had the stylist dressing me, so my booty was in their face a couple times as they pulled up the dresses. I kept apologizing and was a little embarrassed, but they were professional about it and said they see it all the time. Save yourself a little uncomfortable-ness and wear undergarments that will cover what you want covered. Oh, and a strapless bra is always a good idea.

Take Lots of Pictures

I had my Maid of Honor take pictures at all of my appointments and that helped me so much. It was easier for me to compare dresses side by side, and see them in photos than to try to remember and decide without them. I recommend taking lots of pictures of you in the dresses, and peeking at them a few times when you start to get lost. I seriously had a top 5 or so when I tried on all the Maggie Gowns. How’s a girl suppose to choose just one dress?!

Try the Veil

The wedding veil completes the bridal look. And I would recommend every bride at least put a veil on during your dress fitting even if you don’t think you’re going to wear one. It might change your mind, or it might confirm your idea of not wearing one. But trying on the veil can help complete your look and may even bring out those bridal tears confirming that you found the best dress for you.

Stick To Your Budget

This is a big one! Make sure to know what your budget is for your dress. And make sure your stylist sticks with it! You don’t want to have a strict budget of $1000 and find your perfect dress only to hear the stylist brought you a $2000 dress. Know how much you are comfortable spending, and if you have wiggle room, and make sure you and your stylist sticks to it. Also…

Remember Extras and Alterations

If you have a dress budget, remember that alterations can cost a pretty penny as well, and your shoes, veil, hair pieces, etc can cost lots more too. You can make a dress budget separate from alterations and extras, but do remember you’ll need to budget for that as well. It may even help you choose your favorite dress knowing how much alterations may need to be done. After I found my dress, I knew there would be minimal alterations, so I was more confident with my pick.

Be Sure the Dress Makes Sense for Your Day

You will probably be wearing your dress for several hours, so you’re going to want to make sure it’s comfortable and not too much to manage. Are you a big dancer who will be on the dance floor all night long? Then you probably don’t want a cathedral length 3 layer train. Getting married outside in the summer? Probably stay away from heavy materials or something that will be hard walking around outdoors.

Go Early

If you want to order a dress, be sure to go around 9 months out from your wedding. A lot of dresses take around 5-6 months to come in, and you’re going to want time for all your alterations and fittings as well. If you’re already past that time, ask your stylist what you can work with and if they can still order. If not, know you still have several options from off the rack, which is always a good alternative as well.

Have Fun!

Seriously, you are doing one of the most fun things involved in wedding planning, so be sure you’re enjoying it. If you have a difficult posse, go once by yourself…if you can’t find the perfect one, make another appointment…if you’re getting too stressed, remember what it’s all about, you and your fiancé getting married. Enjoy the journey!

Thanks so much to Maggie Sottero and Panache Bridal Salon for setting me up with a beautiful fitting and gown. I can’t wait to share my Maggie Sottero wedding dress with all of you next year!

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